A vacation away from the hustle and bustle, crowds and thousands of other tourists, stress and one sight after the next… Doesn’t that sound tempting? This is the essence of Slow Travel – the antithesis of mass tourism.
What exactly is Slow Travel?
Slow and conscious travel. Sounds abstract, but it’s not that difficult. If you’re in the mood for Slow Traveling, you’re in the mood for new experiences, lesser-known destinations, and less of the three destination sights that everyone wants to see. Slow Traveling is about deceleration and authenticity. The huge buffet in the five-star hotel is avoided, more important is the exchange with the local population, for example at a joint dinner with them, where local specialties are dished up. Slow Traveling means to immerse oneself authentically and not only superficially into the culture of the travel country and to engage oneself completely in it – and all this completely relaxed and without stress. Mostly Slow Travel is related to soft tourism (i.e. consciously sustainable travel).
Who is Slow Traveling suitable for?
For everyone. Not only people who are stressed in everyday life, but also all those who, as just mentioned, have no desire for mass tourism. For all those who are open to new things. At the same time, such a slow travel trip can be quite different. It is about individuality, about one’s own personal experiences, but nevertheless there is an offer of providers who deal with Slow Travel and offer trips in this style. Otherwise, most people who want to slow travel would rather design their trip completely freely and themselves – that’s why Slow Traveling is possible with almost any budget and with completely different amounts of time.
Where can Slow Travel be done?
Anywhere. If you take the term very literally, traveling on foot or by bicycle is of course the best, as these modes of travel are the slowest – and also the most natural. But then, of course, that also includes not moving too far away. But slow travel is also possible by car, by boat or by plane. If you want to get to know new and more distant cultures, the airplane is often the only way. And once you are there, you can still continue your journey in a sustainable and decelerated manner.
Where does the Slow Travel – Trend come from?
From a Slow Food movement that was on the rise in northern Italy in the 1980s. This initiative was also explicitly about regional experience, only in terms of food and drink. At that time, it was important to the activists to stand up for regional traditions and a more moderate pace of life, in addition to culinary enjoyment. And that’s exactly what became the approach of the Slow Travel trend derived from it, which became steadily more popular and just got another boost with the book “Slow Travel – Die Kunst des Reisens” published in 2013.
What is the most authentic way to get to know foreign cultures?
The easiest way is to stay with locals. For example, you can choose an accommodation here where exactly that is the case. Besides an overnight stay you have the possibility that the locals tell you more about their home and maybe show you a little bit of the surroundings. This is in most cases in the places of accommodation rather less touristy, which is of course perfect for slow travel. Just ask your host what else is typical for the region and enjoy your trip – without stress and hectic.