Breaking from the pack and spending time in a remote hideaway is powerfully rejuvenating.

By Mirel Zaman
August 30, 2019
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For your next holiday, get away from the crowds. A secluded experience lets you recharge and reconnect in just a day or two. Here are three amazing trips to try.

Picture a supremely calming Zen spot. Maybe it’s a tropical beach, a cabin in the woods, or the top of a mountain. There’s a good chance the oasis you’re imagining lacks one thing: other people.

Taking trips to remote or private destinations is the latest vacation craze, says Gabe Saglie, an expert on travel trends at Travelzoo. “The main reason most people go on a trip is relaxation,” he says. And there’s no better way to unwind and decompress than to really get away—from everyone. “A trip to a far-off or secluded destination gives you an opportunity to completely pull back from your regular routine and reconnect with yourself, and that’s intensely relaxing and rejuvenating,” he says. (Related: How to Use Your Vacation to *Actually* Relax)

It doesn’t take long for the benefits to start kicking in. “Within a day or two you’ll start to feel recharged and refreshed. Even stepping away for a few hours on a ‘normal’ vacation to go for a hike or kayak into quiet terrain can be transformative,” Saglie says.

Convinced? We’ve rounded up the best ways to experience the perks of privacy.

A Cabin In the Woods

Getaway (from $99 a night) rents small cabins nestled into densely wooded spots an hour or two outside major cities like Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and New York. They’re stocked with the basics (toiletries, cooking essentials, and some snacks for purchase) and are outfitted with huge windows, so you can stare at the foliage while reading and sipping wine. Each area contains a handful of cabins, situated to deliver a real middle-of-nowhere experience.

The Edisto River Tree Houses (from $160 per night) in Canadys, South Carolina, offer an even more private experience. The three tree houses are built on a 50-acre property, and they’re out of sight from one another and accessible only by canoe. Swim, paddle, and hike during the day, then relax on the riverfront porch at night. (Related: Outdoor Adventure Travel Trips for Vacations That Are Anything but Relaxing)

An Ultraluxe Private Campsite

The term glamping doesn’t do justice to the Dunton River Camp (from $1,650 a night) in Dolores, Colorado. The campsite is set on 500 acres of fields, meadows, and forest and is home to eight 640-square-foot tents, each with luxury-hotel-level amenities, like soaker tubs, showers, and towel warmers, plus two private mountain bikes. The local, organic meals are cooked by a chef and served with wine pairings.

Under Canvas (from $99 a night) is another glamping resort with locations around the U.S., including at national parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, and the Great Smoky Mountains. Each offers unbelievable views and easy access to trails, as well as comfy king-size beds and a wood-burning stove, and a few even have en suite bathrooms. Some tents are more secluded, while others are closer together, but each location hosts only a handful of them, and you’re just a few steps from total wilderness. (Related: The Best Hotels to Kick Back and Relax)

The Quietest Spots In the Country

Locations free of man-made sound are rare, but there is at least one in the U.S.: the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park in Washington. Head for the Hoh River Trail, which is accessible via a three-mile hike from the Hoh Visitor Center. Once you’re there, tune in. You may not realize how accustomed you are to hearing noise from airplanes and cars until it’s gone. If you really want to soak in the silence of the great outdoors, pitch a tent in a densely wooded spot in the Hoh campground (from $20 a night, first come, first served) near the visitor center.

Another way to tap into the serene power of quiet is on a silent retreat. If total silence seems intimidating, consider the Art of Living Retreat Center (from $1,235 for four nights in a private room) in Boone, North Carolina. Periods of silent contemplation are punctuated by guided meditations, lessons on breathing techniques, and even talking exercises meant to deepen your appreciation for your inner quiet.

Shape Magazine, September 2019 issue
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