Slow travel is actually a concept that was given some serious thoughts in the late 80’s. The wording is quite explicit: you are about to take your time. Slow things a little. Break away from the daily timed and hectic routine.
However, you might still want to read these 8 tips on how to actually be a slow traveler and organise your perfect slow travel 🙂
1. Stay in your destination longer than an average tourist would
When we travel, we tend to aim at visiting so many places. That’s because we are usually limited in time. To slow travel is to reverse that habit. So start by projecting yourself longer in the same town. You’ll get to see things in a very different angle. And the time you won’t spent in planes and trains will be spent enjoying the local life. Which is why you’ve wanted to travel in the first place 🙂
2. Avoid the typical sightseeing approach
Forget the roadmap that any travel guide would recommend. Throw away the silly over rated check list and start you’re slow travel simply by enjoying yourself and spending your days as they come. Drop any obligations like “I have to see this”. You don’t. You can, but you don’t 🙂 Allow yourself to discover a great amount of unknown places (the ones that travel guides do not include), because now you have the time to do it.
3. Engage with locals, make friends
There is no better way of getting to know your destination than making yourself comfortable with locals.
Staying more than a couple of days in one place will certainly allow you to create deeper bonds and even friendships. You can even buy a local phone, so you’ll be able to communicate with them easily. It’s turning interesting, right?
To help you engage with locals, don’t be shy and visit www.u2guide.com to make sure to enrich your trip with a local travel experience.
Source: Mike Erskine
4. Spend time with like-minded travelers
You’ll meet them at the airport, in your hotel lodge, your guesthouse or the local street food stall. All you need to do is to keep an open mind. You’re about to meet people from all over the world. Enjoy, but don’t exclude yourself from your local friends! Mixing both is the right way to go, learn and built ever lasting memories.
5. Choose an accommodation owned by locals
Whether it’s a hotel, hostel, camping or guesthouse, the owners should be locals! Engage with them, get to know them to access a more authentic experience that will enlighten your trip. They will be a goldmine of useful info and cultural tips.
Food will be healthier and more authentic too : local owners usually use fresh local products of the area. Look at your stay as if you were establishing a brand new life in this place rather than just staying for a couple of nights.
Source: Kalegin Michail
6. Take your time. Think eco-friendly
As a slow traveler you should make sure to be sensitive to your environment. Not only nature, but also locals. When traveling, we often just take what we can, forgetting all about our impact. Don’t. As a slow travel newbie, think about how you can limit your carbon footprint, and think about how you can participate in stimulating the local economy.
Go from one place to another in eco-friendly transport like bikes, boats or just take a refreshing walk! Try to enjoy visiting small markets or shops, take public buses and become a 100% ecological and responsible traveler. Not very complicated… just immerse yourself and follow the local flow 🙂
Source: Viktor Kern
7. Eat local
During a trip abroad we often feel scared by the local food and/or out of nostalgia, feel drawn to “continental food”. Don’t be! Get our of your confort zone. Local food is one of the most amazing way to connect with the local reality of your destination. Just avoid the basics like fresh veggies or uncooked meat! Don’t fool yourself, you can’t just go for it all… be reasonable. And enjoy.
As a second measure when it comes to food, make sure to take your time. Don’t eat while checking your email or doing anything else. You are experiencing a slow travel… remember? So take your time and enjoy each moments.
And if it’s possible, start a conversation with the owner or the waiters. Sounds like we’ve said it already 😉 Engaging with locals is a key to a successful slow travel experience!
Source: Lan Pham
8. Don’t give up
Taking things slow, passing on the usual travel guide… might feel scary, sometimes make you feel like you’d not be doing enough. Don’t panic, it’s just the old habits trying to kick back in. Just keep going as you’ve started. And keep faith. Slow travel includes ups and downs, just like anything else. And sometimes, slowing things down allow deeper personal things to come up. Enjoy them as part of your path.
To slow travel is more than travel: it’s a way of living and a true state of mind. It’s all about blending in with your surroundings, having an open mind and listening to your inner self. So… starting now, take it easy, and enjoy your slow travel. 🙂
Cover picture source: Mantas Hesthaven.
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