What is slow travel?

Ticking off as many tourist attractions as you can in a short amount of time used to be a prerequisite of a good holiday. However, all the rushing around often meant you’d come home more exhausted than when you’d left. It’s at this point right here that slow travel becomes your lifeline, saving you from the depths of chaos and bringing you up for air. So, what is slow travel and how do you master it?

We asked Brooke Smith from The Global Work & Travel Co for all the answers.

woman walking along a boardwalk into wetlands

What is slow travel?
Encouraging you to bask in your surroundings as opposed to rushing your way around the world, slow travel is the answer to the dreaded tourist burnout. In a tale as old as time, travellers are often overheard wishing they’d spent more time in a specific place throughout their latest and greatest overseas voyage. There’s always that one beach they never lay on, that one restaurant they never tried and that one walking trail they never took. And oftentimes, those ‘nevers’ will forever remain. But what if we told you that slow travel encourages you to never say never? If you dream of being able to take each day as it comes on your travels – going to your local farmers’ market to pick out the best of the local produce, walking peacefully along a river with your drink of choice in hand and ending your day taking in a glorious sunset from the comfort of your dinner table – then slow travel is the style of travel for you. Why travel fast when you can travel slow?

How can you master it?
To ensure that you don’t self-sabotage a relaxing trip, accommodation, meals, socialisation and transport are all essential to mastering the art of slow travel.

Accommodation
When embracing slow travel, it’s always suggested that you rent a place for the duration of your travels, rather than booking into a hotel. Why? Not only is this a cost-saving measure, but it also guarantees you’ll be immersed in your surroundings from the get-go.

Meals
Food is one of the best ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Why not fully embrace all the cuisine your destination of choice has to offer? Do your research before you leave and be sure to book into any local restaurants you have the desire to dine at. Want to stay in? Head down to your local farmers’ market and pick up all the fresh produce your heart desires before spending the afternoon cooking up a storm in the kitchen – wine in hand, of course.

Socialisation
Before you leave, ask yourself what your hobbies and interests are, or do you have the desire to acquire a new skill you wouldn’t have the time to explore in the real world? The list doesn’t need to be long, just one or two things and you’re good to go. Jump online, find and book into any tours or classes relevant to your interests. Whilst there, talk to everyone participating – you’re literally surrounded by people who share a common interest with you! If it’s a painting class, organise to go painting with a few classmates another day on your trip. If you’re on a food tour, why not organise to get breakfast with a few foodies the next morning? People can be the deciding factor on the success of any trip, take it from a slow travelling pro, working holidaymaker Tyla Mansergh.

“People really do make or break your whole experience and I’m very lucky to have met only amazing people on my trips,” said Tyla.

Transport
The words ‘Uber’ and ‘Taxi’ are not listed in the Dictionary of Slow Travel. This is so you fully embrace and take in your surroundings. Independence and exploration are literally forced upon you. Catch a train, hire a car, jump on a bus. Whatever you do, take in all you see. Question it, photograph it, admire it, write about it. Slow travel is all about the journey, not the destination.

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The Global Work & Travel Co offer a wide range of working holidays and volunteering trips all around the world. For more information, please visit www.globalworkandtravel.com

How do you prefer to travel? Do you rush around and see as much as you can? Or do you take your time and soak up a destination?

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