Getting “Off the Grid” for a Weekend or Longer: 5 Easy Tips

Many people dream of getting “off the grid,” but few actually do it.

One way to see if an unplugged lifestyle will suit you is to take an off grid vacation. That will give you an opportunity to get a brief taste of homesteading and more sustainable living choices.

It could be enough time to convince you to commit to living off the grid — or not.

First, learn some off-grid basics to help you plan a weekend away from it all, below.

getting off the grid

CONTENTS – In this article you will learn important tips about getting off the grid for vacation, including:

Off Grid Basics

If you’re not sure what it means to be “off grid,” it’s an independent, sustainable way of life that doesn’t require public utilities. At the extreme, that might be living without electricity, water, or gas, or even all three.

The “grid” refers to the electrical grid.

Going off grid may also mean:

  • Living a more sustainable existence
  • Reducing your carbon footprint
  • Recycling and reusing useful materials
  • Producing more than you consume

Those dedicated to living off the grid are sometimes called “homesteaders.”

Homesteading means grow your own food and creating your own power source. That power could be solar panels, wind turbine, or micro-hydro (or water based) energy.

Whether you’re considering completely going off the grid or just need a digital detox, you’ll want to give it a trial run first.

Planning a weekend off-grid is a great start.

5 Ways To Prepare For a Vacation Off-Grid

Have you been constantly tired or stressed? Does every day feel like too much work? 

If so, you’re burned out. 

There’s only one cure for this feeling: unplugging. 

While modern technologies give us many benefits, they can also be energy drainers. The responsibilities of daily life leave us depleted after a while. 

Those are good reasons to go off the grid for a weekend.

Some time away from all the noise can be just what you need to reset. And today, we’re going to show you how to do it while still in comfort.

Here are some helpful tips for preparing for your off-grid vacation.

1. Have a Source of Energy

Just because you’re taking time away from a fast-paced life, doesn’t mean you should be without conveniences. You’ll still need a way to keep devices charged in the case of an emergency. 

One way to do this is with a solar-powered generator. This will serve as your power source.

It gains energy from the sun. 

Then, you can charge your devices to check your work messages and have some ties to the outside world. 

If you enjoy your experience with it, you can learn more about solar generators. That way, you’ll see if it should be a permanent addition to your home. 

2. Pack Plenty of Food

When you go off-grid, you’re probably not going to be somewhere with a restaurant or grocery store nearby. 

You also won’t want to drive a long way every time you want something to eat. 

So, bring some foods that are easy to prepare but are satisfying.

It’s a good idea to bring as few perishables as you can. Easy snacks and finger foods are ideal, so you won’t have to deal with a mess. 

You don’t have to bring a truckload, but do take enough to be comfortable. 

Anything you think you might want to eat or drink while you’re off grid, bring it along. This will help set the “plentiful retreat” mood. 

3. Bring Any Creature Comforts

You aren’t going to get the benefits of an off-grid getaway if all you can think about is being uncomfortable. You’ll just wish you could go home!

So, the most important part of vacation is making a place away from home feel like home. 

This includes comfort items like blankets, pillows, lounge chairs, and anything else that will make you feel pampered. 

If there is anything specific that you need for comfort and entertainment, be sure to bring that, too. 

You could bring a loved-one’s photograph, a board game, a stack of books to read, or a special stuffed animal.

Remember that this is your retreat. There are no rules while you’re living off the land, except the ones you want to make .  

4. Research The Lay of The Land 

Nothing can ruin a restorative time, like getting lost in an unfamiliar place. It can also be troublesome not knowing anyone there. 

You can avoid this by gathering information ahead of time. 

It’s not necessary for you to memorize the entire city. Instead, get these important landmarks down:

  • Where you’ll be staying
  • The closest grocery store
  • Gas stations
  • Medical facilities

When you know these basic details, your trip will go much smoother. That’s because it will help put your mind at ease.

Then, you can actually enjoy your trip. 

5. Get Into Shape 

When you go off grid, you may give up some of the modern conveniences of city life. And, you may find yourself walking long distances.

This is actually a good thing, because connecting with nature is so restorative!

Yet, a drawback to being out in a remote location is that everything, even getting from the driveway to your weekend home, can be a journey. 

To prepare for this more active lifestyle, you’ll want to start building up your strength. Start about two weeks before your getaway. 

Begin with a walk in the morning. 

Maybe there’s a special place you enjoy going to, such as a park. This will make the experience more enjoyable, which will make you more likely to do it. 

Then, instead of feeling tired and overextended while you’re off grid, you’ll be in a good frame of mind and body to really enjoy it. 

Best Places for An Off-Grid Vacation

Some of the best places in the US for an off-grid vacation may come as no surprise.

  • Alaska
  • Maine 
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico

These destinations are an ideal location for experiencing a simpler lifestyle. But you might be surprised that any place is fair game.

You can find off grid cabins to rent, a yurt in the mountains, or go tent camping in the wilderness. You’ll also discover a growing number of eco-retreats that are good for getting your feet wet. That’s the first step in deciding if living off-grid on your own land is going to suit you in the long run.

You might find an adorable tiny house on a small plot of land that looks perfect for a sustainable lifestyle. But, unless you’ve spent much time making important considerations about the local laws and the energy needs of an off-grid system, don’t make an impulsive decision.

Remember that after your initial investment, your new home may need to be outfitted with renewable energy sources. Perhaps you will need to install battery systems, or consider a water supply like rainwater harvesting. You may even want to invest in a composting toilet.

It can be a lot of work and a lot of money.

You also have to be sure you’re operating within local regulations. And don’t forget to include planting your own vegetable garden among the important things of setting up your new lifestyle.

In the end, your off-grid lifestyle might not make sense to different people.

But when you combine sustainable practices with modern technology, it will be to your best advantage. And every bit you reduce your use of fossil fuels, it helps combat climate change.

Related: Cottages & Cabins Set in Nature

Final Thoughts on Getting Off the Grid

A weekend off the grid doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rough it. In fact, it can be the most comfortable getaway you’ve had in a while. 

Once you figure out the creature comforts that will make a more enjoyable off-grid vacation, you can reap the benefits of going off-grid.

Those benefits include having a greater sense of personal satisfaction, better health, reduced stress and anxiety, and the freedom to live anywhere without depending on the grid.

It’s worth a try, isn’t it?

Next Steps

To learn more about sustainable living and make eco-conscious choices, check out these articles next:

What are your thoughts about going off the grid? Let me know in the comments below.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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