Slow Travel Versus Fast Travel: Which One is For You?

Exploring GAP Farm in Davao City

Slow Travel Versus Fast Travel

Nearly two weeks ago, we made a huge decision to travel long term.

Slow Travel Versus Fast Travel
Slow Travel Versus Fast Travel

No, we are not rich and we do not have deep pockets. However, we were driven by our want to try to explore a new environment, since we have been cooped up at home for the past year (we work from home). Plus, a travel writer also needs new material every once in a while.

I am currently writing this post in a cheap hotel in Mati City, here in Davao Oriental, and we are now entering our 13th day of being on the road. And we have come to conclude that the different travel style have their own advantages and disadvantages:

Slow Travel

Expenses become cheaper.

Would you believe that our expenses only average Php 1,200 per day — and that already includes two adults and a toddler? Prior to moving on to a new city yesterday, our expenses were only at Php 950 per day.

With our hosts in Davao City
With our hosts in Davao City

Transportation and food costs can easily eat up your budget if you are not being careful. Yesterday, we had to splurge on our meals (daily budget is at Php 300) and we also bought a new camping stove since we plan to stay on a tent by the beach for the next two days.

When you travel slow, you get the chance to rent out accommodations with better amenities compared. Your two-day stay in a 3-star hotel might just be able to get you at least two weeks worth of stay in a house elsewhere. Plus, when you have access to a kitchen, you lower your expenses further by doing groceries and cooking your own meals.

You get to explore the place better.

My partner and I are not the biggest fans of packaged tours because it makes you feel like you are constantly chasing something. Instead of enjoying the view, you tend to glance more often on your watch, hoping you still have more time to “relax” — as if beating deadlines at work is not enough.

Exploring GAP Farm in Davao City
Exploring GAP Farm in Davao City
Booking.com

During our 10-day stay in Davao City, we were able to walk around the downtown area, visit the parks and the city library (which many locals did not know where) and stay in a local cafe where media men mostly hang out. We tried to limit our visits to just one attraction per day (sometimes, we just stayed home) so we can really explore the place and get the most out of the fees we paid for.

You avoid travel burnout.

Constantly switching from one place to another is the thing that I hate most about traveling. Instead, I love to go on a leisurely pace and there are times when I just want to stay home and do nothing because…isn’t that what getaways and vacations are all about?

A food park along the baywalk in Mati City
A food park along the baywalk in Mati City

Just because you are out there does not mean you have to be constantly outside. Staying in your room and enjoying some down time with just yourself and your thoughts (or with your kid, in our case) is all part of it.

Fast Travel

You get to explore more places fast.

No day will ever be the same when you travel fast. It means being in a new place every few days or so, and exploring around three to five attractions everyday. If you get bored at one place, you do not have to worry because you can always move on to a new one and find something fun to do. This way of traveling is definitely for those who have gotten sick of their daily routine of work and home.

Walking around Davao City
Walking around Davao City

You get to make more friends.

Being in a new place every day means having more chance of meeting new people. You might make new friends during a particular tour or while visiting an attraction or staying at yet another backpacker hostel. Fast travel is often best for solo travelers as it provides more opportunity to mingle around with fellow travelers — and enjoy fun nights out, too.

The Philippine Eagle
The Philippine Eagle

It makes a great temporary escape.

Not everyone has the chance to quit their jobs to travel full time (but hopefully we will get there). The best thing most people can do is take advantage of long weekends and days off from work — and visit as many places as possible during that limited time.

Tagum City, on our way to Mati, Davao Oriental
Tagum City, on our way to Mati, Davao Oriental

Each travel style has its own advantages and disadvantages and there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing one over the other. If you want, you can even mix up both styles to get the best travel experience. The most important thing is that you enjoy and have fun and make the most out of your travel escapades!

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