Slow Travel has been a growing travel trend and is very popular with gap-year students and those taking a sabbatical from work. But what is it, exactly?
Slow Travel is a mindset
Slow travel emphasises connection to local people, their cultures, food and music. The idea is not to have a list crammed full of ‘must sees’ that has you dashing from one place to another, coming home in need of another holiday. Slow travel is about having an emotional impact and considering the local communities and environment.
Of course, visiting local monuments is not taboo! Just don’t think you have to see them all in one trip. The most seasoned travellers have a motto “there’s always another trip.”
So relax, explore, take your time…
Slow Travel Fosters Connections
When you slow down and get to know the people in the city, town or village you’re travelling to, beautiful things can happen.
They could introduce you to the restaurant where they like to eat. Chances are it will be cheaper, the dishes will be authentic and you get to sample the true atmosphere of the place. Alternatively, they may have a family-friend or neighbour who shows travellers the local trade, such as lace making, olive oil production or leather work, or gives lessons on how to make the local dish.
The more connections you make locally, the richer your experience will be.
Stay For Two Weeks Minimum
The longer you stay in one destination, the more chance you have to connect. It’s also better for the environment – no onward flights as you dash from one location to another. In the first few days, you’ll get accustomed to the culture, people, food and landscape. Then you’ll be able to explore and get to know the workings of your holiday destination.
The great thing about CLC World’s resorts is you have spacious self-catering accommodation with the amenities you need for a longer stay. Staying for at least two weeks is not an issue, you can still pack light as you have everything you need for a home-from-home.
Experience the destination as a local
At a CLC World resort, our teams go out of their way to share their knowledge and help you make the most of your holidays.
Ask in Reception for the best places to visit, where they like to eat and drink and for any ‘hidden treasures’. They know this town or city best, so take their advice and go for it.
Visit during low-season
This isn’t always possible, especially if you have children. However, for those with an empty nest or child-free, a low-season trip is a winner in so many ways.
Firstly, you’ll have more space – no jostling with peak season tourists, shorter queues to see an exhibition and free tables in the local restaurant. Secondly, you’ll see the destination not as a tourist hotspot but as somewhere that people, live, work and play. It will help you connect with the spirit of the place.
Benefits of Slow Travel
You’ve probably worked out that slow travel benefits both travellers and the local community they’re visiting. A few other reasons to slow travel are:
It’s generally cheaper. There are often deals for longer stays – whether that’s four weeks or four months. In America, for example, the ‘snowbirds’ head south to the warmer states for the whole winter. Digital Nomads practice both slow travel and remote working by choosing a destination for several months.
There’s no Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). There’s also less stress as you take everything in your stride and don’t dash here and there to tick items off your to-do list.
The environment benefits. By staying in one place longer, you’re cutting down on emissions from your travel. If you do want to see an incredible monument, use public transport. Train journeys are a great way to see the landscape and meet new people without the hassle of navigation and trying to find parking.
Slow travel may not be for everyone and every holiday, but it is certainly worth making at least one of your holidays an authentic experience that leaves you feeling, relaxed, enlightened and rejuvenated.