Travel and tourism are among the many industries looking at a resurgence in this year. In fact, the travel and tourism sector is on a positive path to recovery yet to be seen in other industries. For instance, in January 2022, international tourist arrivals rose by 18 million. Amid this promising rise, the travel industry and its stakeholders are turning to a new philosophical approach to travel — slow traveling.
What is slow travel?
An offshoot of the slow food movement in late 1980s Italy — a response to the rise of fast-food in the country at the time — slow traveling is about seeing more by moving less. Instead of traveling for the sake of traveling, for passport stamp collections, or checking off bucket list destinations, slow travel encourages travelers to slow down and truly immerse with your destination. This includes fully experiencing local cultures, learning about where you are, and experiencing one-in-a-lifetime activities rather than just capturing them in photos or videos. Most importantly, as slow travel rises in popularity, it may also be a way to reduce expensive travel costs. That said, since slow travel necessitates a longer time on the road, it can force you to spend a little more on certain necessities, like food. As such, it's important to find ways to save money on food so that it doesn't eat into your slow travel budget — pun intended.
How to save money on food while slow traveling
While the cost of food may depend on where you're going and whether you're traveling alone or with a big group (to share the costs!), below are some more general tips to save money on food while slow traveling:
If you're also looking to stay healthy while traveling, then proper (meal) planning will go a long way. This includes planning what meals you may need or want before and after a flight, and packing snacks that don't spoil easily for easy on-the-go eating. Planning your food ahead of your slow travel trip can help you budget your travel expenses. Using smartphone apps to help your travel plans can also save you from any stress or worry. From calendar and budgeting apps to healthy meal planning apps such as Mealime, having these digital tools to keep track of your travel routine and activities will allow you to focus on enjoying your travel experience. At the same time, packing the right foods and snacks will also prevent you from resorting to buying something unhealthy or expensive out of convenience or hunger.
Cook your own food
While planning your slow travel trip, you may want to cook your own food at some point to save money, or try cooking something from your host country's local cuisine. As such, you may want to consider bringing your own appliances, like a small multifunctional rice cooker, since some AirBnBs might not have one. Some rice cookers, like the Tiger JAX-S10U, come in small sizes packed with useful cooking features, so you won't have to worry about bringing them along. Other portable appliances you can bring for your slow travel are portable blenders like BlendJet if you're thinking of making healthy smoothies or juice during your stay. You can also visit local markets and stores to get a feel of local ingredients and cooking practices — while saving you money.
Attend food festivals
Lastly, this can be a part of your slow travel planning process. Depending on the season you're going to your destination, try and find out if you'll be able to catch any local food events, tours, or festivals during your stay. Food festivals are a great way to experience local cuisine away from gentrification. Rounding our piece back to Italy where the slow food movement began, the country host numerous food festivals seasonally. You'll be able to meet and see locals and even learn about the local culture through their cuisine. Food festivals are also a great way to support the local community of your destination, letting you enjoy delicious foods that may be locally sourced or produced.
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