You may have heard of Slow Food – the movement based in Italy positioned as the opposite of fast food. It puts local, sustainable, and regional specialties over throwaway takeaways. Slow Food has given way to similar movements ranging from Slow Cities to Slow Travel. So what are the benefits of slowing down your pace of travel? Here are a few reasons to do away with trying to see all of Europe in 2 weeks and give the slow travel lifestyle a go!
You can support local businesses.
When you stay longer in each place, you have more time to put money in the pockets of local businesses, farms and restaurants. You’ll most likely saving on transport costs because you’ll be walking everywhere or taking public transportation, and can put that money into supporting small businesses instead. It’s a more ethical and satisfying way to travel.
You can make lasting relationships.
When you spend more time in each destination, you’ll have time to start building meaningful interactions with the local people around you. From Airbnb hosts to greengrocers and baristas serving your morning coffee, you can get into a rhythm and enjoy the lost art of small talk. It puts you in a different mindset and can lead to more stimulating conversations with the people that make the place special.
You can learn more of the language.
An enriching component of travelling at a slower pace is that it gives you the time to learn a few more phrases and put them into practice. From simple greetings to getting your order right at the market, it can be empowering to learn a bit of the local language. (And it also helps with making new friendships as mentioned above!)
You can see a wider range of sights.
Slow travel means not necessarily opting for the fastest way to get from point A to point B. You might decide to take a train journey or road trip at your leisure, for example. Instead of flying and dealing with the hectic pace of today’s airports, why not take a slower ferry trip instead to admire the sea views? Providers like www.ok-ferry.com offer service to plenty of European countries and smaller islands, letting you relax onboard rather than dealing with the breakneck speed of a Ryanair flight.
You can cut out the clutter.
Modern travel is all about ticking off as many sights from your to-do list as possible, seen particularly in the rise of mega cruise ships that visit a different port each day. When you only have a couple of hours to see a new place, it’s no wonder that you feel in a rush! With slow travel, you cut out all of that rushing about and pressure, giving you the time to learn, interact, and actually relax in each destination.
If you want, you can see just one sight a day, really taking the time admire each painting in the museum rather than just speeding past the highlights! So next time you’re thinking of planning a trip, why not make it a bit slower?