El Cosmico, Marfa,Texas

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West Texas is as far off the grid as you can get in America. Miles of brush, and no power or water lines.

The town of Marfa is an artistic and intellectual oasis. Well worth the trip, and now there is a new destination. El Cosmico,at 802 S. Highland Marfa; (432-729-1950;

There are not enough places like this in the world -an incredible, romantic assemblage of yurts, safari tents, a tepee and meticulously restored vintage mobile homes. Land here is so cheap that privacy is easy. El Cosmico is on 18 acres at the edge of town.

Spencer Pond camps

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Step back in time into an authentic wilderness lakeside housekeeping cabin. The camp does not have electricity and therefore cannot accommodate electrical appliances. It is completely “unplugged” and off the grid.

Using tools from earlier eras the cabins are both comfortable and retain the rustic charm. There are no toasters or microwaves but “old-fashioned” kitchen tools that allow you to mix your cakes, perk your coffee and make your toast.

Best relaxation spas in Asia

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Spa by Spa

Smoochy Spa

One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

Just getting away is romantic. But at the One&Only Reethi Rah, you can get further off the grid with hideaways within the resort. Private salas are scattered around the resort, perched over the Indian Ocean, so couples can canoodle post-spa or pre-dinner. Inside the spa, two private suites—accessible via a secluded walkway—allow couples to get

Eco Escapes UK: Find a place to stay in Britain

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strong style=”font-weight: bold;”>1. The Scarlet

“This strikingly modern eco hotel offers a stylish yet peaceful retreat, and benefits from a stunning cliff-top location with magnificent views,” according to Simon. It is a hotel specially intended for ‘adults only’. And their SPA? Ayurvedic inspired, nothing less.

Where Tredragon Road, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall TR8 4DQ (01637 861800;

How much: from £250 more

2. Big Green Tipi


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Up-market travel agency Abercrombie & Kent offers destinations where you’re completely off-grid — no phones, no mains electricity, no fax, no Internet, not even running water.

The company offers packages to all these places, with starting prices ranging from $850 U.S. a day for the Argentina trip to $9,995 for a 14-day trip to Antarctica. See or call 1-800-554-7094 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-554-7094      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Los Glaciares, Argentina

“To truly understand Argentina and its proud rural traditions, travel to the vast steppe lands of Patagonia where ice shelves and glaciers give way to beech forests and remote plains. El Calafate is t

Last Minute Travel

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Global search for tranquility

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In California go north to this sulphur-rich spring famed for its healing properties. The Wilbur Hot Springs hotel is off the grid and totally solar-powered – there are no TVs, no mobile reception and, apart from on ‘chef weekends’, guests have to prepare their own food in the communal kitchen. Add to that the fact that clothing is optional around the baths and you can rest assured you’ll be getting away from it all. There are free yoga sessions, a sauna and outstanding stargazing while coyotes howl.

Never book with Ryanair at weekends

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If you must use Ryanair (and our advice is – don’t) then do yourself a favour and do not use the airline’s online booking service at weekends. If anything goes wrong, there is absolutely nothing you can do – the switchboard is closed, and in our experience nobody answers their premium rate enquiry line – that’s right, their 1 Euro a minute enquiry line is apparently unmanned. They areally are the most hateful bunch of swine, as everyone agrees.

Free travel insurance – Planning for the unexpected

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Unpredictable variables can change travel relaxation into stranded frustration: Financial riots in Greece, oil spills off the coast of Spain and Florida, ash storms from an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano … it’s a mess out there.

Insurance is now good, in fact its a rip-off in most cases as it does not protect you from the most likely causes of travel problems – best to buy the tickets on your credit card, thus benefitting from the cardholder travel insurance offered on many cards to guarantee your basic medical bills and rely on your own wit and intelligence for the rest.

There are several things you can control when planning your summer vacation. Strategic planning will allow you to make the most of your money while still having a good time.

Go Ape goes to America

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Tree-top adventure course company Go Ape runs 26 courses in the UK and has just expanded to the US.

Tristram Mayhew, Go Ape founder, and his wife Rebecca Mayhew were holidaying in France when they discovered a tree top adventure course set deep in the Auvergne National Forest. Research showed there were 200 similar small-scale courses in France, but none in the UK.