8 benefits of slow travel

It’s become all too common to see travelers on Instagram, jumping from destination at lightning speed, ticking countries off their bucket lists like they’re collecting trophies. At a time when people have become obsessed with wiping another country or state off their map, travelers need to reassess their reason for traveling in the first place. If it’s just ticking a city off a list or adding a square to a photo grid on social media, they’re missing out on really getting to know a city, talking to the locals, and learning about a different culture from the their.

Traveling slowly is the solution. Slow travel encourages travelers to stay longer in a destination, traveling overland at a leisurely pace. By choosing to slow down and discover a country or city for a longer period of time, there are eight benefits for the traveler, the planet and the inhabitants of these destinations.

8 You will save money

The first and most obvious advantage of slow travel over fast travel is the ability to save money. When a traveler tries to visit three major cities in Europe each week of a two-week trip, he quickly racks up costs because each time he moves to a new city, he has to pay for transport to and from the train station. or the airport, a plane or train ticket to the new destination, and they must pay for accommodation at their final destination.

When you’re only staying somewhere for one or two nights, it’s common to pay full price for the room; this is especially true for Airbnb, where fast turnaround times mean the host has to charge more to cover cleaning costs. For the same reason, choosing slow trips and longer stays at an Airbnb often results in lower rates. Likewise, choosing to visit one major city per week means travelers can save money on transport costs and more time walking around their destination on foot to explore beyond the main tourist hubs.


seven This is better for the environment

It is undeniable that air travel has a negative effect on the planet. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, emissions from flights stay in the atmosphere and warm it for centuries. They have the potential to cause chemical reactions and atmospheric effects that warm the planet due to the high altitude where they are released. Since many travelers are passionate about air travel, this is often a hard truth to hear. Luckily, that doesn’t mean travel has to stop. It just means we need to find sustainable alternatives to air travel wherever possible to lessen the impact on the planet.

One of these alternatives is ground transportation. Slow travel offers the option of skipping the fast flight to a distant destination and taking a bus or train overland to a nearby city or country over a longer period of time.

6 You see more of each destination

Choosing to travel slowly rather than counting countries means spending more time in each location and traveling over a longer period of time. With time to relax in one destination rather than hitting the highlights on a guided tour and moving on to the next location, it is possible to roam freely. Often the best part of visiting a new place is wandering around aimlessly, just appreciating the architecture of the streets, finding hole-in-the-wall shops where locals eat breakfast each morning and to watch quiet sunsets without being bothered by crowds. Staying longer in one place allows travelers to have these unique and memorable experiences.

Related: Go green on your vacation with these top sustainable destinations

5 Less risk of burnout

Traveling at high speed can be fun at the start of a trip, but after a week or two it’s a recipe for burnout. Early in the morning, late at night, and with no downtime, you may feel like you’re maximizing your time in a destination, but in reality, you’re draining so much energy that you won’t have the mental capacity to appreciate really where you are.

Slow travel helps travelers maintain their mental and physical health while traveling by encouraging them to build downtime into their itinerary. Relax at the beach in Greece for a few extra days instead of heading to a new island, or spend the afternoon reading in a cafe in Paris instead of flying to London for a night. These moments of self-care will become some of your favorite memories.

4 You can work on the road

Today, 16% of businesses worldwide are fully remote, allowing more people than ever to experience the digital nomad lifestyle. Remote work provides the ideal work-life balance for traveling the world and making the most of free time while earning a steady income. However, when working remotely, it is not possible to travel in the same way as on a one or two week vacation.

In order to always focus on deadlines, participate in Zoom calls, and deliver high-quality results, travelers need to set realistic expectations for working while traveling. Slow travel is a great way to make sure you still have time to experience the destination during the hours when you’re not on time.

3 Create links

Traveling fast means seeing more people in less time, but traveling slow means seeing more people. Rather than joining a guided tour and staying in a hotel for a few nights before heading to a new city, travelers who choose to slow down and stay in a destination for an extended period of time have the opportunity to establish a routine there. and build relationships with locals. living in this destination. They can chat with them at local cafes and restaurants, meet their neighbors, and even connect with other travelers who are also trying to have an authentic experience in a new place.

Related: The Perfect 12-Day South Korea Itinerary

2 You will appreciate the little things

When you do something too quickly, it’s inevitable that you’ll miss something. The same goes for fast travel; although travelers can get an idea of ​​a place during a short stay, there are beautiful details in every country, city and town that will get lost in the chaos. Choosing to stay a little longer in one place gives the opportunity to notice more than is obvious at first glance. Travelers will begin to take notice of local bird calls, become familiar with the sounds that someone in this town wakes up to each morning, or find out what the best stall is at the local farmer’s market. Understanding the intimate details of a destination is part of the beauty of traveling slowly and sustainably.

1 Less contribution to overtourism

Travelers wanting to quickly jump between destinations usually head to popular tourist spots like Venice, Paris, Rome, Phuket, or Tulum. Many of these places become somewhat undesirable for travelers due to the sheer volume of visitors they receive each year. Crowds make it unpleasant to visit during high season, and local businesses have raised prices accordingly, which also makes the trip more expensive.

Travelers who choose to slow down their pace and stay longer in each location tend to venture out of the main tourist hubs and discover less crowded, more authentic and beautiful destinations. Examples are travelers going to Ninh Binh, Vietnam, instead of Halong Bay, or Bologna, Italy, instead of Venice. While often less accessible by quick flight, these places less frequented by international tourists are the best reason for travelers to take their time and explore a destination beyond its biggest attractions.