Slow Travel: relax, breathe and enjoy!

Travelling and exploring new destinations is supposed to renew spirits and give you a relaxed and satisfied feeling. However, for more and more people it’s actually doing the opposite, leaving travelers disappointed and overwhelmed.

If there’s limited time in a destination, the days are often packed with exciting and fun experiences you definitely want to remember later. Too many highlights and activities scheduled will lead to a travel burn-out, where there is no time to truly enjoy and explore the destination.

The solution is to travel slower.

What is Slow Travel?

Slow Travel literally means taking the time when you travel. To fully experience a place for a longer time yourself instead of just a quick visit. It’s about making real connections with locals, their culture and the destination itself, and it happens automatically by slowing down.

Some people think slow travel is only for those that walk really slow or who are retired. The truth is that slow travel is for everyone. And it’s not about actually walking slower. It’s about moving away from trying to see as many places as possible in only a short amount of time, towards taking the time and to open up to the destination and locals you’ll meet. It will provide an authentic travel experience that creates meaningful moments.

Slow travel is all about taking the time to get to know areas, cities and towns in a way that you might miss out on by travelling in a more mainstream way.

Slow Travel is not about physically moving slow, but about taking the time to enjoy where you are.

Benefits of Slow Travel

Slow travel offers many benefits. As well as for the traveler as for the destination and the people that live there. Let us guide you through the benefits of travelling slower and discovering the authentic Netherlands!

  1. Recharge and relax
    Travelling slower helps you recharge and relax. When taking the time at a destination, you stop rushing, have time with loved ones and recharge again. It also offers opportunities for self-reflection and makes sure that your spirits are renewed. You will feel rested and satisfied when you travel back home.
  2. Travel more responsibly
    Slow Travel at a destination helps you travel more responsibly. When you have the time to immerse in a destination, you will become aware of the impact you’re making. You will experience how you can contribute positively, by putting waste in a bin, avoiding single-use plastic, eating at local restaurants and shop in local stores.
  3. Taking the road less travelled
    Going off the beaten track, and seeing what other people miss, is also a form of slow travel. Moving away from mainstream tourism, gives you the change to have a more individual experience. Immerse yourself in the local Dutch countryside, small villages, and beautiful nature, and enjoy these places the same way locals do.
  4. Experience authentic encounters
    When you are not travelling rushed from one sight to another, there will be time for unexpected experiences, spontaneity and authentic encounters. Be open for the surprises and connect with locals. Have a conversation with the people you’ll meet along the way and learn about their local business or favorites in the Netherlands. These are often the best memories to create.
  5. Support local businesses
    Staying away from the highlights and the tourist crowds takes you to undiscovered locations. Visit local breweries, bakeries, shops and more, and purchase some unique local souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else. Shopping local supports the local economy and makes sure your money spent directly benefits them!
  6. Lower your carbon footprint
    When you spend more time at one destination, you cover less distance. This means you don’t spend lots of time in the car, but instead enjoy the place you are visiting. It lowers your carbon footprint, and exploring a destination by bike or on foot allows you to enjoy nature or a city up close.

Stop and smell the Roses – Song by Mac Davis

4 Myths of Slow Travel busted

Myth #1 – Slow travel is for long vacations.

With the term “slow” in its title, it’s easy to understand why many people would confuse slow travel with just an extended, long trip. You don’t have to spend a certain amount of time in a place in order for it to qualify as slow travel. Slow travel is a mindset and approach that can be applied to any length of travel. Try Slow Travel for a weekend in your home country or for a month’s long vacation in the Netherlands!

Myth #2 – Slow travel is for people with mobility issues.

Although slow travel might already match the pace of travelers with mobility issues or other explorers, it might have more benefits for the curious and fast traveler. It’s about traveling at the right speed. Not about rushing to fit everything in the limited time you have, but about finding the right balance between too fast and too slow. Simply put, slow travel is for everyone.

Myth #3 – Phone-free travel is synonymous with slow travel.

Technology can be a great tool while you travel – but some travelers are so locked into their phone screens, they don’t even see where they are. Slow travel simply advocates for technology to be used as a tool (instead of technology using us). Use your phones to take pictures, to find a nice local restaurant, but make sure it doesn’t keep you distracted when we’re out and about.

Myth #4 – Slow Travel is done in nature.

Connecting with nature is a great way to slow down and feel connected to ourselves and to a foreign place. But, that being said, slow travel can be planned in cities, towns and concrete jungles, the same way it can be organized in an outdoor setting. It all comes down to the intention, curiosities and commitment from the traveler themselves.

“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliott.

How to Slow travel with Holland Private Tour

At Holland Private Tour we understand that the ‘Top 10 things to do in the Netherlands’ look appealing. These Top 10 places have become the sights where the mainstream tourist crowds visits. Here you get to take the same pictures many have taken before you and will take after you have been there. So you’ll know what you get. But isn’t traveling also about new discoveries? Holland Private Tour provides you with a balanced itinerary that gives you the best of both worlds. A travel schedule that shows you Dutch highlights, but away from the tourist crowd. It gives you an authentic experience and allows room for exploration and personal input.

At Holland Private Tour we:

  • Don’t rush from place to place and leave room in the itinerary
  • Select one city for an entire day to fully experience it
  • Visit the famous highlights, but avoid tourist traps and find hidden gems
  • Show you the countryside and Dutch natural areas
  • Guide you with local expertise and insights
  • Take you to local business owners who share their authentic stories
  • Drive you in an electrical vehicle and are able to stop whenever you want

For us, slow travel is offering quality over quantity travel experiences. Don’t try and see the entire country in one week, but take your time and get to know the true Netherlands and the Dutch. We’re very happy to welcome you back for another trip in the future if you decide you loved the Netherlands!

Explore our Slow Travel Tours

Day Tours from RotterdamHolland Private Tour
Utrecht Day Trip Private
Day trip Delft • Private Tour from Amsterdam
Day Tour to Haarlem, from Amsterdam
Custom Tour • Day Tour from Amsterdam
Giethoorn Tour Private / Day Trip from Amsterdam