Slomadding: The Benefits of Slow Travel

A major drawback of the recent travel boom is that the speed of travel has increased. When travelers visit more places in less time, it seems that they are more interested in checking off boxes rather than truly experiencing the location they’re visiting. With travel’s increasing accessibility, the bucket-list mentality has become more achievable, but at what cost?

Travel is supposed to have an impact on you, it’s supposed to allow you to learn more about the community that you’re in and embrace it. Even a 10 day holiday in one place has more power in providing you these benefits versus a quick 3-4 day trip.

If it were up to me, I’d spend a month in every location I visit, but sometimes that isn’t a reality. While seeing a bunch of places can sound appealing, the fast travel trap discredits all of the life-changing benefits of travel. Still not convinced? Here are some 7 reasons to be a slow traveler

Fast Travel = Burnout

First and foremost, fast travel is a recipe for burnout. It’s already difficult to take care of yourself and your body when you’re at home staying in one place with a manageable routine. But even slow travel can make it difficult to take care of yourself. When you factor in your lack of kitchen, constant rushing from place to place, high stress levels when navigating new places, and limited downtime, your body takes a major hit. You’re very likely to find yourself physically and mentally exhausted.

A Few Days is Never Enough

There is only so much you can get done when you’re in a new city every few days, and there is no chance that you can do or see everything that you want, a few days is never enough. Have you ever been somewhere and had someone recommend lots of places to check out in the city that they loved? That just adds yet another place to your plans, there just isn’t enough time in a day or even a few days. Get the chance to go beyond surface level attractions.

Be Present

When you have genuine time to spend somewhere, you can really be present, rather than always running to the next plan. When you stick around a little longer, the place becomes real. It’s not just a spot of famous museums or good food. It’s a place with culture, and depth, and a community, one that you would miss if you speed through it. Have you really seen a place until you’ve gotten to its roots? Slowing down would give you a chance to be where your feet are.

How Does Your Travel Affect the Environment?

Sustainability goes out the window when you consider your carbon footprint and energy consumption when you’re hopping from place to place frequently. The slower you travel, the lesser the negative impact on the environment. You can even play a role in positively impacting the place you visit by supporting the local economy. This sustainable tourism allows communities to better support tourists without needing larger infrastructure that will inevitably wreak havoc on the environment and community.

Afford Your Own Space 

If you’re looking to save some money and have the flexibility of being away from your homebase for a little while, accommodation for slow travel is considerably cheaper, especially if you want your own place.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what it’s like to live in another country with all the amenities typically in your home? That’s possible when you stay for at least a month in most places. Furnished apartments are increasingly available without a lease or even platforms like Airbnb offers long-term discounts. Some start offering discounts in as little as 2 weeks in one place. The world is your oyster when you dedicate real time somewhere.

You Get Guaranteed Community at Co-Livings

Worried about being away from your community? Co-livings are a great solution since they provide a built in community. Most have a 2 week minimum, but if you stay at least a month, they’ll offer a discount (and it’s usually significant).

While co-livings are still a bit new, they are gaining more and more traction to provide travelers with a guaranteed community in their accommodation. Many co-livings offer coworking areas as well, which makes it easier to focus on work if needed.

Spending a month in Sun & Co coliving in Spain

How Flexible Are Your Travel Plans?

When you stick around a place for a little while, it gives you the opportunity to see beyond the tourist spots that are typically overcrowded and underwhelming. If you want the chance to see some hidden gems, giving yourself plenty of time to explore makes that possible. It’s also worth noting that slow travel gives you a chance to choose your next destination while you’re stopped for a bit. Getting recommendations for your next stop from other travelers gives you the ability to discover places you never would’ve expected. 

Slow Travel isn’t for everyone, but if you love to travel and you have a bit of flexibility, this is a great way to get to know somewhere new, gain a sense of community, and so much more.

About the Author:  Liz Long is a traveler and blogger at Our Great Perhaps. Originally from the US, she has been spending the last 7 months traveling in Europe. She wants to make travel more accessible by testing out different methods on a budget. After over a year of traveling in different ways, she continues to explore what travel style works for her and the other nomads that she’s met on the go. Follow Liz’ adventures on Instagram as @liz_long_

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