With busier schedules, low-cost flights, great accommodation deals and technology at our fingertips, we have become used to hopscotching through our travel bucket lists. What if you could take things slower and really immerse yourself in your next trip? To stop the rush and instant gratification and spend some time up in the mountains overlooking snowcapped views or on a tropical beach villa with ocean views, just basking in the present – and, if it’s your thing, with an unending supply of Piña coladas?

As we take our first steps in the outside world again, we will be cognizant of the longest lockdown in modern history. With the accessibility of international travel, we sometimes forget the undiscovered treasures closer to home, but that’s changing, and especially for the +35-age group. In digital travel platform Agoda’s Next Decade Travel survey, travelers in the 35-44 and 55+ age groups are most likely to want to explore more of their own countries and territories (40% and 42% respectively), with travelers from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, US, and Vietnam choosing domestic destinations within their top three wishlist choices for the coming decade.

Embrace a different pace

While taking a short-haul flight off to neighboring countries has become the norm, an alternative travel movement has been taking shape, helping travelers to slow down the pace and enjoy the ride. Taking a relaxing tram, train, bus, ferry journey or just driving through an encapsulating landscape can be an unforgettable experience.
Imagine stopping to immerse yourself entirely in a different town or city and finding the hidden gems only known to locals. Agoda’s recently launched long term rentals allowing bookings for up to 90 days on both Agoda Homes and hotels can translate into the sabbatical you always dreamt of. Travelers on Agoda.com can easily toggle between filters to choose what works best for them – from facilities like a gymnasium and Wi-Fi in urban landscapes or relaxing private beach views.

The Joy of Missing Out (JOMO)

Slow travel gives the opportunity for us to enjoy the anticipation and excitement of once-in-a-lifetime holidays again, looking forward to the journey as well as the destination. Embrace that big city life in Bangkok, Tokyo, and Ho Chi Minh city or consider exploring up-and-coming destinations such as Oita in Japan, Daegu in South Korea, and Ha Long in Vietnam.

Consider going on an off-season adventure. Planning for a time that is different from the usual peak period would mean cheaper, fewer crowds, and authentic connections. Just imagine what the Colosseum looks like during autumn instead of summer. Or what Paris looks like after snowfall? Gorgeous!

Supporting local

Slow travel isn’t just about speed; it’s about the impact of your travel. You can support local businesses by eating at family-run restaurants or even staying at provincial homestays or independent hotels. Exploring your surroundings in an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ fashion, like bicycling and walking are excellent ways to uncover places and experiences that could become the highlights of your trip, stumbling upon little cafes and shops, you might never have found in books or online.

Exploring the world with the lightest environmental footprint possible is easier when you are prepared with reusable items like water bottles – to keep you hydrated while reducing plastic pollution. Be more environmentally friendly with your product choices, mindful of coral reefs when you set out on your discovery dive. Common ingredients in chemical sunscreens can harm coral reefs, swap to reef friendly skin products, or use natural ingredients like coconut oil to give us a chance to do our part while taking care of ourselves.

Carry less, go far

Simple things like turning off lights and air conditioning when leaving the hotel room, reusing towels and bedding, and being mindful of how much of the hotel toiletries you need, thus, creating less waste. “Flashpacking” or backpacking on a bigger budget, gives you less to worry about on your adventure. You can still look great and stay on top of your self-care routines with lightweight toiletry bags with travel-sized bottles. Quick wash and durable clothing, multipurpose shoewear for hiking/beach, and long walks cut down on suitcase space while keeping you prepared for an epic travel itinerary.