Did ‘going on vacation’ get too stressful? Enter ‘soft travel’

It started as a call to slow down and stave off burnout. Nigerian influencers and African American women started using the hashtag #softlife on TikTok, and it spread. As part of #softlife, #softtravel was born.

“Rather than rushing from attraction to attraction, soft travelers are savoring simple pleasuresstrolling leisurely through charming neighborhoods without an agenda, getting lost in local shops, or relaxing at cafés with a good book and coffee,” Adam Schwab, co-founder and CEO of Luxury Escapes told Irish News.

But wait, hang on a second. Isn’t that just… vacation?

Maybe. But maybe it goes deeper than that. We’d venture to guess that if you’re reading this site, you’re a prime candidate for having crammed too many activities into a trip at least once. And you’re not alone. There’s a reason there’s a stereotype that American travelers always try to visit nine European countries in a weekend.

There’s no federally mandated paid vacation time in the US, so you’re lucky if you get any at all. The average worker gets about 11 days of vacation time each year, compared to the 20 to 30 days that are required by law in much of the rest of the world. The US is also massive, which makes it all but geographically impossible for most residents to jetset to another continent for a long weekend. So, when Americans do get the chance to travel overseas for a week or two, it makes sense that they would want to pack in as much as possible. But that’s where the line between ‘vacation’ and ‘relaxation’ gets starker.  

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