Travel Tips

What is Slow Travel and is it Practical for You?

Updated March 23, 2023

slow travel

You might have heard of the slow food movement; sparked by the Italian who was outraged at McDonald’s opening yet another fast food outlet in Rome’s Piazza de Spagna.

Slow used to be a bad thing. After all who wants slow service or a slow internet connection? But in a fast paced hectic 21st century, sometimes slowing down is the perfect antidote.

Definition of Slow Travel

While the slow food movement celebrated the art of picking, preparing and enjoying food in a relaxed environment, slow travel aims for a similar relaxed approach.

Remember that old satire from the late 60’s, “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium”? It skewered packaged tours which focused on the maximum number of countries in the minimum amount of days. The phrase lived on to describe any frantic dash to see all of Europe in the shortest amount of time.

Slow travel on the other hand is about allowing the necessary time to fully savor your destination. It’s not about how much you can cram into a two week vacation, but how slow you can go while you’re there. Sound like your cup of tea?

Does the idea of cruising down a canal on a leisurely tour of France a la Great Canal Journeys appeal? How about savoring some local wines along the way.

The upside of retirement is having more time to do the things we love. Travel doesn’t have to be a dash from museum to landmark and back to be enjoyed. If you’re not quite as fit as you used to be, slow travel may also be a very practical alternative!

slow travel

Create Your Own Slow Travel Experience

At the heart of any slow travel is time. Time to experience the local food and culture without feeling pressured to DO all the time. If this sounds like your cup of tea, then the easiest way to get on board is to book a VRBO or Airbnb in the next town or beach you’d like to deep dive into. It can be as simple as searching for a villa or condo to stay in for a week or two and then booking your flights and car. If there’s a region you’d like to explore you can use the condo as a base and make day trips from there.

The following tour companies specialize in slow travel experiences. Not all slow travel is geared to a lower activity level. Check to see which tours match up to your personal stamina level.

From walking the Prosecco route in Italy to learning how to bake Finnish style these travel experiences all offer a chance to immerse yourself in local culture, food and wine.


Slow Travel Tour Options to explore:

Is it time for you to live like a local and feel relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed? Doesn’t your inner soul deserve some downtime?

Give yourself time to get out of the mindset of rushing to get it all done and into the vibe of relaxing. Embracing the culture you’re visiting is what the slow travel experience is all about. I’d love to hear about your experience!

If you’re planning on a road trip, this planner can help keep all the details in one place.

About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.