Exploring a new country is something full of wonder and excitement so why would you want to rush it? Slow travel is having its moment and it’s one we think will be here to stay. The art of slowing down, connecting on a deeper level with the place, the people and the culture, brings with it a more sustainable way to discover the countries we travel to and a new appreciation for the less is more concept. Read on for our 5 tips for slow travel:
1. Quality over quantity
We’ve all done it, packed our itinerary so full we barely have time to appreciate what we’re seeing as we flit from one tourist hotspot to another, ticking off an imaginary bucket list. To fully get under the skin of a country we would suggest doing your research and then only picking a handful of highlights, giving yourself enough time to immerse yourself in the experience and really enjoy it.
2. Travel in the low season
We know sometimes you can’t avoid the busier times of the year like Christmas or summer school holidays, but if you do have the option to travel during the low season you can take advantage of, not only the lower prices, but also the thinner crowds, giving you the space to take things that bit more slowly.
3. Build in downtime
Building space into your itinerary for a bit of relaxing and staying longer in each place will help you slow down and appreciate your surroundings that bit more. Spend an afternoon wandering through a buzzing town, sit outside a cafe with a coffee and watch the locals or put away the map and get a bit lost – you might just be surprised what unexpected experiences arise when you’re not rushing onto the next destination.
4. Go Local
A big advantage of slow travel is the extra time you will have to connect with those around. Staying in locally owned accommodation and eating at local restaurants brings you so much closer to the destination, allowing you to learn about the culture through those that live there, whilst putting money directly into the economy. With a bit of extra time you can take in these new experiences. Wander through a local market to source fresh produce, visit a well-known spot at different times of day to see it in a new light or help prepare tasty dishes at a Vietnamese cooking class, where you can savour the flavours of the dishes you create.
5. See things from a fresh perspective
Embracing travelling in a slower, more considered way often results in getting a different perspective of the destination. Here at Beyond Tourism we love a cycling trip, feeling that sense of freedom from pedalling through rural villages or lesser seen areas of a city, like the cyclo trip we offer in Phnom Penh. Here you can take in the city’s sights by sustainable cyclo whilst supporting a fantastic project to support the drivers to build a better future for themselves. Exploring a new city at a slower pace, like on our food tour through Bangkok, is the perfect addition to your time in the city, allowing you to explore hidden backstreets and discover places not often visited by tourists.
Inspired to travel slowly? Our trips are tailored to you so you can explore the highlights and lesser-known spots at your own pace with responsible travel in mind. For more inspiration, get in touch with our team to plan your own adventure.