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Trying the soft travel trend

Why soft travel is the key to your best holiday yet

3 MIN READ • 26th February 2024

Booking a holiday this year? Why not consider how the soft travel trend could offer the ultimate way to refresh and recharge

sThe ‘slow travel’ trend grew in popularity last year, with people spending as much time as they could in one destination to immerse themselves in the culture. But what if you don’t have the luxury of being able to travel for that long? Busy work schedules and home lives often make it difficult to allow yourself to really relax on holiday, and the pressure to make the most of each second of your trip and soak up as much culture as possible can make you feel like you need another break when you get home. In fact, a 2022 study showed that 65 perfect feel too much pressure when travelling to actually enjoy themselves. So, what’s the alternative? Enter ‘soft travel’. This idea is based on the emerging ‘soft life’ trend (which has 1.4billion views on TikTok – and counting) and is about embracing rest, peace and balance.

Justin Chapman, travel expert at Go2Africa, explains how to get into your soft travel era for the ultimate refresh and recharge, even in a shorter break – without putting too much pressure on yourself…

What is soft travel?

The ‘soft life’ trend originated in the Nigerian influencer community, and is about pushing back against unrealistic expectations, seeking balance – saying no to hustle culture burnout and yes to rest, peace, and comfort.

When travelling, we can often feel pressured to have the ‘perfect’ trip – making sure you don’t waste a second, ticking every tourist attraction off your list, or spending hours curating the perfect shots for Instagram. Soft travel allows you to have a break that feels right for you, prioritising enjoyment, instead of feeling pressured to have what others will perceive as the perfect holiday.

Whether your dream trip is an African safari in Kenya, immersing yourself in nature, or a weekend city break in Italy, sampling local food and wine, soft travel is about making experiences  and priority over social media likes, listening to your body and mind, and focusing on what you truly enjoy.

How to embrace the soft travel trend


Choose fewer destinations and activities so you can spend more time to fully enjoy each one, rather than spending each day whizzing around to make sure you see every sight possible – particularly on a short break.


Try alternative methods of travel, rather than flying. Going by train, bus, or boat, means you can appreciate your surroundings more, and make the journey an experience, and part of the trip, more than a flight – not to mention having less of an environmental impact.

Support local businesses, from shops and restaurants to experiences and accommodation. Try to have a positive impact where you can, like choosing lesser-known destinations that can benefit from tourism, rather than the most highly populated areas, and go out of season to get the most out of the destination, surrounded by locals rather than tourists.


Give yourself a loose schedule but don’t plan everything down to the minute. Allow yourself room for spontaneous interactions and recommendations from locals – they’ll often be able to suggest things to do, see and eat, that you won’t be able to find from online research – and you’ll be able to have a much more authentic experience.


If you’re tired, take a break. Don’t push yourself to exhaustion just because you feel like you need to go to a specific tourist spot that you’ve read about. Take it easy – not just by chilling out, but also by going easy on yourself, and not feeling guilty about going at your own pace.


Connecting with nature, like hiking, camping, or just a day at the beach, lowers stress, reduces anxiety, and boosts your mood. Immersing yourself in nature encourages you to disconnect, and allows you to have a ‘softer’ experience than perhaps you could in a city environment.


Give yourself a digital detox and forget about getting the perfect snap for social media. Capture memories with something like a disposable camera rather than using your phone – or if you don’t want to part with your phone, try apps that don’t let you see your photos immediately. This means you won’t end up taking 100 photos of the same thing to get it perfect, and will be more ‘in the moment’.

Temporarily remove any work related apps from your phone too – put on that out of office and make it a state of mind, not just an email setting! 


Everyone will have a slightly different definition of soft travel. For some, it could be spending two weeks being pampered in a luxury lodge, others may prefer a weekend camping by a lake in the middle of nowhere. Create a trip that allows you to enjoy yourself at your own pace, without being overwhelmed with pressure to have the ‘perfect’ holiday.

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