The Art of Slow Traveling: 5 Tips on How to Travel Slowly

Take a moment right now to breathe and look around you. What do you see? How does your breath feel in your body? Guess what? You’ve already practiced a foundational element of slow traveling!

Being mindful of the moment and taking in your surroundings will help you learn how to travel slowly.

With slow tourism, you’re often making the conscious decision to forego the busiest and most popular sights. Instead, you’re seeking out the more untouched local spots and hidden gems. You’re enjoying mother nature and taking in all of the sights and smells around you. You’re tuning out the rest of the world and tuning in to yourself and the destination.

When you practice slow traveling, you’re living in the here and now, not concerned with schedules or to-do lists. It allows you to connect with the place you’re visiting while learning more about yourself in the process.  

Through this blog, I’ll help you understand the fundamentals of slow traveling with tips to incorporate into your next trip. It’s about time we shift our perspectives to travel intentionally and travel slowly.

Create Your Itinerary with Slow Traveling in Mind

Now that you have a better idea of what slow traveling is, it’s time to start putting together your itinerary. What do you want to do and see while you’re on your trip? Where will you stay when you arrive? Understand that this trip won’t be so focused on a set plan but more of a go-with-the-flow vibe. I always recommend having the basics well-planned, but let the rest unfold when you arrive.

Here are five keys to travel slowly on your next adventure: 

1.     Live In the Moment

When youtravel slowly, it’s essential to be present. Pick an activity or destination, but then allow how you feel in the present to guide you. Maybe you went for a hike and noticed a flowing river nearby, noticed the soothing sounds of the water’s magic. Follow that desire to explore it, dip your toes in it, sit by it. Take in all of your surroundings to fully embrace living life on your own terms. Soak in the details and true beauty around you, and acknowledge your feelings in the moment. There’s something so calming and comforting about choosing to live in the moment of your trip, rather than thinking about the next stop or tomorrow’s itinerary.

2.     Avoid Touristy Areas

Do you have a destination in mind you want to visit? Choose a location you’ve always wanted to go to. Try to avoid the crowded top tourist attractions and research the less traveled areas, neighborhoods, and hideaways. It’s difficult to travel slowly when everyone around you is doing anything but that! This is when the impacts of slow tourism will shine with exciting new experiences off the beaten path while you embrace the unknown.

3.     Choose to Wander

Have you ever heard of the term wanderlust? With slow traveling, the best part is discovering new wonders when you allow yourself to explore. You don’t need to follow a map all of the time. Some of the greatest moments happen when you accidentally stumble upon things you wouldn’t have if you had stuck to one path. Wander and explore with slow movement and a full sense of wonder. Discover everything your destination has to offer and get lost in your lust for adventure.

4.     Detox Your Mind and Body

Find ways to refresh your mind and body on yourslow traveling adventures. Practice mindfulness with breathwork and meditation or simply sit in a beautiful spot away from other people and noise. If you want to take this one step further choose a trip that’s the definition of slow travel like a detox healing retreat (see my rejuvenating experience at Park Igls with the F.X. Mayr fasting detox.) Spend time outside in nature—forest bathing is exceptionally healing as you take a walk or hike amongst the trees. Get plenty of rest and relaxation time and feel renewed when you fully detox your body and mind. This is an important part of the experience when you travel slowly.

5.     Unplug and Unwind

When you’re ready to travel slowly, the last thing you need is unwanted distractions. Notifications on your phone, especially from social media, take away from your slow traveling experience. Try to unplug as much as possible to eliminate blue light exposure and unnecessary stress. You want to experience your trip in real-time, not from behind a screen. Ask friends or family not to call unless it’s an emergency. On this trip, focus solely on yourself and your destination, and forget the world that lives inside of your mobile devices.

Embrace Slow Movement as You Travel the World

If you travel slowly, you’ll feel a sense of calm, bliss, and wonder. Gone are the days of stressful travel and packed itineraries. You’re beyond that now. Today, you realize the value of slow movement and appreciating mother nature and all of the gifts she provides. You don’t have to sacrifice luxury to travel slowly and sustainably. Seek out the accommodations and locations that speak to your soul to reconnect with yourself and the world through travel.

I love to travel slowly and inspire others to choose slow tourism over more fast-paced trips. I’ve been to some truly breathtaking places that have inspired me to focus on slow traveling, to take in everything around me. I’m also fortunate enough to live in a place (beautiful Lugano, Switzerland) where I feel centered and peaceful even beyond my travels. Slow traveling is my passion—will you join me in discovering the benefits of traveling more mindfully?

Follow my Instagram @kathrindilauro for more slow traveling inspiration and tips or stay tuned on my blog, where I’ll continue to post more content about my travels and slow tourism insights. See you out there! 

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