Slow slow slow travel….

Published by Jacob Wedderburn-Day on

A slow travel policy is a GREAT idea for a company policy. It encourages employees to travel by lower carbon forms of transport and still get their holiday in!

I have seen some great examples of slow travel recently, and was therefore inspired to see if we could implement the policy at Treepoints. 

We decided on giving Treepoints employees 2 days/year to get to and from their chosen destination. I obviously took this up as soon as possible and decided to go for Copenhagen!

My friend and I planned a long weekend away over a sunny spell to see the sites and eat a lot of danish pastries. It sounds divine….

Unfortunately, getting there was not divine at all. 

I had dreamed of breezing across Europe in all but a day, reading my book, eating my picnic and drinking coffee on the high speed trains. It was not to be. Due to canceled trains, delays, broken train windows, blockages on the track that meant the train had to go backwards, spaces on the eurostar being booked for the whole summer, my plan was unfortunately thwarted. 

I ended up having to take two ferries to get there, take an 8 hour bus, travel for 36 hours on the outward journey and spend an extra night in Brussels. All in, I spent around £500 getting to and from Copenhagen! 

Luckily, it was worth it and I would highly recommend a visit. 

But, I think this is a good opportunity to share my learnings with slow travel. Because I will be doing it again, but next time things will be different. 

If you want to go away to a country that is about 800 miles away from you then do not give yourself a day to get there. Go somewhere like Paris, Brussels or Edinburgh where you only have to get one train and if connections are missed then it’s ok!

For context, flying to Edindurgh releases around 82 kg of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) whereas taking the train for the same distance is only 5 kgCO2e!!!

If you do want to aim for somewhere like Copenhagen then give yourself a few more days to get there and enjoy the journey. My stop off in Brussels could have been a fantastic opportunity to explore the city, and the beer halls, if I had given myself 2 nights there!

Despite my long and expensive journey to Copenhagen I still had fun on the way. Taking the ferry across to Denmark was something that I would never have done if I had flown. As we were crossing the sun was setting, giving me an hour to sit and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. #silverlinings!

Let me know your thoughts on slow travel. I would love to hear all the stories, bad and good!


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