Scott Dunn presents the summer of the “Slowcation”

Scott Dunn presents the summer of the “Slowcation”


A view of the dining car on board the new Belmond Andean Explorer luxury sleeper train, during its journey between Arequipa, Puno and Cusco. 


Slow travel embraces switching off, detaching from everyday life and taking each day as it comes. According to a new travel survey, British holiday makers are prioritising some well-earned rest and relaxation in 2024, with over three quarters (81%) travelling specifically to de-stress and slow down this summer. The findings come from luxury holiday provider Scott Dunn’s latest travel trends report, which delves into the latest travel trend: ‘the slowcation’.

This report is reinforced in how UK Google searches for info on ‘slow travel trips’ have increased by 61% in the past three months, and there have been more than 16.3 million posts mentioning the trend on TikTok too. Similarly, Pinterest’s 2024 trends report also stated that gentle sightseeing is on the rise, with searches for ‘slowcation hotel’ (+70%) and ’slow life’ (+60%) steadily increasing over the past year.

Half of people (50%) say that eating and drinking out is their favourite way to relax when on holiday.

Almost half (42%) admit that reading is their route to relaxation, and a third of people (33%) say simply basking in the sunshine is the answer.

The top things that help Brits relax on holiday are:

  1. Eating & drinking out (50%)
  2. Reading (42%)
  3. Sunbathing (33%)
  4. Spending time in nature (31%)
  5. Excursions (30%)

Adopting a ‘go with the flow’ approach

Spending time outdoors is popular, with almost a third (31%) of Brits saying mother nature helps them relax on holiday. This may come as no surprise as studies show that being in nature can generate positive emotions such as calmness, joy and serenity1.

Despite the desire to relax, there’s still a demand for some cultural exploration and three in ten (30%) say going on an excursion helps them unwind when travelling.

However, the research revealed that Brits aren’t exploring as much they used to; in a fast-paced and pre-arranged way. Instead, they are drawing their travel plans out for as long as possible, savoring each moment and taking a “go with the flow” attitude.

Taking time to unwind

It takes Brits three full days to switch off when on holiday, although those who regularly check their smartphone (and work emails) may find it takes them even longer to unwind.

Scientific research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, says the perfect length of holiday to ensure you feel fully ‘zen’ when you return is eight days.

A separate survey with Scott Dunn’s own guests revealed that 45% plan to take longer holidays this year, suggesting they crave more rest stops, slower schedules and ample time to relax.

Simon Lynch, Global Product Director at Scott Dunn, commented: “With so many people naming de-stressing as their main reason for booking a holiday; and relaxation as their main priority when they’re away, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an increased appetite for what has been coined ‘slowcations’ this year.”

“Slow travel is more about a mindset as opposed to a pace of movement, it’s exploring somewhere on a deeper level, making space mentally and physically for things to happen spontaneously. For example, taking time to walk in nature, cycle through countryside, engage with the locals or take a long-distance rail journey.”

A train travel revivial

Simon added: “Leisurely train travel is one of the best ways to experience slow travel, allowing you to sit back and savour every moment with each stop of the route. A new wave of luxury rail itineraries has driven a thirst for cultural immersion, exploring the less-visited backroads of popular destinations.”

“At Scott Dunn we’ve seen triple the volume of bookings for train journeys in January-April compared to the same period last year.”

The booking figures also reveal some the most popular train journeys right now; including the Belmond Andean Explorer in Peru, the first luxury sleeper train sweeping South America; as well as the Eastern & Oriental Express which takes guests on an enchanting voyage from Singapore to explore Malaysia.

Simon concluded: “Taking a slower and more ‘gentle’ approach to the way that you travel – and making the journey part of your trip – will not only encourage you to relax and unwind quicker, but it will inevitably lead to discovery along the way, and this in turn can help you to make meaningful memories too.”



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