After a few chaotic years, Booking.com’s 2023 Travel Predictions reveals that over 65% of Indian travellers are looking to escape from reality in the new year by embarking on an ‘off-grid’ style of vacation. No modern luxuries? No worries. Keen to go back to the basics and experience life with only the bare necessities, 64% of the younger generation in India (Millennials, 51% and Gen Z, 50%) are ready to forgo day-to-day luxuries, to enjoy off-grid style of vacation – more so than their older counterparts. Regardless, 2023 will see a considerable number of Indian travellers venture into the wilderness, with 55% of friends or 34% of family. Motivated by a desire to learn essential survival skills 58% of Indian travellers – perhaps in case of a cataclysmic event.
With its mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com has rounded up some off-grid adventures that travellers can experience on their next vacation; from foraging for food in the wild or learning how to light a fire from scratch to experiences that give a sense of escapism, there’s plenty of thrilling options for travellers to put their survivalist skills to the test.
Perfect the basics
For the 62% of Indian travellers who want to learn basic survival skills including how to light a fire from scratch, Bedouin Nights Camp in Wadi Rum, Jordan is a perfect place to learn and stay. Wadi Rum is a UNESCO protected area due to its iconic landforms, such as natural arches and narrow gorges, and is often referred to as the “Valley of the Moon” for these reasons. The camp itself embraces the ancient Bedouin culture, and local guides share their desert secrets and village stories with guests. Travellers will learn about the history and culture of the indigenous people, have the opportunity to elevate their understanding of the desert on a series of hike and jeep tours, learn how to live like a local, delving into local foods and joining in the traditional Bedouin dances.
Forage and feed in the wild
With almost two in five, 61% of Indian travellers wanting to forage in the wild for their own ingredients and food, travellers can immerse themselves in this self-sufficient activity at Kinloch Lodge Hotel and Restaurant. Travellers can wander through Kinloch Forest with the hotel’s local guide as they explore the paths of the forest to forage for local ingredients. The freshly picked finds are dependent on the season, where guests can expect to see delicacies such as edible mushrooms, wild garlic, seaweed and mussels. Other activities on offer, includes traditional fire lighting, fishing in the pristine Loch Na Dal waters, wild walks across the sprawling green lands, where guests may catch a glimpse of the rich wildlife such as otters, eagles and seals, and opportunities to learn how to identify wild foods such as plants and fungi.
For travellers wanting to put their wild cooking skills to the test, then opt for a stay at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, United States. Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina, guests will explore their surroundings whilst they identify and gather extreme cuisine such as wild mushrooms and plants, before learning how best to preserve and serve these earthly delicacies during a cooking lesson, followed by a tasting session of their freshly picked ingredients.
Prep for an apocalypse
Following a turbulent few years of uncertainty, the year ahead will see travellers keen to prepare for the worst case scenario, as 65% of Indian travellers want to learn essential skills to survive an apocalypse and are most likely to embark on a survival vacation to prepare for what may lie ahead.
The LOOF Tiny House Camp in Fuefuki, Japan provides the perfect opportunity to get back-to-basics and experience a stay surrounded by lush nature. Situated in the mountains amongst the forest, guests can learn how to make their all-important morning beverage from scratch, learning how to roast and brew raw coffee beans in the wild. Harvest a variety of vegetables including cucumber, tomatoes and eggplant in the vegetable garden, or wander to the Ashi River to bask in the untouched beauty of nature, before gathering around the campfire in the evening.
Escape from reality
In the year ahead, over 65% of Indian travellers will want to go off grid to escape from reality, without compromising on the luxury travel aspect of their vacation. The Laxsik Ecolodge in Sa Pa, Vietnam offers the best of both worlds; the chance to live amongst the locals, basking in their daily routine and indulging in the local cuisine and culture, whilst the lodge is beautifully decorated with traditional touches inspired by H’Mong lifestyle throughout.
For travellers seeking to disconnect on their next adventure, stop off at Shoja in India. Speckled with rich flora & fauna, high mountain ranges, waterfalls and lush greenery, Shoja is a perfect getaway for nature lovers. Overnight trek to Basheilo Pass or day treks to Serolsar Lake, Raghupur Fort, waterfall point etc. can be planned at Shoja for trekking enthusiasts. This stands as a perfect spot for the 73% Indian travellers who are keen to use travel in 2023 as an opportunity to see more eco-friendly, earthly stays to accommodate burnt-out city dwellers searching for simplicity, offering guidance for Indian travellers to be closer to nature.