Stay for Free at a Chic Swedish Hotel—If You Can Stay Off Instagram

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Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: You're on a much-needed vacation in a new place, ready to see the sights and soak up the local culture—but oops, you just got sucked into Instagram for an hour. Or Facebook. Or Twitter. Ugh. Unplugging is hard, especially when fast Wi-Fi is readily available at every turn. Which is why Hotel Bellora in Gothenburg, Sweden, has a little extra incentive for you: Your stay is completely free…if you can stay off social media.

Check into the Check Out Suite, which is equipped with a special "screen-free" lamp that uses Wi-Fi to monitor your social media activity. Your room (and the accompanying breakfast) starts out free for the night, but increases by 20 krona (about $2.21) for every minute you spend on an off-limits app (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube) or even just use the internet.

After two hours—or 30 minutes of usage each for a family of four, the recommended allotment of recreational screen time—you'll have reached the full price for the room, and the lamp will turn red. (Just in case you need a blatant visual reminder of your failure.)

Seeing as we've been known to blow past the two-hour mark by ourselves, this is clearly no easy feat. But that's the point—it's a little extra push to put down the phone, connect with your fellow travelers or dig into that new novel. (Although the rules don't say anything about watching TV, so…score?) The hotel also has plenty of other amenities to keep you occupied, like an Italian restaurant, a rooftop bar and an in-house boxing gym. 

If you're interested in putting your willpower to the test and exploring a charming Scandinavian city while you're at it, you can request a booking on the hotel's website. Just make sure to get all that scrolling out of your system beforehand.

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From 2016-2019 Carolyn Kuang-chen Stanley held the role of Editor covering food, travel and all things nyc.