Feeling burnt out by work, life … or a combination of both? Join the
club, because a lot of other people feel that way, too! This year, the
World Health Organization officially included burnout in its list
of conditions that qualify as legitimate health concerns, which
can be defined as feelings of exhaustion, a decrease in efficiency,
and/or feelings of negativity or cynicism toward one’s job.
The bad news: You can’t visit your doctor to get a prescription to
cure burnout. However, slow travel—defined as any trip of a week or
more, ideally one that utilizes a form of transportation that isn’t
as environmentally-damaging as car or mult-flight airline travel—could
be exactly what you need for a mental reset.
Just as the slow food movement encourages us to savor our meals and
consider where ingredients are sourced, slow travel requires a
thoughtful, laid-back approach to visiting your next destination.
While slow travel might feel counterproductive at first, we promise
that you’ll return
with a greater understanding and appreciation of local culture,
and a deeper understanding of the place you left home to visit. Here
are five slow travel vacation ideas to inspire your next getaway.
If you’ve ever wanted to explore Austria, one of the best ways to do
it is on a bike. Though you’ll want to pack
accordingly for a stay in the city, this eight-day self-guided
slow tour starts and ends in Salzburg, taking you on a tour of
Austria’s 10 lakes via rolling hills.
Day one takes you on a flat ride through the Trumer Lakes Region to
Irrsee, the warmest and most popular of Austria’s 10 lakes. On day
two, you’ll enjoy an 80km ride to Attersee, a lake popular with
swimmers and for hosting sailing competitions, and known for its
“rosewind”—which, quite literally, is a rose-scented breeze carried
across the lake from a nearby castle.
After an overnight stay in Traunstein, you’ll grab your bikes and
hop on a train to Bad Aussee and Bad Ischl—stopping to enjoy food and
wine on the way—before finishing your journey back in Salzburg. Be
sure to admire the views of the Salzach River before departing.
Best Time To Visit: It’s best to plan your trip for May/June or
September/October; the busiest months are during tourist season of July/August.
While there aren’t any shortage of train trips that can take you
through the Highlands in style (we recommend the Belmond
Royal Scotsman for a truly indulgent experience), West Coast
Railways’ Jacobite Steam Train has been called one of the world’s
greatest train expeditions.
You’ll begin your slow travel journey in Fort William, the largest
town in the western Highlands. From there, you can pack a picnic lunch
before exploring picturesque Mallaig, a port city full of shops and
bars, or enjoy a relaxing walk in Arisaig, a village that boasts one
of the Highland’s best beaches.
Best Time To Visit: Though their tours are offered year-round,
we recommend visiting from April to October (when it isn’t winter!)
Packed with tons of optional activities, this eight-day excursion
will have you traveling by boat, train, tuk tuk, and ferry through
You’ll start in Bangkok and will explore the capital city’s canals
and shopping centers, while sampling
Thai street food, followed by a trip to Cheow Larn Lake, home to
floating hotels, rainforests, and exotic animals such as sun bears,
leopards, and wild elephants. From there, you’ll grab
your gear and head to Kanchanaburi for a magnificent view of
(and maybe a refreshing dip in) Erawan Falls, a seven-tiered waterfall
that’s beautifully soothing.
Finishing your trip with a guided bike ride through Ayutthaya
Kingdom, Thailand’s former capital city and UNESCO world heritage
site, might be the highlight of your trip: The ruins of Buddhist
temples give visitors insight into the influence of Buddhism on the
Best Time To Visit: Since climate varies in Thailand, you’ll
ideally want to visit from November to early April, when the seasons
are cool and dry.
While there are plenty of boutique ranches in the U.S. where you can
indulge your fantasy for living life in the American West in
ultra-luxe style, Badger Creek Ranch offers an intimate, authentic
experience that won’t break the bank.
During your stay (which can range from four to six nights), you’ll
share the ranch with just seven other guests, spending time actually
helping herd cattle on horseback, building a relationship with your
horse, and learning what it means to practice “green ranching”: BCR is
an off the grid property, using solar power for energy. When you’re
done ranching, venture out to the nearby San Isabel and Pike National
Forest and explore the scenery by foot or mountain bike, or enjoy an
afternoon of bird watching or fishing in the nearby Arkansas River,
before grabbing your bag and heading home refreshed.
Best Time To Visit: The ranch only hosts guests during the
warmer months, so you’ll want to plan your trip sometime between May
Looking for a hiking vacation that involves sweeping views of
nature—but don’t necessarily want to lug your tent and gear to
experience it? Consider a three- to five-day guided trek through the
Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains best known for its
biodiversity and home to one of the largest black bear populations in
the U.S. Though you can choose from several options, we recommend packing
your bags for the LeConte Lodge trek, the only guided hike that
allows you to sleep in the park in a secluded permanent lodge.
Best Time To Visit: The lodge allows visitors during operating
season of March to November. It’s best to book in advance, as each
trip fills up quickly.
Have a favorite slow travel
destination (or guided tour) you’d like to share? Tag us with your
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