Slow travel is inspiring, rewarding, exciting and enlightening.
The concept is about slowing down the pace and enriching your travel experience. It is a form of sustainable tourism that aims to preserve the environment, local communities, and traditional cultures.
Picture a weekend city break. Crammed with sightseeing, tours, queues at attractions, souvenir shopping and travelling to and from the airport. It is exhausting and stressful, but we do it.
Slow travel challenges that mindset
Travelling by train, bus or bicycle transforms the journey into a part of the holiday. Air travel is stressful, and can sometimes be just as time-consuming. It is also the largest contributor of tourism’s global carbon emissions.
Spending more time in just one place, you really get to know the area. Too often we spend one night here, two nights there, and never really get to know a place. We are so focused on racing to see as many famous sights as possible. We forget all the other wonderful things a place has to offer.
Staying in a local guesthouse, self-catered accommodation or a homestay supports the local economy. International hotels take the money you spend out of the local economy. Staying local and buying local supports local businesses and families. Communities benefit far more when the local economy is supported.
Getting off the beaten track will expose you to experiences you would never have if you only visit major tourist attractions. Stepping away from tourist resorts and attractions will introduce you to a new way of life, new foods, new environments.
Can we all embrace slow travel?
Honestly, we can’t always be slow travellers. Time constraints, budgets, and geographical distances simply make it unrealistic. And it’s not about boycotting tourism or never flying again. The industry supports millions of people, who rely on the airline industry to bring tourists to destinations. Tourism is a positive contributor if developed sustainably. It is about changing our mindset and being aware of how we impact the world when we travel. We can all adopt some elements of slow travel into our holidays and travels.
Embrace slow travel and you ultimately connect with local life. Learn a new language, learn a new skill, learn about other cultures, or share your knowledge and skills with local people. However you choose to slow travel, you, the people you meet and the places you visit will truly benefit.
Slow travel living is a way of life. Yes, it is slow, but it’s gaining momentum!