Travelling has become synonymous to millennials. When it comes to adventures and trips, discovering new sights and exploring cultures, people automatically think of the young, Instagram-ready, selfie-obsessed generation. You’ll see them at a mountain hike here, an island hop there, and just about every joy ride, even with no particular destination. If you’re a millennial yourself and you’re thinking about taking time off from work to tick off Siargao or La Union in your bucket list, here’s an unconventional proposition for your always on-the-go self: try slow travel. The type of trip that has no jam-packed schedule, no hurried hikes or hops, no Instagrammable highlights — just taking the pace. Here are the reasons you should go for it:
It makes for a meaningful trip
With a laid-back schedule, you don’t feel the pressure of hitting every hotspot in your maps, dragging yourself from one picture-worthy restaurant to another. You get to be in the moment, that you can stop and smell the roses, sometimes literally. You’re able to appreciate the place with more focus and know the locals at the restaurant or by the beach.
Even in just a short stay, you’ll quickly feel like you’re one of them. This is what makes visits more meaningful, perhaps a lot more enriching than a thousand sets of picture-taking in a popular tourist spot. If the previous surveys are accurate, and you indeed value experiences, then choose this better experience than the one in an Instagrammable alley or museum. Resist the urge to bury yourself in guidebooks and filling up your schedule with so many activities. Rather, embrace where you are and let the locals guide you.
It’s easier on the budget
Slow travel means staying in one place for a week or until the end of your trip. It also entails going for vacation rentals, sometimes in the very residence of locals, instead of hotels. All these make for a budget-friendly trip. When it comes to anything and everything that’s easy on pockets, millennials are for it.
If you’re the type to go on a trip every weekend, then the money benefits of slow travel are definitely right for you. If you’re looking to save more money though while travelling, be especially mindful of your food and transportation costs because those take the biggest pie in your budget. Shop at farmer’s markets. Book a room that would let you cook your food. As for your transportation, if you’re travelling locally and with your barkada, it’s better to rent a car in Manila. Self-drive packages are available, so that can cut your costs further. If you’ll be going abroad, use your points or miles to score great deals.
It equips you to be a better traveler
When you’re travelling slowly, you go to the unusual route, against the status quo. As mentioned, you stay in a house, instead of a posh hotel. You relate with the locals, rather than keeping to yourself or your barkada. You make every effort to know the place you’re visiting since you have the time, and you refuse to just do things just for the sake of taking them off your bucket list.
All these experiences can push you outside of your comfort zone, outside of that popular millennial me bubble. It may be a little overwhelming, sometimes frustrating, but it would leave with life learnings that will make you a better traveler. Better would mean different things, depending on where you are in life right now. It may mean being braver, more confident, or more patient. The next time you hop on your joy ride, you have more meaningful things to look forward to in your travel.
Slow travel is beneficial, therapeutic even, for your always-in-a-hurry travel junkie self. If you’re planning to scratch that trip itch, consider even for a moment the route of going slow.