Beyond the Nonstop: The Digital Detox Vacation

July 27, 2020
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When I’m not DJing on Cincinnati’s Mix 94.9, you can find me traveling the world and sharing my journeys here.

We’ve spent the past few months stuck inside glued to rectangles of all shapes. TV screens deliver endless waves of unsettling news, computer monitors keep us glued to the 468th conference call this month, and social media on that tiny handheld rectangle is stressful, at best.

This extra-long boat offered six feet of distance between each of us and the guide.

It’s time to break free of your 24/7 connected life and use some of that hard-earned vacation time for a Digital Detox Vacation!  Safe travel is at your fingertips and something my wife and I just explored! 

Jay and his wife in front of a lake in Michigan
I fully embraced vacation “scruffy mode” on our Digital Detox!

CVG is open and ready for you with enhanced cleaning measures, additional safety protocols, and your overall wellbeing in mind during your trip. There are many non-stop and one-stop destination options to get to green places and wide-open spaces. As international travel remains challenging due to COVID-19, we stayed stateside for our latest journey and visited one of my favorite vacation spots: picture-perfect Northern Michigan.

You can almost hear the sound of rushing rapids in this photo from the Tahquamenon River in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

You can save the nine-hour drive and fly one-stop from CVG to Pellston airport. When you walk out the door, you’ll be steps away from incredible hiking, legendary waterfalls, and miles of lake shoreline to explore.

Beautiful Bayfront Park in Petoskey, MI offers the opportunity to hunt for world-famous “Petoskey Stones” along the shoreline.

A quick drive gets you to the shores of Lake Michigan and cherries in Traverse City, a herd of elk in a city park in Gaylord, and the chance to search for one-of-a-kind rocks in Petoskey.

Found one!

We chose to enjoy a stream side Airbnb on the world-renowned Au Sable River in Grayling.  The downtime, disconnection, and slower pace is exactly what was needed to recharge. (And you won’t have to worry about cell phone calls interrupting your day, we were lucky to get one bar of service!)

How perfect is this spot for an afternoon nap along the peaceful Au Sable River?

It was our first ever Airbnb (more on that in a future post) and served as a great base to explore the area and catch up with Andy at the Old Au Sable Fly Shop to head out on a guided fly-fishing expedition.

Fish on! The Au Sable River is famous for its wild trout population.

From there, we drove over the magnificent Mackinac Bridge.

And grabbed a legendary pasty (think 1lb fancy homemade Hot Pocket) from Lehto’s Pasties in St Ignace.

St Ignace, MI is the spot for the tastiest and hearty treat, the pasty.
Mmmmmmm . . .

We spent a few more days in the Upper Peninsula, staying at the beautifully restored Birch Lodge (a former sanitarium!)

I could have sat here for hours. Trout Lake, Michigan

From there, we toured Taquamenon Falls and had some nice journeys through Hiawatha National Forest.

We also took a boat tour through the famous Soo Locks and visited historic Whitefish Point.

Approaching one of the American Locks at the furthest point north on I-75. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

With a flight to Detroit and then to the Pellston Airport , you can grab a shuttle service to a ferry dock and enjoy beautiful Mackinac Island, where cars are banned, and horses and bikes roam the roads.  Enjoy famous fudge and unbelievably beautiful views at this legendary vacation spot.

The views were incredible, but what it did for our mental health was even more important. We had a chance to set our “out of office” messages and spend time reading, fishing, and relaxing away from technology.

Safety first in our travels overlooking Lake Michigan at the historic Legs Inn.

Here are three more picks for your Digital Detox Vacation:

Colorado

Want a change of scenery? Colorado has you covered! Fly non-stop from CVG to Denver and rent a car to explore the Rocky Mountains. Ride horses in Idaho Springs, spread out or socially distance in Garden of the Gods State Park in Colorado Springs. I’ve really enjoyed just pulling off the road and visiting an alpine lake or exploring a friendly small town that welcomed us with open arms.

New England

I visited Acadia National Park 20 years ago and the memories are still fresh in my mind. Easy hikes to the top of big hills offer breathtaking views that can’t been seen anywhere else. Extend your trip and enjoy towns like Bar Harbor, Rockport, and Gloucester. There have been incredible one-stop fares from CVG to Bangor.  A New England coastal tour is worthy of your time.  You could also consider getting a one-way car rental and flying home from Boston or Providence.

Alaska

Adventure awaits in one of the most intriguing states in our country. With one of the lowest numbers of coronavirus cases and plenty of room to spread out, you can check out the sea, woods, and mountains all in one trip. Consider CVG’s new airline partner, Alaska Airlines, for planning purposes – they begin flying out of CVG Airport in May 2021. 

 

Before you head out, be sure to check on any statewide travel restrictions that could alter your travel plans. Some states like Hawaii are requiring proof of a negative Coronavirus test within the last 72 hours in order to enter. Here’s an article with the latest updates: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/travel/state-travel-restrictions.html .  CVG Airport also has a deep well of information and resources about Flying Healthy.  Visit CVGairport.com/FlyHealthy

Get the latest flight deals to the best Digital Detox vacation destinations on my deals page – click here.

Even during a pandemic, you can make memories with your family and improve your overall well-being.

Keep on traveling!

-Jay

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