7 Slow Travel Ideas for Your Next Vacation

7 Slow Travel Ideas for Your Next Vacation

Slowing down is an important part of making that necessary change. Live in the moment and savour the experience.

Sometimes, we are all in too much of a hurry. We dash about our daily lives, rushing here and there, sometimes not even taking the time to eat properly, let alone stopping to smell the flowers. We are all heading helter skelter into a future none of us want to see and unless we make some dramatic changes, and soon, the world will not be able to make the transition and become the place we want it to be. Slowing down is an important part of making that necessary change. We need to slow down in our lives, in our consumption, in our energy use and in a variety of other ways. We should also slow down when it comes to travel.

Also read: How to Make the Most Out of Your Travels

Slow travel is all about having a minimal impact on the planet we all share. It is about caring more about other people and about all the other creatures with whom we share this world. By travelling slowly and taking ecologically sensitive tours, we can really get to know the environment in a deeper and more meaningful way. What is more, when we travel slowly, we are also giving ourselves the time and space we need to get a sense of perspective. We can give ourselves the chance to process our emotions and get to know who we really are, who we want to be and where we are going. There are plenty of options for slow travel. Here are just some of the vacation options that could be perfect for you:

1. Hiking

No matter your age or fitness level, you can take a hiking holiday. Whether you travel one mile or one thousand miles under your own steam, you can still have a wonderful time. By slowing down to walking speed, we can all get a better sense of the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of the world around us and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Hiking is quiet and restful and it will be easier to move through a landscape without disturbing the local wildlife. Hiking can take you off the beaten track and allow you to see places that you might not otherwise be able to see.

Also read: Why You Should Consider a Hiking Holiday For Your Next Adventure

2. Biking

slow travel

If you feel the need for a little speed, you do not have to resort to motorized transport. You can cover a little more ground without making too much of an impact by choosing to propel yourself on two wheels along natural trails, greenways or quiet country roads. Cycling is a great way to travel. It will keep you fit as well as still making you feel connected to the landscape through which you are travelling. Again, anyone can take a bike ride – just choose a route that is suited to your capability.

3. Horseback Riding

slow travelImage credit: Phil Plait

Another way to travel a little more quickly than you could when walking is to enjoy a horseriding trek or a horseback ride. Again, this avoids the need for motorised transport and has the added benefit of allowing you to forge a strong connection or bond with another living creature. Imagine riding across high meadows or galloping along a sandy beach beside an azure ocean. Even if you have never ridden a horse before, you can take a led trek in a number of world-wide locations.

4. Kayaking


Kayaking or canoeing can open up a whole new range of exciting possibilities for exploration. While the three former slow travel methods open up roads and tracks around the globe, paddling opens up a whole world of waterways for you to discover and enjoy. Kayaking along a gentle river, around a lake or reservoir or round islands, in fjords or tropical lagoons. Why limit yourself to an hour or two of paddling when you could have a more prolonged kayaking or canoeing experience and use them to travel to places you never imagined that you would see.

5. River Boat Trip

Kayaking and canoeing are not the only ways to explore the world’s waterways. Historically, a river boat trip may have meant relying on our own strength and stamina to power the boat, or relying on a polluting and noisy engine. Excitingly, modern innovation has provided us with alternatives. Around the world you can now find boats powered renewably using solar panels. Choosing one of these boats would open up the possibility of a more ecologically friendly river boat tour for those who are not able to, or would rather not, propel themselves through the water.

6. Sailing

Image credit: Dietmar Lichota

Of course, we have long relied on another form of renewable energy to propel us through the water. Explore the world’s coastlines and islands on a sailing holiday and you can slow travel in style, experiencing the joys of a life on the ocean waves. Learning how to sail opens up another whole new world of slow travel options. Skimming along on the waves, either on a crewed vessel or better still, on one you are controlling yourself, can really help you to relax and unwind and can also help you to better understand the power of the elements and see land from a different perspective.

7. Winter Travel

slow travel

Do not think that slow travel is something that is only a fair-weather pursuit. There are also slow travel options that can only be pursued in colder regions in the winter months. You can explore a winter wonderland, glaciers, snow-capped peaks and frozen lakes, all without resort to fossil fuels. You could ski cross-country or downhill, ice skate long-distance across a frozen vista, or let reindeer or husky dogs do the hard work and take a sleigh or sled ride across the breathtaking winter landscape. Slow travel in winter can give you access to landscapes that cannot be reached easily in other ways and can open up a whole new world of wonder.

Also read: Winter Travel: Why It Is So Much Fun

These are just some of the ways in while you can travel slowly and help to preserve the world and perhaps even make it a better place.

About Author

Elizabeth Waddington
Elizabeth Waddington

Elizabeth Waddington lives in rural Scotland with her husband and her dog. She is part of a small community who are trying to live as sustainably as possible. A professional freelance writer who works from home full time, she has over ten years of writing experience and an MA in English and Philosophy. She mostly writes about travel, sustainability and permaculture and has a particular interest in adventure holidays, camping, walking and sustainable travel. She travels whenever she can.


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