Next time you go on vacation, do something truly remarkable. Trade in the all-inclusive resort passes for one of these unique travel experiences. Whether it’s a week or a month, here are 10 slow travel ideas for you on your upcoming trip!

Walk the Camino de Santiago

Find yourself along a medieval pilgrimage throughout the many landscapes of Spain. To walk the most popular route, el Camino Frances, you will need about a month, but you can start from wherever you want or bike it if you have a limited amount of time. Read more about the Camino here.

Take a language course

Learning a language can open doors for your professional and social life. Instead of going to a country and just seeing the sights, you can truly experience the culture of a place by taking a language course. There are language centers in every country that offer courses in week-long increments, so sign up and make it happen. La vita é bella! 

Have you always wanted to be bilingual? Invest in yourself and take a language course abroad. Search for independent language schools in your country of choice. Most schools offer classes on a weekly basis and include culture classes in tandem with the language lessons. Si, la vita é bella!

House sitting…anywhere!

When other families go on vacation for an extended period of time, many times they will offer their home to a house sitter so that they can be assured their home is taken care of while they’re away. There are a few websites to find people looking for house sitters. This can be a great way to live like a local and save cash while traveling!

Do a meditation retreat.

Slow down and look inward on your next vacation. You can find many 10-day Vipassana silent retreats in Asia that are completely donation based. If you’re looking for something more intensive, Kopan Monastry just outside of Kathmandu has a month-long study and practice retreat in November that is highly recommended.

Volunteer at an elephant sanctuary.

Maybe you’re passionate about helping animals. A quick Internet search and you can find numerous elephant sanctuaries looking for volunteers to help with their cause. There’s nothing more rewarding than volunteering with a cause that you’re passionate about. Life is short, save the elephants!

Get ya surf on.

If you’ve always wanted to take time off to learn how to surf, why not fulfill that dream? Visit Hawaii, Costa Rica, or even Australia where there’s a community of surfers to learn from. I have heard of travelers doing a work exchange at surf schools as well. All you have to do is work part time and get free accommodation and free surf classes. Not to mention, you’ll get to meet all kinds of interesting people doing the same thing. As soon as you make the decision to take that leap of faith and make it happen, you will be surprised how many opportunities come your way.

Meet travelers from all over the world by working at a hostel

Hostels often search for people to volunteer via work exchange in order to keep their facilities running. You can work around 20 hours a week organizing tours, running reception, or cleaning. In exchange you get free accommodation and sometimes food is included! Not to mention, you get to meet travelers from all over the world. Pretty sweet deal, right? I use to find these opportunities.

Get connected with the earth…WOOFing 

WWOOFing stands for WorldWide Opportunity on Organic Farms. The organization hopes to provide a way for people to learn about organic food, agriculture, and sustainable ways of living. Get your hands dirty, connect with the earth, and WWOOF your heart out. 

Offer your skills to an organization you believe in (Teaching, art, etc.)

Just recently I volunteered with Collective Aid, an NGO helping refugees in Serbia and Bosnia. I spent a month working as an Activity Leader at their refugee community center where I taught English and led cultural activities for refugees at a nearby camp. It was an incredible and eye-opening experience. If you are inspired to help with a certain issue, there is nothing more rewarding than giving back!

Do something different for your next vacation. Try slow traveling! It can be eye-opening and inspiring. Get in touch with me for encouragement or planning. I’d love to hear from you!