WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT
Slow travel is all about enjoying the ride. There’re times when doing things as quickly as possible is great: grabbing a coffee on the way to work, online banking, waiting for a website to load… in all these situations faster = better.
But when it comes to travel, why rush? Low cost flights have us skipping across continents for 48 hours or less, but in the race to get to our destination, we miss a lot along the way.
We believe travel is a mindful activity. The journey is part of the experience: watching the landscapes change, hearing different languages around you, the steady rise of the thermometer as you head towards sunnier climes…
Slow travellers opt for overland transport over flying, local connections over international chains, quality produce over speed of delivery. Authentic experiences take time to craft – there’s no off the shelf solution.
WHY IS THE SLOW TRAVEL MOVEMENT GROWING?
2020 was a year of change. We kicked things off with record bushfires in Australia that killed over 3 billion animals and forced thousands to flee their homes – quickly overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which decimated lives and livelihoods across the globe. Climate change fell off the news channels… but not all travellers forgot about it.
Tourism ground to a halt during 2020 – not great for travel companies and professionals – but there’s also a belief that in building back, we can change how we travel. Many people used this time to slow down in their own lives. Maybe they left a job they hated, or moved to the countryside, or cut back on their car usage. A lot of people have reassessed how they want to spend their time and their money.
WHAT ABOUT COVID?
There’s also still some hesitation around flying, with Covid still a major concern for travellers. The idea of being trapped in a plane with 200 other passengers from all over the world doesn’t inspire confidence, despite airlines’ rigorous cleaning routines. Reports suggest people are less likely to hop on a flight for short distance travel compared to before the pandemic. Additionally, 41% of people would like to cut down on the number of flights they take due to worries about climate change.
And so as we head into 2021, there is a choice to make about how travellers pick up the pieces. Responsible forms of travel have been growing in popularity as concerns about climate change reach the mainstream – and 2020 has been the ultimate catalyst to move us forward. The travel community is looking at Covid, worries about our carbon footprint and the increased interest in authentic, local experiences. The idea of taking fewer, longer trips, staying a little closer to home and flying less has never been more appealing.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Part of the slow travel movement is about shifting our focus towards experiences that benefit you and your destination. When you travel slowly you:
- Cut your carbon footprint: travelling by Eurostar creates 90% less carbon emissions than flying from London – Paris.
- Return replenished. Lose the airport stress and the lack of sleep. Relax into your journeys and take time to appreciate why you travelled.
- Explore the local cultures with an open mind and aim to learn from residents. Find out about its past, present and future – what are the struggles your destination faces?
- Leave a positive impact. Work towards regenerative travel, not just sustainable travel. That means investing in the local economy and actively contributing to the natural environment.
SLOW VS RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL?
The two terms have a lot in common, so it’s not surprising they get thrown together often. Travelling slowly embraces sustainability at its heart, but responsible travel isn’t necessarily always leisurely.
Plenty of tour companies offer responsible itineraries that take you on a whirlwind tour – which is great if you want to see a lot in a short space of time. There is a question though around jumping on a plane to be a responsible tourist… that’s one we always get stuck on.
But beyond its positive impact, the slow approach also takes in other elements of travelling mindfully. While travelling overland can have its challenging moments, you shouldn’t need a holiday to recover from your holiday. That’s why slow travellers embrace free time, relaxed journeys and more time in each destination.
HOW CAN A SLOW TRAVEL AGENCY HELP?
The world we live in is full of choice, and you can book accommodation and transport at the click of a button. But putting together an itinerary that is sustainable, generates real connection and leaves behind a positive impact is easier said than done.
Booking through a travel company provides an easy way to book regenerative travel experiences, but also gives you access to a wealth of local knowledge that ensures your travel values are upheld.
No Fly Travel Club aims to go beyond a booking service. We curate travel experiences which match the expectations of our members in three areas: sustainability, human connection and regeneration.
Our members tell us what they care about, and our itineraries are there not only to inspire but also to be a reliable choice. A trip curated by No Fly Travel Club will be ethically and sustainably sourced – we’ll use our local partner suppliers to keep things authentic and we’ll organise your travel overland to minimise your carbon footprint. We will also offer you opportunities to invest your time and money into the communities and environments you visit, so you can connect locally, and leave a positive impact.
While we include plenty of free time for you to explore on your own, we always include activities. How you spend your time and money in-destination makes a big difference to local people – and to you! When you book with us you have access to all our local contacts. We can ensure your trip is as memorable and impactful as possible.
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