Best Off-the-Grid Escapes
The splurge destination: Reykjavik, Iceland
When to go: Mid-June through August is the peak season, but if you visit between September and March, you can glimpse the Aurora Borealis
Sample economy airfare: $1,300 from Boston to Reykjavik
The allure: “Iceland is a remote, eco-adventure haven,” Seshadri says. In the summer, there are around 18 hours of sunlight a day and mild temperatures. In the winter, you can snowmobile, backcountry ski or hike across glaciers—and the weather is milder than you would think.
Even though Reykjavik is an urban city, it’s very nature-focused, so you can spend your days exploring all sorts of unique terrain—like diving into the Silfra Tectonic Fissure or traversing Landmannalaugar’s lava fields and colorful mountains. For slumber, you can retire to a cozy spot like the 1010 Hotel Reykjavik (from $550 per night)—and spend your evenings sampling such classic Nordic cuisine as salted cod and smoked lamb, washed down with local beers like Einstok Pale Ale.
The budget-friendly alternative: Tulum, Mexico
When to go: Mid-December to April is the peak season, but October to early December, right after hurricane season, still offers good weather and lower prices
Sample economy airfare: $500 from New York City to Cancun
The allure: Tulum is best known for its pre-Columbian Mayan ruins, but it’s also home to the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, which attracts adventurers and eco-travelers to this lesser known Mexican enclave for snorkeling, hiking, kiteboarding and more.
Affordable thatched beach bungalows abound along Tulum’s turquoise coast, like the Design Hotels, Papaya Playa Project, comprised of 80 open-air cabanas that line the beach (from $105 per night). The hotel is a member of the Rain Forest Alliance, which works to conserve biodiversity and ensure environmental sustainability. “This is truly an experience that’s as off the grid as possible,” Seshadri says.