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Travel has become an incredibly important part of so many peoples lives. There’s a big difference in being a traveller or a tourist. There’s an increasing numbers of travellers seeking for a slow travel experience compared to tourists who love to have a quick getaway and see as much as possible. Many of them have the question of how to start with slow travelling.
In the current world we’re living in, many of us feel the need to travel more and get more experiences. Since before I can remember I have been travelling. We’ve always travelled around 4 weeks a year as a family at home. We would drive to a sunny country in Europe like France and stay at one spot for 2 to 3 weeks. Sometimes we would stop in another country for a few days and move onto our final destination.
In a nutshell, this is what slow travelling is. We stay longer at one destination to minimize our carbon footprint and travel locally, eat locally and stay locally to support the local economy. Obviously, slow travel is much more than this. I wrote an entire blogpost about why slow travelling is the perfect way to travel which explains many positive aspects of slow travel!
How To Start With Slow Travel
I will share a few tips on how to start with slow travel and leave the implementation up to you guys! As I always say, small chances lead to big differences and even using a few of these tips will create a positive impact. Most importantly, don’t feel overwhelmed! The world does not need a few people travelling consciously perfectly, it needs millions of people doing it imperfectly.
Visit the destination during off season
The off season is a perfect time to travel. It is less expensive and less crowded. For example, Spain welcomed over 83.7 million tourists in 2019 making it the second most visited country in the world. Most of these tourists visit Spain in the peak season during school holidays and the summer. If you have the chance of travelling during the off season, you’ll get to explore hidden gems and even popular places without the crowds.
Don’t make a list at all
Whenever I create a list of things to visit, I feel the need to tick them all off. If you do love to make lists, don’t see everything on your list to avoid rushing. My top tip is to see what the day brings and go with the flow. A lot of people have the fear of missing out whenever they travel and are scared to miss the popular hotspots. The hidden gems on a destination are in most cases even more gorgeous than the hotspots. Much more authentic and raw.
Live like a local
The best way to experience a destination is to live like a local. Talk to the locals on the destinations, create local relationships and support the local economy. The locals always know the best places to get a coffee, to eat lunch or to have dinner. They know the city much better than you and you’re likely to end up in a place where mostly locals come. One of the best authentic things to do!
Find a local host
Another great way of exploring a destination is by finding a local host to show you around. I have a lot of contact on Instagram with girls from all over the world and we’re excited to show each other our home country and city. There are lots of Facebook groups to find locals and to find a local host who will take you around the city showing you the sightseeing spots!
Stay for at least 2 weeks
Part of slow travelling is staying longer at one destination. I’d suggest staying at least 2 weeks to explore the entire city and places around the city. I know people who stay for months in South East Asia and travel around close islands and countries. This helps minimizing your carbon footprint because you don’t need to travel much to find a new destination! 15 days is the minimum if you want to reach below the surface and actually find the hidden gems and live like a local!
Slow travelling is an amazing way to still travel, seek new experiences but minimize your carbon footprint and support the local economy. As a final tip – take slow travelling home. Start with slow living at home and explore hidden gems and local places in your hometown!