Slow travel has been on the rise in recent years, with more and more travelers opting to take their time fully immerse oneself in a destination instead of merely collecting stamps on a passport and jam packing multi-destinations on a trip.
The concept of slow travel emerged from the slow food movement, which had its start in Italy in the late 1980s as direct resistance to the proliferation of fast-food chains. Forbes describes the slow food movement where, “people began to enjoy food which was good for them, good for the growers, and good for the planet.”
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, people are really slowing down and want to appreciate the beauty that is available to them. Call it a wake up call, but people are starting to realize humans are a community based species looking for connections with each other, nature, and the planet. Connections that can only be formed with time, not overnight.
In this blog, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, highlights the top five trends in slow travel that are worth exploring.
Slow travel is largely becoming more of a considerable option for tourists seeing as working remotely rose in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. People realized how much of their work could get done from the comfort of their home, if it can get done there, then what’s stopping you from getting it done anywhere? According to AARP, “pandemic-era remote-work opportunities have had many customers booking extended stays in traditional resort destinations,”.
The emergence of remote work and digital nomads, who are able to work from wherever and travel the world while still earning a living, is one trend in slow travel. Rather than feeling pressured to return home to work, this new normal encourages people to take their time and have the flexibility to set their own schedule around their vacation activities.
Off-grid vacations, also commonly referred to as “digital detox” or “unplugged” vacations, are another growing trend in slow travel where people choose to disconnect from the internet and other technologies. This is done so that they can completely appreciate nature and have a more peaceful, authentic experience. While popular tourist destinations will always have their appeal, travelers are increasingly choosing to explore lesser known places and off beaten track destinations.
Going off the grid may be a really fulfilling experience since it lets you be fully present in the moment and truly appreciate nature for what it is, without being distracted by the pings of notifications. Reading a good book near a meadow or simply cloud watching without the familiar hum of technology could be the answer to your growing headache caused by the constant demand of work and social media.
Many people discover that after an off-grid trip, they may feel more at ease, motivated, and refreshed.
One significant way travelers are embracing the slow travel trend is by opting for customized itineraries and tailor-made trips that allow them to create their own unique travel experience, rather than booking a cookie-cutter tour or one-size-fits-all package.
The desire to truly immerse oneself in the culture of a destination is achievable through slow travel and it all can be done on your own time. This can involve learning a new language, taking part in local customs and traditions, or even staying with local families or in homestays.
While you’re exploring the local community, try your hand at learning a new skill, like salsa dancing or cooking traditional cuisine of the area. “Experience-based travel can be accomplished in different ways, such as connecting with people, creating a community, experiencing local culture and making conscious decisions,” EHL Insights noted. Slow travel allows people to really get to know the local community and understand their way of life.
The yearning for more meaningful and experiential travel is another trend in slow travel. Experiential travel focuses on personal growth and learning through hands-on experiences, which is admittedly very similar to cultural immersion.
Experiential travel could involve doing community service, taking part in exchange programs, volunteering abroad or attending lessons or workshops in things such as food, language, and the arts. Additionally, this form of travel is more sustainable as it often involves supporting local businesses and communities.
This type of travel enables visitors to have a greater appreciation for the area they visit and see the world from a fresh, new perspective. It’s about creating meaningful connections with the people and places you visit, and ultimately becoming educated on situations you otherwise would have no idea about.
Sounds a lot more enriching than just snapping a picture and moving along to the next stop?
Eco-Friendly Travel and Sustainable Stays
Last, but certainly not least, is the growing demand and need for more sustainable travel and eco-friendly options. It is no secret that each day, more and more people are becoming aware of their impact on the environment and are choosing to travel in a way that doesn’t harm the planet.
This slow travel option can mean picking eco-friendly accommodations, taking public transportation, and supporting local businesses. “But slow travel doesn’t have to be about suffering your way through a long slog,” AARP, “with our average guest age being in the early 60s, we’ve incorporated e-bikes into our fleet, making these trips accessible to anyone.”
Sustainable travel focuses on how to travel in a way that respects local customs, communities and environments, which benefits both the tourists and the places they visit.
Slow travel is not just about moving slowly, but also appreciating the simplicities the destination has to offer.
There are several trends in slow travel worth exploring first-hand, such remote work, off-grid locations, cultural immersion, experiential travel or sustainable travel. Our travel and lifestyle public relations specialists are here to help savvy marketers tap into this trend and reach customers with the time and disposable income to stay longer in a destination.
By Rania Perales at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.