While it is true that experts believe that after the pandemic, mass tourism will continue to gain momentum and a drastic change in tourist behavior seems unlikely, during the last couple of months the popularity of the so-called ‘slow tourism’ has been growing.
This can be seen for example in Italy, where travel platforms have seen a growth in reservations for rural tourism of more than 800 %.
But what exactly can one imagine under the words slow travel? Mainly, it is not about experiencing and seeing as much as possible. The main goal of this kind of travel is to find time for yourself, leave the hectic everyday life behind and immerse in the culture of the country you are visiting.
How Does It Work?
While an all-inclusive vacation offers tourists ready-made excursion packages, slow travel focuses more on individual decisions. The motto “quality instead of quantity” is crucial here. Whether you choose an unfamiliar location or visit a more popular destination in the off-season is entirely up to you.
It is only important that you take the time to discover and enjoy the place, the people and the culture in peace. So instead of stopping for a selfie at the Berlin Wall, you can see and experience the city with completely different eyes on a tour with a war hero.
More Sustainable Travel
Taking a sustainable vacation is the trend. Flying is a real climate killer and around 5 % of all climate-damaging effects of the environment are attributed to air travel.
In some cases, it is obligatory, but there are more environmentally friendly solutions in others. Also, it must be said a train journey is a much more interesting and wholesome experience which you can also fully control, being able to stop at any time at any place.
The best thing about this kind of travel is that you can organize your trip yourself and adapt it to your own wishes and preferences. This will certainly be difficult for you at first but try to concentrate only on the most important things like accommodation and transfers when planning. The rest can be left to your spontaneity.
Plans give us more security but being spontaneous makes us happier. While a guide can’t hurt, the locals probably know best what beauties and hidden gems their regions have to offer. A little informality is guaranteed to do you good and will undoubtedly make for some unforgettable experiences that you will remember for many years.
Get in Touch with Locals
As mentioned above, be local! Immerse in the culture. The best way to achieve this is to get in touch with the local people. Sometimes it really takes a few words or even a smile to start a conversation with someone.
All you have to do is learn a few keywords in the local language. The locals know the area like the back of their hand and can give you the very best tips for your stay. Be brave and invite someone over for lunch. Get involved with the people in order to get to know the local traditions and customs better.
Turn off Your Phone!
The main goal of slow travel is to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and discover your destination with new eyes. And to do that, we recommend turning off your cell phone!
Not only is it good for your health, but it also helps us to really switch off and concentrate fully on the surroundings and ourselves.
Holiday Homes and Off-season Travel
A package tour with a 5-star hotel and spa area? Out of question. A local farm or vineyard or a family-run apartment are a much better solution in the context of slow travel.
A holiday apartment feels more like your own home. You have more privacy, have real keys instead of key cards and are not dependent on mealtimes. In addition, most of the holiday homes are equipped with a kitchen, where you can prepare local dishes yourself and enjoy them in peace.
Furthermore, you should preferably travel in the off-season. It’s less noisy and that automatically means that you can experience the people and the country more authentically. Also, the prices can drop by up to 50 %!
Finally, it must be said that off-season travel is much more sustainable. Many popular destinations suffer from the burden of mass tourism and more balanced tourism can thus be the solution to this unpleasant problem.