Deserted Island Vacations
Arizona lawmaker Jeff Flake decided to get as far away as possible from his congressional colleagues and spent a week on an uninhabited speck of land in the Marshall Islands.
He was armed with little more than salt, pepper and sunscreen for his ultimate survivor vacation, but deserted island getaways can range from coastal luxury to the full Crusoe. Plan your own trip to the edge of nowhere.
Deserted or Private
Decide what your definition of deserted is. You may just want the beach to yourself, with all the comforts of a resort yet all the privacy you could ask for. Or you may be seeking a castaway experience where you spear fish for dinner and try to make a fire out of Mother Nature’s matches.
Seek your solitude smartly. If you’re looking to rough it where no man usually goes, make sure you have basic survival skills and communications equipment as help will be at least the next island over. Check current security conditions to lessen the chance of unwanted visitors stepping in on your privacy, such as the current piracy threat near Seychelles.
Some travel agents specialize in getting you as far from civilization as possible. Docastaway arranges private island vacations in “comfort mode” for travelers seeking relaxed seclusion, and “adventure mode” in locations such as Indonesia or the Philippines for those wanting to feel more like a “Survivor” contestant.
With the latter option, you get a choice of having a professional guide walk you through the finer points of foraging for dinner and a boat to escape the island if needed. Fronteering Travel Services will drop you off the coast of Belize with former UK Special Forces members to teach you the art of survival, including making your own shelter for the night.
And hotels on more populated islands sometimes own property on nearby, isolated islands; hotel staff shuttle you over to the exclusive deserted area after you check in at the main property.
Let a complete sense of solitude wash over you for the day and return to civilization at night. You can travel to deserted islands off the coast of the United States if flying to the farthest reaches of the Indian Ocean isn’t in the budget. Santa Barbara Island, off the California coast in the Channel Islands, is just one square mile in size but 38 miles from shore.
The only chatting you’re likely to hear is from barking sea lions, and your hike may be colored by a brilliant palette of sunflowers. Yellow Island off the northwestern corner of Washington state bursts into wildflowers each spring and is open for daytime hikes among bald eagles and river otters.
You’ll need a private boat or charter to access these and many more islands dotting the waters off America’s shores; check the rules about camping before you extend the trip into an overnighter.
Your idea of the perfect island may not have a single palm tree in sight. Deserted islands for rent can be found in Maine, Ontario and other forested locations as well as among sparkling atolls in the Maldives, and the nontropical locations often can be a bargain compared to their fun-in-the-sun cousins.
According to Travel+Leisure, affordable tropical private island getaways can be found in overlooked locations such as Panama and Papua New Guinea, though island resorts can differ in their degrees of “deserted.” Other resorts redefine opulent by adding a private airstrip and a butler to the island, such as Laucala Private Island Resort in Fiji.
No matter where you pick in the world, pay attention to the time of year and the forecast because a deserted island vacation during hurricane season puts help as far away as those pesky tourists.