Slow travel is an approach to travel which inspires travellers to be present, savour the moment and to really take the time to immerse themselves in a destination. It may be a cliché, but with slow travel, the joy is in the journey just as much as the destination!
By travelling slowly you are taking the time to get to know a place, its people, food, culture and natural environment in a way that you might miss out on by just rushing through it. It prioritises and emphasises a deeper connection to a destination rather than just scratching the surface.
If done in the right way slow travel goes hand in hand with sustainable travel by minimising the negative environmental, economic and social impacts. Why not discover the pleasures of travelling slowly for your next trip?
How to travel slowly?
Change your method of transport
Take the time to travel through a place, rather than flying over it or skipping everything in between point A and point B.
Instead of taking a flight, take a train. No other mode of transport captures the art of slow travel quite like a journey by rail does. From Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer to Norway’s Bergen Line and from Vietnam’s north-south rail route to USA’s Amtrak, there are plenty of opportunities to travel by rail. Marvel at the ever-changing changing landscapes, stop on route at those lesser known places and allow yourself to enjoy the journey.
Whilst in a city, swap the taxi for a long stroll. Discover the local neighbourhoods as you wander by homes, shops and local cafes at a leisurely pace rather than have it whizz by in a blur.
Support local businesses
Take the opportunity to support local businesses if you can by staying at small boutique hotels and homestays; hiring local tour guides to discover special spots, shopping in local stores, dining in eateries run by locals and by eating dishes prepared with locally grown ingredients.
By spending more time in one place and you might find yourself getting to know the locals and understanding more about their culture.
Take the time to travel slowly
In a fast-paced world where the traditional 9-5 seems like a distant memory, many of us may consider indulging in this slow approach to travel a luxury. But travelling slowly doesn’t mean your travels have to span months. It does mean you might need to be a little more selective as to what you choose do or see, but arguably, you are creating a more personalised, more immersive, more sustainable and more authentic experience in doing so.
Use TripMapper, your trip planner web and mobile app, to create your own slow travel itinerary. Capture your Hanoi to Hoi Chi Minh train details; the farm to table eatery in Peru’s Sacred Valley; and the tour where you’ll learn about the Amazon rainforest's flora and fauna from a local guide.
Relax, enjoy and most of all, don't rush!