20 Ways to Practice Slow Travel While on a Group Tour or Cruise
- Choose a longer tour.
- Study the itinerary and choose (or don’t choose) your optional excursions.
- Don’t opt for all of the options if you think you’ll be rushed.
- Choose a“hub-and-spoke” tour to explore an area. That way you’ll stay put longer.
- Explore. Choose a different walking or dinner companion every now and then!
- Try new cuisine; look for local choices. Eat slowly and savor your food, companions, and atmosphere.
- When you souvenir shopping, choose local shops and items. What’s unique to the area?
- Send a few postcards to friends and family.
- Make time to rest, restore, and reflect.
- Find out something new about your old travel companion.
- Learn something new, like a new phrase, a word, or a story.
- Pay attention to what each of your senses is registering.
- Make a new friend. Ask what they love about their area. Have a real conversation with a local. Don’t you enjoy it when someone comes to your region and finds the beauty in the people, too?
- Spend more time watching and interacting than shopping. It may just mean making faster purchasing decisions.
- Surprise yourself. Don’t consult your itinerary. You don’t have to know what’s coming. You probably read it when you signed up. Trust your tour director has it under control! What if you got up, had some time to reflect on yesterday’s exploration, and cleared your mind of EXPECTATION for today? What if you simply allowed the day to unfurl? Marvel at something new.
- Don’t say you’ve been there, done that, seen it all as a way not to participate. Experience it again a different way. Find something new in the familiar if you’ve visited your destination before. In truth, you aren’t the same person you were the last time you were there—after all, TIME makes the difference!
- Keep a journal. Find some time to get quiet and enjoy reflecting. Sometimes we discover WHILE we are writing. Sketch your day if you don’t feel like writing about it. Write one sentence or even one word that sums up the day. Sometimes much less is much more.
- If you have free time at an attraction or a museum, and you like one particular section, stay in it the entire time. There are no rules that you must see everything. IMMERSE yourself in it.
- When given the choice between two, choose the road less traveled. (I love Robert Frost!)
- Leave your list at home—even this one—and enjoy the moment you have been given in the place you have chosen.
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