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Why Slow Travel?

November 18, 2011

exploring a cute while village in Spain near Barcelona

The best way to see Europe, the best way to experience the world, is always slow travel.Want to avoid the typical post-vacation burnout and returning from a holiday or vacation more exhausted than when you left?

relaxing walk on beautiful beach

Think slow! It not only prevents travel burn out, but it will greatly enhance your experience. Less is more. Camping in Europe makes this easy and one of our favorite ways for our global mobile lifestyle, but renting furnished apartments in Europe or Asia also works well.

Slow travel camping Europe with Spanish best friend


Not everyone can go as slow as we do our world travel, but by planting yourself in one location for at least a week and doing less ( instead of trying to do a whole country in a week or running around like mad and seeing little due to speed) you will experience more culture and enjoy yourself more.

playing with Irish sisters in Barcelona

Think deep instead of wide and know taking time to relax and absorb the new experiences will benefit you and your vacation. Not to mention that it will also save you a LOT of money and connect you with local folks.

kids from Sweden, Belgium and US playing in Spain


Even when you have a limited time frame, it's important to schedule in time to rest, recover and reflect about all that you are seeing and experiencing. Due to short time restictions when we traveled with extended family, like doing multigenerational travel, I created an itinerary that allowed us to see a lot of Spain in 10 days, but also made sure we had relaxing hang out days in between more intense touring days. We try to always rest after a touring day as lazy days refresh and kids need pool, beach and free play time to stay happy travelers.

Playing with Twins from Valencia whose Mom was a dentist and Dad was a professor

This summer we've really enjoyed our slow travel in Europe. After our faster trips to Bhutan and Jordan, we were happy to slow it down in Madrid, Andalusia, Costa Blanca, Andorra and Barcelona at the beach. Part of this was due to spontaneously planned travel with friends and also my travel health concerns.

Two Spanish speaking Tweens playing with water balloon in Spain

It's was one of the most relaxing summers ever and we are grateful for that and the wonderful times we had with new and old friends. It was fantastic for our child as well, who got to connect deeply again with friends she has known in Spain for 5 years, reconnecting with Swedish "travel cousins",  as well as meeting new friends.

Slow travel allows one to connect to people like no other kind of travel. Most of the kids in these photos we spent several weeks to several months with, so enriched our family travel immensely. Connecting to people from other lands is one of the great advantages of travel, not to mention the language immersion perks for our trilingual kiddo. This is one positive way we handle the homeschool and socialization issue and give our child friend consistency as we travel the world as luxury camping in Europe is a fantastic environment that allows her much freedom and autonomy in a safe way.

dear friend from Bilbao

What do you think about slow travel? What are your keys for travel that helps make it more rewarding for every member of your family?



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Global Basecamps

Couldn't agree more, great advice!

jeanne soultravelers3

Thanks GB! Good mind think alike, eh? ;) It's so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to do and see everything ( even I have to often reign myself in on this), but truly pace and less is more works so much better.

Thibaud

Very good point guys!

I love the slow travel philosophy and I based my whole one-year project on it, to have time to experience every place I was visiting.

Your post perfectly reflects what it is to slow travel and the amazing advantages you get from it. And thanks a lot for highlighting the "burn out" risk!

Marlana

Yes, totally good advice. There's this island with a large mountain on it in Thailand out in the ocean I like to escape to, which isn't very crowded. People everyone read books all day. What better way to get refreshed than relax on a beach reading?

I am meeting more and more open-ended travelers since I've been on couch surfing. I broke my routine with the kids last Sunday and took a single young woman to the highest spot in Thailand and to a very remote mountain village near where I used to live (much better than touristy villages). Her response was, "I can't even imagine this being your world." And she's right; international living is amazing!

Jeanne soultravelers3

Sounds delightful Marlana and I couldn't agree with you more. ;)

Miss Britt

One sure-fire way to avoid slow travel, I've found, is to ask people what they think you should do - or simply tell them where you're going. We get long lists of things we "MUST SEE!" when we're visiting a place, and we'd have to be on the go constantly in order to live up to these expectations.

Jeanne soultravelers3

Ha! So true Miss Britt! We have the same problem. ;) But we've learned to resist trying to see all the "must sees". Hope you guys are having fun!!

Steve

Great ideas here. When I was a kid our family spent 6 weeks traveling New Zealand in a small camper.

I would loved to have done that for years going all over the world. You have some lucky kids!

Jeanne

Aw, thanks Steve! 6 weeks in NZ sounds like a lot of fun! ;)

Barbara

My husband and two boys are on the one year count down to our RTW travel and REALLY am pushing for more of a SLOW travel - thanks for the insights.

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