Slow travelling means staying longer at one destination while travelling. People claim it’s the perfect way to dive into a culture and to work harder if you are a digital nomad or remote worker. I can imagine it’s an unknown term for some of you. In todays blogpost I am explaining the definition of slow travelling, the perks of it and why it’s a perfect way to travel!
Have you ever heard of the term slow travelling? To my opinion, this term only became more popular in the last year or so but I’m sure it’s been around much longer. It’s exactly what is says it is: slow travelling means to travel slower.
This blogpost is meant as future travel inspiration for when it’s safe to travel again. Please follow the measures taken by your government during COVID-19 and stay safe.
What is slow travelling?
Slow travelling is when you decide to stop running around chasing destination after destination. It’s meant to give you more time at one specific destination. One month in Bali. Two weeks in a city in Portugal or three weeks on a magical island in Greece. I used to run around like crazy to explore a city in just three days. Setting alarms, making an itinerary and rush to see as much as I could everyday in those three days. Even though that might be the definition of a city trip and might be how I do my city trips in the future, it’s not how I want all of my travels to look like.
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Travelling should be relaxing as well. How much do we really see if we rush around, stop for a maximum of 20-30 minutes on a gorgeous spot, ready to move onto the next one? We get an impression of the place but don’t thoroughly see the beauty of the place. With slow travelling you take your time and explore places far away from the traditional all-in experiences.
Ultimately, this is a more sustainable way of travelling as well. I know this is a term some of you really hate, but just think about it like you’re creating and leaving a positive impact on the destination while you enjoy every single detail and second of the trip. It doesn’t sounds bad when I explain it like this, right?
I’m sure we all have the ultimate search to find the perfect hotel. A green hotel is perfect if you are looking for a way to leave a positive impact. Read my blogpost with 8 easy tips on how to choose an eco-friendly hotel next!
The perks of slow travelling
Stop your hectic life
Slow travelling gives you the opportunity to taste every dish, to smell everything and listen to the sound of your surroundings. You’ll meet the local community, try out local dishes and see everything that makes the place so special. It’s a way to stop our hectic lives, which we too often bring with us on our travels.
Actually experience the destination
Personally, it’s not my goal to VISIT the destination. It is my goal to EXPERIENCE the destination. Slow travelling gives me the last option. It’s not about just seeing a historic building. To me, I want to visit the building, look around and see every detail. I want to read the information and dive into the actual story of its history. This brings me much more fulfilment than just looking at it.
It saves money
You will save money if you stay longer at one place ‘cause you don’t need to buy new plane tickets or any other form of transportation. Most AirBnB’s or hotels give you a discount if you’re staying longer in their accommodation! An AirBnB is especially nice because it gives you the opportunity to get groceries and cook your own meals.
Our use of plastic is incredibly high and that’s such a shame. Plastic takes 1000 years to decompose. Read my blogpost with 11 easy tips to reduce plastic while travelling.
You’ll get more work done
This is for the ones who are a digital nomad or like to work remotely on a gorgeous location. Slow travelling is perfect for you because you will have more time to get your work done and discover the location. If you would do all these things in just a few days, it will only result into stress!
It’s better for the environment
When we start implementing slow travelling – it means we travel less, stay longer at a destination and it makes you decrease your ecological footprint which is a very positive factor! Combine this with the tips coming up and you’re leaving a positive impact on the destination while enjoying every single moment.
You may have heard of CO2-compensation before, it’s an extra fee you can pay if you’re travelling by plane. I wrote an entire blogpost about the idea & impact of CO2-compensation to give you all the details and information about it!
Tips to start with slow travelling
Organise your own trip
If you plan everything yourself, you have the ultimate freedom to do whatever you want. You can stay how long you want and travel the way you like. I would suggest to organize your own trip to the minimum, only book your flight(s) and the first accommodation. Decide where you are travelling next from this location. Not planning ahead gives you the opportunity to stay longer in one place if you love it there.
Choose cleaner ways of transportation
Slow travelling is the perfect time to choose “cleaner” ways of transportation, meaning choosing a transportation with lower emissions. This can be a train for example. Most destinations have the option for a train or bus ride instead of choosing to take the plane. Transportation IS part of your travel. Take your time to do this and the train/bus gives you the upmost best views of the destination while you’re able to enjoy the ride and perhaps get some work done. It’s also great to rent a bike on a destination and explore it with your bicycle!
Read next: the local community is essential during our travels. This blogpost about 7 ways to give back to the local community gives you all the different ways and tips to return the love to them.
Take your time to cook your own meals with local ingredients
I get it. I love going out for dinner, enjoying the luxury, the sunset and the experience itself. However, as much fun as this is – it’s also great to go to a local fruit and vegetable market or local store and buy your own local ingredients. Ask the locals about a popular recipe while you’re there and make this in your own apartment or house. It saves money, helps you to connect with the locals and it’s a lot of fun too! Write the recipe down and cook it again when you’re home to bring the destination to your own home.
Alternate your activities
I feel like we sometimes do a lot of the same stuff on our travels. We go on a walking tour. We do an excursion and see the most recommend places, which are usually pretty crowded. Let’s do something different next time. Go ahead and sign up for a cooking class, doesn’t matter if you’re trying to make Belgium chocolate in Belgium, macarons in Paris or anything else in any other country. Just this experience in smaller groups feels more authentic and gives you awesome travel experience too! There a lots of other authentic activities too.
We encounter different cultures while travelling. This blogpost gives the best tips on how to deal with different cultures!
Meet new people
Like I mentioned, talk with the locals. Meet other travellers and take the time to get to know them. Start meaningful conversations and build a connection with them. I absolutely love doing this because I think you’re only getting to know the country/region/city by talking to the locals. Their story matters.
Read next: travelling responsible can feel intimidating and hard. This blogpost about how to be a responsible traveller gives you the perfect guidelines!
Slow travelling is so rewarding. You may not see as much as you’re used to, but at the same time – you are seeing so much more. You experience the culture, the locals, see more special places and get to know the history of the destination. It will broaden and expand your travel experience positively, leave you more relaxed and ready to take on the next adventure.
It will take some time to implement this and to get used to it. And it’s okay if you don’t want to do slow travelling during every travel. Some trips are more suitable for it than others and it’s always up to you if you want to start slow travelling or not!
Are you considering starting with slow travelling? Let me know!