Join the Slow Travel Movement

Thanks to Jools Stone from He Thought of Trains blog for this discovery:

The Slow Travel Website, the brainstorm of web designer Pauline Kenny and her husband, software developer Steve Cohen, is the information source for people interested in traveling at a slower pace and experiencing individual destinations more completely. The Slow Travel concept is based upon staying at one location for a period of at least one week and using that location as a base for day trips. In contrast to the frenzy of having multiple accommodations during a short vacation, Slow Travelers enjoy “living like locals” when visiting a foreign country or new area. They rent homes and apartments on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, buy groceries at local food shops, and learn local customs. They spend less time running to and from “must see” tourist attractions and more time soaking in the culture which is found in village markets and town squares.

Pauline explains, “I wanted to learn more about web design and needed a topic, so I selected my favorite subject – traveling and staying in vacation rentals – and created the website in April 2000.” Since then, Slow Travel has become a true phenomenon. An Internet community of over 8,000 members worldwide, with over 3,000,000 page views per month, the website fills a previously untapped and continuously growing niche within the world of international leisure travel.

The most popular topics at Slow Travel focus on Europe, with travel and vacation rental information on Italy and France comprising more than half of the website’s content. Other popular destinations covered extensively by the site include England, Switzerland and the United States.

The website is an immense and valuable source of in-depth travel information, from vacation rental, hotel and restaurant reviews to notes on what to expect in an Italian vacation home and on slow traveling with children. Trip reports detail events which make traveling slowly so interesting: people watching in an ancient Italian piazza, chance encounters with a local farmer, the perfect wine tasting in the French countryside.

The website’s heart and soul are its members. Members write the travel reports and the reviews, provide photographic documentaries of trips, submit essays, give detailed travel instructions, share recipes discovered along the way. Slow Talk, the Slow Travel message board, provides a daily exchange on a myriad of topics ranging from the best airline deals to porcini mushroom hunting. The message board is run by eight moderators from the United States and the United Kingdom, all Slow Travelers, representing walks of life as varied as the membership itself.

Slow Travelers are educated people with a wide variety of hobbies and interests, including travel, food, wine, fashion, culture, and history. They value their free time, and spend a large portion of their disposable income on hobbies and interests. Members include artists, writers, international business people, computer experts, doctors, hospitality and food service professionals, organic farmers, and travel consultants, all volunteering time and information to the site. Because Slow Travel is not affiliated with any travel or vacation rental agencies, the site can honestly report its findings. All reviews are published, and the members are free to provide honest, objective and insightful information.

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