20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

3 Benefits of Traveling Slow

We've been travelling since the early 1970s and until a few years ago the majority of our trips have been squeezed into time slots determined by our jobs and/or family obligations. We tried to cover as much ground as possible and receive the most bang for our buck. As a result we often returned home more exhausted than when we left. 

One summer we toured six South American countries in three hectic weeks. As I recall we were on an airplane almost every second or third day. Another year we did seven eastern European nations in two weeks by bus. It was hell on wheels. A fourteen-day Caribbean cruise mid-winter sounds like a leisurely vacation until you realize most of that time is spent at sea with only a few hours at each port. Far too many of those tropical island destinations remain a blur, yet our memories of being seasick are crystal clear! 

Thank goodness at this stage in our life we now have the option to dictate not only the length of our trip, but the time of year we prefer to travel.

Whitby, England
Below are our top 3 benefits of slow travel.

1. It costs less. 

The biggest travel expense is airfare. If you fly to England for two weeks and pay $1000 for a return ticket the cost of getting overseas and back is $71.43 per day. But if you fly to England and extend your visit to six months that same $1000 ticket becomes much more affordable at only $5.55 per day.

The second biggest travel expense is accommodation. Spending a week or longer in each destination offers countless alternatives to suit any budget compared to staying in expensive hotel rooms.

Another benefit of a holiday rental over a hotel is having access to a fully equipped kitchen. It makes good financial as well as nutritional sense to prepare some or most meals rather than dine 24/7 in restaurants.

2. There's less pressure to do stuff. 

If you've ever travelled with a tour group you're familiar with those early mornings, late nights and being surrounded by throngs of other tourists all clamouring to get a photo of today's highlight. The jam-packed schedule that sounded great on paper becomes an endurance test, but with limited time to see the sights it's what must be done.

Edinburgh sunset from Calton Hill
Traveling slow, however, allows for weeks instead of a few hours at each destination. We're able to do what we want, when we feel like it. Visiting that cathedral, museum or castle today isn't such a necessity or priority because we can always do it tomorrow. Or the day after that. Travelling slow eliminates the pressure to rush here and there and allows us to savour and enjoy each moment.

3. Live like a local. 

Our charming and comfortable rental units have included cozy cottages, fashionable condos and quirky flats. They reflected their location and the owner's decorating style. Without a doubt it added to our overall travel well-being. Wherever we were we were home sweet anywhere!

Staying in a neighbourhood apartment, shopping at the local supermarket, and taking the local bus or train put us in direct contact with the locals. It also gave us some idea of what it would be like to live in the community because we were living there on a temporary basis.

Albufeira, Portugal Airbnb Rental
Some of the best travel tips we received were not from guide books or travel experts, but from the locals themselves.

Traveling slow is the way to go!

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