Slow Travel vs Fast Travel

Great Ocean Road Drone

Travelling the world is thrilling, filled with a mixture of excitement and anticipation. You visit destinations that are foreign in sights, smells and sounds. It is easy to get caught up in this intoxicating array of ‘new and different’, trying to see everything and do everything. Sometimes, having a whirlwind period of seeing lots of countries, cities, or attractions in a short period of time is exactly what you want and fits the situation perfectly. We call this on-the-go ‘see it all’ style of travel ‘Fast Travel’. On other occasions, slowing down and staying in the one location for extended periods of time works best. This could include ‘living’ in a particular place for awhile, or accepting that you won’t get to see everything and not trying to cram it all in when visiting a particular city. This calmer, ‘feel the vibe’ and relaxed style of travel we consider ‘Slow Travel’.

Why we loved ‘Slow Travel’

The more we travel, the greater appreciation we have for slower paced travel. This style of adventuring allows us to relax, unwind, but also experience a place to its fullest. Some of our favourite moments on our travels have included our slower exploring of countries (e.g. spending a full 3 week holiday in Portugal in 2019) and longer stays in one destination (e.g. our week on Vis Island or Lake Ohrid). We find we leave these destinations often loving the experience more, having had time to enjoy the location, exercise and keep active, and tick off some admin or travel blogging.

However, there are some risks associated with ‘slow travel’. Particularly, choosing the right destination to have a prolonged stay is very important. There have been a few places in which we have slightly overstayed, leaving us thinking ‘that was more than enough’. It can be easy to ‘get bored’ in some destinations, so make sure you are prepared for the ‘slow’ nature of travel if you choose this. Planning to slow travel in peak season is also harder than offseason, as you often need booking in advance to avoid costly transport or accommodation. During off-peak, the ‘take it as it comes’ approach often works well when looking to slow travel.

Why we loved ‘Fast Travel’

It allowed us to see a lot in a short space of time! For example, during one week in August we travelled from Albania, stopped in Budapest (Hungary), Prague (Czech Republic) and ended up in Denmark. This fast-paced week was action packed, filled with excitement, and we ‘ticked off’ a lot of big cities we wanted to see. Fast travel has allowed us to get to countries and places we wouldn’t want to stay for extended periods (e.g. often these are big cities).

However, we often finish these action packed periods feeling exhausted and need a good few days to recover. Additionally, we find the cost of travelling between countries to be quite expensive. The travel days also are a consideration with fast travel, as flights or train/bus journeys often take a fair bit of time out of your day.

What do you prefer?

There are times and occasions that fast or slow travel are both perfect for particular countries or destinations. We find that we tend to enjoy slow travel in beachside or lake-side destinations, whilst prefer a faster pace in the bigger cities. What do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

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