We live in a world where getting multiple tasks done fast is the norm. A contrary trend offers a response to our sometimes empty, fast paced lives. It’s “slow travel.” We’re stressed by modern travel, economic downturn, and a lack for sustainability. We need to De-stress and decelerate.
Slow travel gives us that relief. We seek time to savor life’s pleasures. Vivian Song identifies slow travel as a top travel trend for 2012 in her MSN Travel article traveltrends2012.
She compares slow travel to the slow food movement that relishes the culture and tradition of good, quality food that grew out of a reaction to fast food. Slow travelers take a travel itinerary where they hop off jets to take more a scenic journey on a slow moving train. Weaving through rural country sides instead of fast highways.
Slow travel a trend that’s here to stay
Henry Harteveldt, principal analyst for Forrester Research Inc. reports a fundamental shift in mind-set. People want to understand their world more. They want to take their time exploring locations and absorbing cultures. A Forrester survey of 5,000 U.S. travelers in the first quarter of 2009 found that 35 percent of travelers were taking more time for themselves now than a year earlier. “I think that’s a shift in behavior that will remain even after the recession ends,” Harteveldt says.
What is slow travel
It’s traveling the Seine aboard a barge that meanders from Paris through the Champagne region.
It’merging with the Vermont countryside on foot where you can stop and meet the locals and explore the land.
It’s traveling the California Zephyr through the Rockies, the Sierra Nevada, and the landscapes not seen on interstate highways from Chicago to San Francisco.
It’s hopping aboard a freighter for a 48-day trip that begins and ends in Houston but stops everywhere along the way to New Orleans.
It’s about how long and where we stay:
Instead of moving from one big hotel to another and racing to cross off one tourist attraction after another, slow travelers rent a place to stay like ParisHideaways .
It’s about jumping off the beaten path to focus on interacting with locals and sampling new customs. Where you skip the standard tourist restaurants, convenience stores, and chain stores. Choosing instead to frequent local cafes and grocery stores.
What Else is Slow Travel
slowtrav.com, a slow travel site tell us that with slow travel you experience a deeper type of travel by staying in one place longer and seeing the things that are close to you. It is an easier, simpler, and slower way of traveling.
Slow Travel suits everyone and every budget. It’s Eco-friendly since it provides pleasure in the journey with low impact engagement in local communities.
Slow Travel Resources
To help you with your slow travel, here’s a couple resources to get you started.
A book series launched in May 2010 by Bradt Travel Guides provides slow travel ideas with volumes that include: Bus-Pass Britain, Slow Norfolk and Suffolk, Slow Devon and Exmoor, Slow Cotswolds, Slow North Yorkshire and Slow Sussex and South Downs National Park.
slowtraveltransportationreourcesineurope provides transportation resources for Europe.