As the world evolves people and places are growing more connected around the globe. With that, a new form of travel has taken center stage. Slow travel has been growing as a trend for quite some time, and now is becoming the preferred way of traveling to different destinations for many. One-week vacations that you worked a whole year for may have once been the norm. However, the slow travel movement is changing that! Join us as we break down exactly what is slow travel so you can see if this experience is right for you.
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What is Slow Travel?
While on vacation you might pass through a city or town that you love, and dream about one day living there. Simple activities like waking up and strolling to your favorite cafe.
Making friends with locals, and spending your afternoon at the beach and nights out on the town. Even just allowing yourself time to cozy up with a good book, and take in the sights and smells of the different culture.
Slow travel is this! Moving away from your home and settling down in a different location for long enough to take it all in.
It’s meant to be a longer stay than if you simply went on vacation, but there is no amount of set time that makes it “slow travel.” Maybe you rent a small flat for a few weeks or even a few months. The best part is it’s completely up to you! Sounds great right?
Is Slow Travel Right for You?
No one can answer this question except for you. There are dozens of factors that come into play when determining this. First, if you only have a week’s holiday once a year then slow travel isn’t for you.
Also, if you’re going on a one or two-month jam-packed holiday, full of tours and changing hotels, then it’s not going to work. That is completely fine! Slow travel isn’t for everyone.
So who is the slow travel trend right for? Maybe you work online or have recently switched to working remotely. You might have just retired and are ready to take on the world. There are plenty who consider themselves digital nomads, travel bloggers, etc… Yet, you don’t have to fit this exact mold like us to join in on the slow travel trend!
Why We Choose Slow Travel
We have not always lived a life of slow travel, but actually feel that we grew into it. You can read our About Us Page where we explain the start of our travels, and how we developed our website. Basically, when we first set off to travel the world we had a rush of excitement to see and do everything possible.
At the time we had just quit our jobs and convinced ourselves that this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We thought that if we didn’t go everywhere and see everything we might end up back at our desk jobs feeling like we missed out. It was this sense of panic that caused us to go wild!
The Opposite of the Slow Travel Experience
For almost a year we never slept in the same bed for more than 3 nights in a row. We were constantly packing and unpacking our bags. Our days were both full and amazing. It felt like every other day was a different bus, train, or flight. From the moment we woke up until late at night, we were traveling and always doing something. We pushed ourselves until we literally crashed!
Eventually, we were burnt out mentally and physically. Also, as we were growing our blog it felt like there wasn’t a moment that we had time to rest. The only option at this point was to take it easy, and we unknowingly hopped on the slow travel trend.
A Twist of Slow Travel
We didn’t regret a single moment of our travels, but that didn’t mean something had to change. As we had more and more work, with that came a slower pace of travel. Now, this is the important thing. Nothing in travel has to be all or nothing, and you can decide what is right for you. We now mix slow travel and extended periods of time at once place with bursts of fast-paced, low-stress travel.
Slow travel for us is setting time to live in unique places of the world while focusing on our blog and other projects. That way when we do go island hopping for two weeks through Greece, or take a month long road trip in New Zealand we can disconnect and enjoy the moment. We always know that we will once again slow down… Wherever that may be!
Pros of Slow Travel
- Having time to learn about the new place or culture you are emerging yourself in.
- It will be an experience, unlike others who have vacationed or simply passed through.
- You will have more time to do things you love such as cooking, reading, writing, hiking, or whatever you may enjoy.
- Develop deeper relationships with others that you meet, or are traveling with.
- Form a daily routine that can be especially important if you’re working remotely, and have a set schedule while living somewhere amazing.
Cons of Slow Travel
- Feeling like you want to do and see more in a destination than you have time for.
- Not being able to make where you’re staying your own. If you buy anything you will have to carry it with you to your next stop or consider shipping it home.
- For the slow travel experience, you’ll need to have a remote job, or enough saved to live off of for the duration of your time abroad.
- What are you leaving behind? Consider home expenses, if you have any pets, or whatever else might be the case that would make it difficult to pack up and leave.
Cost of the Slow Travel Experience
One thing we wanted to highlight is that slow travel vs traditional holidays can be extremely beneficial financially. You can save a massive amount of money by booking longer stays. Often huge discounts are available starting anywhere for stays a week to a month or longer.
For example, we decided to slow travel around New Zealand and booked several month-long stays in different towns/cities throughout the country. By booking a month at a time we typically received 50% off the advertised rate.
For great deals on rentals consider the season when picking your slow travel destinations. In the swing or off-season, accommodations can be heavily discounted and less busy in popular areas.
Comparing Costs to Normal Life
Let’s use some real-life examples. When we moved to San Diego we paid almost $2,000 a month in rent including utilities for a small one-bedroom apartment. While we had full-time jobs to pay for this, it’s still a heck of a lot of money to be spending on a place to live!
Now compare that to the slow travel trend (staying for a month or more) we’ve gotten some amazing prices where we were able to live and work around the world. Below we’ve listed some of our favorite destinations we’ve stayed with the price per month. Keep in mind some of these were in the off-season!
$1,300/month – Beachfront 2 Bedroom House in New Zealand
$1,100/month – Flat in Berlin, Germany
$900/month – Villa with Pool in Bali, Indonesia
$800/month – Apartment in South of Spain
$700/month – Apartment in Central Vietnam w/Rooftop Pool
As you can see, there’s plenty of deals to be had around the world! The prices fluctuate depending on the country and time of year, but with longer stays come better prices.
Slow Travel Destinations
Ready to pack your bags and hit the road? The only question now is where to go! Realistically, there are no slow travel destinations that we would say are better than others. We hope you have the chance to experience life and a new culture at a different pace.
Head to our destinations page for some travel inspiration to help you decide where in the world you want to slow down.
Have any questions about the slow travel experience? How about some tips or stories to share with others who are interested? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Slow Travel Planning
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars for renting vehicles. A quick travel tip is to ask for a discounted weekly rate rather than booking 2-3 days.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. From food tours to skip the line entry passes!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.