5 Reasons Why You Should Give Slow Travel a Try
A Different Way of Traveling
Have you ever felt burnt out from traveling? Felt exhausted after coming home, even though you know that a holiday is meant for relaxing and fueling up for regular life? If your plan is to visit 10 hot-spots, eight cities and five museums in a two week vacation, don’t be surprised if you feel worn out when you return home.
So what’s the solution? Slow travel!
Slow travel is trending, so you’ve probably heard the phrase somewhere already. Although I’m not really a trend-following type, I embrace this one wholeheartedly. We were taking up slow travel before I even heard of the phrase.
What Is Slow Travel?
Slow travel is exactly what it sounds like — taking it slow while traveling. It is not squeezing in as many sightseeing hot-spots as possible; it is taking the time to explore a (smaller) destination. For slow travelers, it is more important to fully experience a small area than to explore a larger destination only on the surface.
There are several advantages to this approach to travel. I’ve made a list of five benefits — and after reading them, I’m sure you’ll want to take up slow travel as well.
1. You Get to Immerse Yourself in a Culture
When you stay in one place for a longer period of time, you get to immerse yourself in that particular culture. No touristy places with only other foreigners; just you, your travel companions and the locals. This gives you the chance to connect with them and with the place.
If you stay long enough, you’ll get to know the area. You’ll shop at the local supermarket and say hi to that lovely old couple sitting on that same bench every morning. You might even get invited over for dinner by your neighbors! What better way to learn about your destination than to eat with locals at their home?
2. You Get to Learn the Language
In tourist places, the locals most often speak decent English. No need to learn the local language besides a few polite phrases. If you go off the beaten track and stay a longer period in a rural area, the people living there probably don’t speak English very well. This gives you the opportunity to learn a new language while traveling.
It might not always be easy, but when the locals notice you want to learn a bit of their language, you’ll see they are fond about it! They’ll do their best to help you get on your way. Also, learning a new language makes you more intelligent. Win-win!
3. You’ll Have More Time for Work and Relaxing
Going from hotel to hotel, hopping in and out of planes/buses/trains every day, won’t give you a chance to relax. And isn’t resting an important part of traveling? I do think so!
When you stay in one place for a longer period, there is time to take some time off. You’ll even start to feel at home — but with the added benefits of being in another place with better weather and more beautiful scenery, for example!
You can easily stay in for a day, get some extra sleep or read a good book. You’ll feel so much better if you have a day like this!
It also makes working while traveling a possibility. For us, slow travel is a must. My husband and I both need to work approximately 25 hours per week, and if we travel too fast, we won’t get anything done.
4. It Makes Traveling Cheaper
The slower you travel, the less expensive your travels are. Staying in one place will result in more affordable accommodations (most Airbnbs offer long stay discounts) and fewer expenses on transportation.
Also, by staying in one place long enough, you get to know the most reasonably priced places to eat out. Or you can buy cheap veggies at the market. Slow travel is very friendly for your budget. And if you have the time available, slow travel allows you to travel longer.
5. It’s Perfect for Traveling with Kids
As a digital nomad family, we travel full-time. So, for us, slow travel is a way of life. But for anyone traveling with kids, slow travel is a welcome discovery. No one wants to be in a hurry with children. This would be a nightmare full of toddler tantrums and exhausted kids and parents. Not a fun way to have a holiday, right?
With slow travel, your children can play with the local kids and get to know all the playgrounds and swimming pools in the area. It also means you can go sightseeing or hiking every two or three days, giving you and your kids plenty of time to rest in between excursions. You may not see all the hot-spots in that area, but your holiday will be relaxed and enjoyable.
The One Issue with Slow Travel
But won’t you miss out on some things? That is the biggest problem with slow travel. If you have only a two or three week vacation, you’ll see less if you do slow travel.
This can be an issue for enthusiastic travelers. But it is only a different mindset. You can never see everything — period. Even if you travel at full speed, you won’t get to see all the things a destination has to offer.
So why not skip some of the highlights and opt to take your time and fully enjoy the places you do get to visit? Once you accept that you cannot see everything, slow travel will be your new favorite way to travel.
What do you think? Will you take it slow from now on?
To get a glimpse into the daily life of slow travel, check out Nanouk’s blog posts on her website Digital Nomad with Kids.