Slow travel has become quite popular over the last decades. People are looking for more than the all-inclusive resort retreat or the standard backpacker’s trail that have been staples of travel for years.
Slow travel can be thought of as a travel philosophy. It emphasizes spending more time indulging in an area’s people, culture, cuisine, and music in ways that traditional travel does not. It does not look at travel as a getaway or vacation, but rather a cultural experience.
While the concept may seem appealing to many people they may not know where to start. Below is a brief outline of a number of slow travel tips.
Don’t go in with the mindset of a tourist
This is the first major step. When people are on vacation they are a bit looser with their wallet and their sense of dress. “People spend money in ways they wouldn’t back home and dress as if they are on vacation,” writes Ben Fulton, a travel writer at Writemyx and Britstudent. This type of approach will not allow the traveller to see things the way locals do. Exhibiting the same habits in one’s new environment as they do back home is a good first step towards slow travel.
Experience quality, not quantity
Many vacations turn into a rush to see all the sites laid out by the guide book. Vacationers rush from one point of interest to the next, trying to pack as much as possible into their vacation. Slow travel emphasis getting to know specific areas more intimately; quality over quantity.
Tourists tend to eat at restaurants made for tourists. One of the major pillars of slow travel is indulging in a country’s traditional cuisine. This means getting out and visiting the same restaurants that locals would patron when they go out to eat.
Learn a few words of the local language
This may be easier in some countries than others, but there is always a joy of making oneself understood, no matter how little, in the local language.
In order to truly take in the local culture and atmosphere one needs to feel relaxed and at ease. “Even though vacations are generally a time for relaxation and enjoyment many travellers feel stressed out and anxious while traveling. One cannot have these types of emotions if they wish to fully embrace the philosophy of slow travel.” writes Jean Ire, a lifestyle blogger at Australia2write and Nextcoursework.
As the name would imply, slow travel emphasizes a slow, methodological approach to travel. One is not visiting sights and seeing landmarks solely in order to check them off the list, they are visiting them to take them in and enjoy.
Pack as light as possible
Packing light allows the traveller to move around with greater ease. No local is constantly carrying around a large amount of things as they move throughout the city. To experience a city like a local, one needs to be as free as possible to move with ease.
Be informed about a place’s history
The history of a specific location has much to do with the attitudes, behaviors, and customs of its people. In a sense, we are all a product of our shared history and if one wishes to understand and appreciate a group of people they should know their history.
Spending as if one is on vacation is fine in small doses, but doing it too much will spoil the slow travel experience. Locals do not go around spending money as if they are on vacation and neither should the traveller.
Travel during off-season
This is especially true for destinations that receive many tourists during certain parts of the year. Visiting when tourism is not the number one thing on people’s minds will offer an opportunity to see a more candid, true to nature, representation of a city and its people.
In conclusion, slow travel can be an excellent way to enjoy traveling and get to know the local people, their food and their customs. If this sounds like exactly what you are looking for, check out bamba’s Travel Passes. With this being said, it is easy to fall back into vacation mode and the above tips should be followed if one wishes to embrace the slow travel philosophy.
Guest post written by: Beatrice
Beatrice is a professional copywriter at Originwritings.com and Academicbrits.com. Beatrice writes on a variety of topics and is always looking for ways to incorporate her personal experiences into her writing. She also acts as a mentor at Phdkingdom.com where she offers advice to young writers on how to write engaging, quality content.