Slow travel has been the new travel trend since summer 2020. We’ll tell you how “slow travel” works and how you can make more of your vacation.
Corona has changed everything. Out of nowhere, we lost loved ones and had plenty of time to reflect on our lives during the lockdown; about what really matters, what we cannot do without.
Now that travel is allowed again and the national borders are carefully opening, the longing for change is great. But our attitude towards travel has changed. We want more, we want intensity. Without great risks. A new trend is spreading: Slow Traveling. is allowed again, and cautiously open the national borders, is the longing for change large. But our attitude towards travel has changed. We want more, we want intensity. Without great risks. A new trend is spreading: Slow Traveling.
What Does Slow Travel Actually Mean?
Slow Travel is by no means a new invention. The concept is closely related to the slow movement of the 1980s. As with the slow food trend as an answer to unhealthy fast food, slow traveling is also about a conscious use of resources.
Slow Travel is the opposite of mass tourism. Well-planned package tours or cruises with predetermined stops and tight schedules do not allow us to relax. Contact with the locals? Nothing. In pool facilities or on tourist beaches, the actual holiday destination remains hidden from us.
Those who travel slowly and carefully decide for themselves when and how long they want to stay in a place – typical for self-organized individual trips. Preferably in deserted places, where you can finally breathe again and where the change of scenery becomes a real change of perspective.
That is Why Slow Travel is All The Rage
Anyone who speaks of slow traveling today is not only thinking of the forced standstill caused by Corona but also of climate change and the “Friday’s for Future” marches. In times of melting glaciers and burning rainforests,
Sustainable travel is the only logical consequence. With our jet-set life we are destroying the planet so that in the end we have nothing left to travel to.
But there’s another reason the slow travel trend is resurgent: mindfulness has become hip. We celebrate them as part of our healthy lifestyle – with green smoothies and yoga classes. There’s nothing wrong with that. As long as we do it for ourselves and not to collect new clicks or followers.
Five Slow Travel Ideas To Try Out
Really lived slow traveling is not just a hashtag, but an attitude towards life. Those who are serious can use it to save the climate – at least a little.
For inspiration and for a better understanding of what slow travel actually means, we’ve picked out a few specific ideas for a slow and relaxed vacation. Try it out and change the world!
Important: Slowness doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process and a way of perceiving the world. The following tips are just a suggestion.
1. Slow Travel: Road Trip Instead of Package Holidays
The motto of the slow travel trend is “The journey is the goal”. Instead of simply accepting the outward journey as a necessary evil, the (through or round trip) trip becomes a spectacle. The epitome of this is the road trip.
The Vanlife, to spend the holidays in their own van or camper, is becoming increasingly popular. No wonder, because here you set the pace yourself. You can move whenever you like and don’t even have to rely on a campsite. Provided you find a spot where wild camping is allowed.
Another advantage over the package holiday by plane: You see more of the landscape and get a better feeling for the holiday destination. The constant movement also makes the vacation feel longer because you are not just lazing around the pool.
There is one small catch, however: You are dependent on a car or some other kind of wheeled vehicle. This in turn is at the expense of the environment. Alternatively, you can try a train trip and explore the area by public transport.
So that you do not pant from place to place, but can relax like a slow traveller, you should take your time and not plan the whole trip in advance. Spontaneously think about whether you want to spend another day on site. Flexibility is the most important thing in slow traveling anyway.
2. Slow Travel: Strolling Instead of Sightseeing
Slow traveling is an ode to walking! Who dawdles and strolls, lives in the here and now. Take out the luxury and leave the navigation system off. Get lost and discover completely new corners – even from well-known places or your own city. Not having a plan is wonderfully liberating.
Instead of rushing after the next sight, we now enjoy the sweet idleness. Sit in the park or in a café and watch the people. This way you get a much more authentic picture of your travel destination and feel more anchored in the present. In the best case scenario, you will become a part of the action and not just a passive tourist.
You can also use slow traveling specifically to train your senses. For example at a forest pool. Focus on your breath when you are out in the forest. Feel the soft ground under your feet, the air in your lungs and take your time to listen to the silence.
Unlike an active holiday, slow travel is not about thrills. The conscious awareness of the moment has priority. This includes the wonderful feeling of humility that overcomes us when we face small and insignificant huge mountains. You will never be removed from everyday life anymore.
3. Slow Travel: Low Season Instead of High Season
If your job allows it and you are not tied to the holiday season by school-age children, it is sometimes enough to take a look at the popular holiday destination after the main season. When only the locals are there, even a tourist stronghold like Mallorca shows itself from a new perspective.
Since many shops and restaurants close in the off-season, you are automatically forced to slow down even on vacation. And that can be damn nice! Because of the limited selection, you are looking for new experiences much more consciously.
Visit the same weekly markets as the locals, maybe even take care of yourself and enjoy the feeling of being at home in a foreign country. Priceless – just like empty beaches and free travel on the streets. Speaking of paying: Of course, you can also save with a vacation in the off-season.
4. Slow Travel: Holiday Home Instead of Hotel
A package tour with a run-of-the-mill hotel and reserved pool loungers is out of the question for slow travellers. Individual holiday homes or apartments, on the other hand, are becoming increasingly popular. Not only because you have more privacy here and can sleep in without missing breakfast.
The vacation extends immensely when you live instead of just staying the night. A (rental) car provides more freedom, with which you can explore the area on your own – without having to queue for tourist excursions.
You can socialize with the locals while shopping in the supermarket. Hardly anyone does, but it would be a good opportunity. If you want to get to know indigenous life better, rent a room in a normal residential building, where you can really live with the locals.
If you like to treat yourself to something extraordinary on your annual vacation, you don’t have to feel bad now. Luxury villas or unusual residential options such as tree houses can still be visited. Because conscious enjoyment also fits in with the slow travel idea: Hotels with a sustainability concept or Ayurveda nutrition plan are in vogue.
5. Slow Travel: Long Stay Instead of Short Vacation
Actually logical: if you stay in one place for a longer period of time, you automatically slow down. You are no longer overwhelmed by everything and, conversely, more attentive to details. That doesn’t make the vacation more entertaining, but more intense. And that is exactly the goal of slow traveling.
At the same time, you come to rest better. Anyone who knows that they still have two weeks on-site is more likely to let go than the prospect of having to leave tomorrow. A long-stay trip is almost a must when traveling long-distance. A long vacation is also more likely to justify the carbon footprint caused by flying.
But in terms of slow travel, if the conditions are right, there is nothing against a short vacation. This is especially true for a trip to a place you already know. There is no time to get used to it and you can start relaxing and living straight away.
Even Staycation, the vacation at home, is under the sign of the new slowness. At least when you consciously indulge yourself in things at home or enjoy a new hobby. That’s the nice thing about it: You don’t have to wander in the distance to celebrate the new slowness.