Following a dramatic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK tourism industry is picking up again. As the industry begins to stabilise, more Brits are choosing to enjoy staycations at home or, if they do go abroad, travel to less crowded destinations with an emphasis on authenticity and sustainability. The result is the slow travel trend, in which tourists aim to soak up the local culture, travel off the beaten track and interact with local people in a meaningful way. There has already been significant investment in the emerging slow tourism industry, which poses a more respectful and thoughtful alternative to traditional ‘fast’ tourism focused on the entertainment and home comforts of the visitor. How can you get in on the slow travel trend this year?   

Simplify Your Itinerary

The first step to take in ‘slowing down’ your holiday is simplifying your plans to suit your main priorities: what is it that you want to experience and achieve on your trip? By turning your lengthy wish-list into a shortlist of bare essentials, you’ll find that you have more time to immerse yourself in these activities when on holiday, rather than rushing around between locations. 

Choose Slow Transport

In order to get a more authentic perspective of your chosen destination, consider hiring a bike, taking a river cruise or using the local public transport network to get around. By avoiding tourist shuttle buses and hire cars, you’ll get a better idea of what it’s like to live and travel as a local. If you do use a hire car, don’t be afraid to take the long way round – even in the UK, motorists have been advised to take ‘slow’ scenic routes in order to reduce traffic and pollution, boost interest in the local landscape and encourage impulsive ‘off-the-beaten-track’ tourism.  

Hike Through Nature

Hiking is a great way of meeting local people, getting back to nature and soaking up the landscape when visiting another country. Taking ‘off-grid’ hiking excursions on holiday can work wonders for your health and wellbeing, while you’re far more likely to find undiscovered gems while travelling in remote areas by foot. Always ensure that you undertake sufficient planning and safety measures when hiking in another country.

Beyond Tourist Hotspots

When planning your first ‘slow holiday’, remember to focus on those less-weathered areas that have not been infiltrated by major tourist markets – it is in these places that you’re likely to get the most authentic experience and escape the crowds, while your hard-earned tourist dollars could help to boost undernourished local economies and reduce the ill effects of over-tourism in other areas. Always remember to be respectful when travelling abroad and enjoy your slow holiday!    


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