Don’t you think holidays should be a moment to relax and deeply immerse yourself in a different culture?
Some people already travel slow -knowingly or not: they slowed down the pace of their travel in order to get closer to the local life wherever they are.
In this article, I will give you 10 easy practical tips for you to become a slow traveller and to start travelling in a more enriching way.
1.Whatever plans you have in mind, try to do less!
It is always better to try to stay in one place rather than in two, do one country deeply rather than a continent, or a full continent tour rather than a world tour (if you really have a long time!). To become a slow traveller, try to stay in the same place for as long as you can, to get fully immersed in it. Rent an apartment rather than a hotel, and a room at someone’s place (or a bed and breakfast) rather than an apartment. The closer you get to the locals, the more chances you will get to meet them.
2. Explore local markets and meet local farmers to become a slow traveller
It’s hard to find something better than a local market to get to know the locals’ habits. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a busy shopping day, see where the locals shop, stop to chat and get a drink, and more. If you have a place to cook, buy some fresh products and try local recipes.
Even better than visiting local markets, you can visit local farmers and source your food directly from its makers. This can be hard to experience as a traveller which is why we created an experience where you visit 2 sustainable projects of organic farming, pick your own food then cook it with a professional chef in a farmhouse. Check it out if you come to Barcelona!
3. Eat like the locals
Go to small, local and family run restaurants. Avoid restaurants with English menus or with pictures, and try to order something you have no idea about. If you get a chance, try to ask a local sitting nearby what’s his/her favourite.
4. Learn a new language
But not any. Prefer the language of the place you’re visiting, even if you don’t get to speak it perfectly. A few words could take you further than no words at all, and locals will almost always appreciate your efforts.
5. Explore your destination
Walk, cycle or use public transports to discover the surroundings of the place you’re visiting. If you’re in a city for a long time, explore its countryside for a day trip or two. You don’t need to go far, simply take the time and enjoy.
6. Learn something new with some local people
Are you fond of cooking? Take a cooking class to learn about the traditional cuisine of the place you’re visiting. Into hiking, why not take a tour to discover one of the many wonders of the place you’re visiting? Whatever you really like, there should always be a course for you to learn more about it. And when is it a better time to do something you like that when a slow traveller is on a holiday?
Coming to Barcelona? We have plenty of slow travel experiences offered by passionate locals waiting for you!
7. Become a local
Go to a cafe to read a book, sit on a bench in a public park, or do whatever you like to do usually. Create a routine, day after day, and see how it changes positively your holidays.
8. Get lost
Wander the streets of a neighbourhood and gently get lost. Make sure to do this in the right conditions, with a good knowledge of the safety in the area to avoid freaking out or worse even, having a bad time. Once you know and feel you’re in a good place, forget about your map, guidebook or phone for a few hours. Open up for the unexpected and feel the freedom of the moment.
9. Mix with the locals
Attend a gallery opening, a concert, go to a football game, see a local band or whatever you’d like to do to mix up with the locals. Check the local agenda to know what’s on during your dates and immerse yourself in the local culture.
10. Ask a local their favourite places
There’s nothing better than getting the opinion of someone that truly knows the place you’re travelling to. If you travel to Barcelona and do not have friends that can hook you up with the local culture, try our resources of travel planning (coming soon). We are locals experts in slow life in Barcelona and can help you find the most authentic and sustainable things to do all around Catalonia.
What about you? What’s your favourite tip to be a slow traveller? Do you think we forgot any important ones? We can’t wait to hear your thoughts in the comments!