What is Slow Travel?

Slow Travel Defined.

This is by far the most frequently asked question by visitors to our site, so we figured we would lay out an ironclad definition right here and now.

Slow Travel is a mindset that rejects traditional ideas of tourism and encourages you to soak in your environments and keep yourself open to new experiences.

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The History of Slow Travel

The first mentions of ‘slow travel’ by major travel publications began with the Independent Traveler, which defined slow travel as:

“Slow travel is not so much a particular mode of transportation as it is a mindset. Rather than attempting to squeeze as many sights or cities as possible into each trip, the slow traveler takes the time to explore each destination thoroughly and to experience the local culture.”

We all have our own definitions of slow travel, but through our two definitions you can get an idea of the spirit of what we’re after. Instead of the normal tourist experience of travelling to a resort, booking as many activities as possible, and coming home exhausted from your vacation, slow travel encourages you to indulge in teh local culture.

Slow Travel means that your travel dates might be flexible. It means that you wake up in your new locale and you have no idea what adventures will await you that day. Slow travellers tend to like to indulge in local cuisine, local entertainment (instead of the tourist-created entertainment you find at a resort), and more.

The movement began as a kind of natural offspring of the ‘slow food’ movement, an attempt to indulge and preserve local cuisine and culture. The slow food is of course a reaction to ‘fast food’, where (for example) American tourists fly to the pyramids, eat at Pizza Hut (the exact same food you’ll find back home) and then leave without experiencing anything remotely related to Egyptian culture and cuisine.

Basically, the art of slow travel is designed to avoid tourist experiences like this: