Contributed by guest author Rob Lloyd of Stop Having a Boring Life
Of the many ways to travel, none is necessarily better than the other, but each gives a different perspective of a place you’re visiting. Let’s talk about the art of slow travel, which is often overlooked, especially on trips that don’t span weeks or months. There are many reasons to give slow travel a chance, but here are my top five:
1) You get to know the place
This is pretty self-explanatory, but above all else, you’ll actually get to know the place you visit. Isn’t that part of the reason you went? If you move fast, you may do a good job of checking off spots from an ever-growing bucket list, but did you really learn the ins and outs of the city or region?
2) Slow travel is cost effective
Buying tickets for planes, trains, buses and car rentals is a considerable expense on any trip you may take. On top of that, add booking last minute accommodation, eating at airports, and taking taxi transfers to and from wherever you’re staying. By traveling slow, you can find accommodations that are suitable to your pace and budget and make the most of it. If you’re traveling as a family, a slow travel experience will help keep you sane.
3) You’ll make personal connections
One of the most pleasurable things about travel is meeting the people who make a place what it is. When you travel slowly, you’re often staying in residential neighborhoods, and your chances of making meaningful personal connections grow exponentially. When the trip is over, what’s more memorable to you: seeing most of the top touristy things in the city or going on an adventure with a befriended local who showed you a side of the city few tourists even know exists?
4) You’ll spend your trip doing things, not in transit
A large benefit to slow travel is that you don’t spend most of your precious time getting from place to place. Being in transit has its pros, but for the most part, and especially on shorter trips, it’s all about the destination. Instead of racing from one location to another, staying put helps you gain a deeper understanding of one area. This brings us back to point number one (and the most important, in my opinion).
5) You won’t need a vacation after your vacation
Busy tour schedules are tiring, even for the most prepared and experienced of travelers. Most people don’t have endless paid time off, and when vacation is over, it’s back to work. Instead of coming back feeling exhausted and in need of relaxation, why don’t you take the vacation that has you returning feeling refreshed, alive, and with a better understanding of the world you live in? When you go slow, travel can be as relaxing as it is rewarding.
These are my top five reasons why you should give slow travel a chance; if you haven’t already tried exploring at a leisurely speed, why not? If the idea interests you, take your next trip at a slower pace and see for yourself.
Rob Lloyd is an explorer who has been traveling and living around the world since 2009. He has visited over 65 countries and currently calls Little Corn Island home, which is a small island in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Nicaragua. He writes about an array of topics including golf, fishing, luxury accommodations and random adventures. His blog is Stop Having a Boring Life.