Enjoyable Travel Using Slow, Clean, Car-Free Techniques

Right now, I’m investigating a new travel technique, which I’m calling “Slow Daily Travel”. By going slow (traveling 1o to 100 miles per day), your journey can often become more intriguing and enjoyable. My technique involves traveling as far as you like each day, and then staying overnight in a hotel. The next day you repeat, until you reach your destination. If you pack minimally enough, and you are not in a hurry to get anywhere, this techniques works quite well.

You can use any efficient type of transportation you like to travel. You can walk, cycle, kayak, sail, ride a bus, or ride a train. Electric vehicles are also ideal for this kind of travel because you can recharge your batteries overnight, and have them ready for the next day. You can use electric vehicles like electric bikes, electric kayaks, electric catamarans or dinghies (see the book Sustainable Sailing for more info on electric boats). You can also make use of solar chargers with these vehicles (I’ll be examining solar charging in detail in an upcoming article).

In conjunction with this, I’ve been investigating car-free routes around my home. So far, I’ve discovered a surprising number of car-free routes from my local area, Northern Virginia. Some of the routes include: the WO&D Trail (biking trail from Washington, DC to Purcellville, VA) the C&O Canal Trail (biking trail from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD), the Great Allegheny Passage (biking trail that goes from Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA), the Intracoastal Waterway (an inland waterway that goes from Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL). The Chesapeake Bay is also a huge car-free region that you can explore for months in a small boat.

By investigating car-free routes, I’ve actually become more aware of the terrain around my home, and this has made me think differently about my vacation plans. I’ll be going into the details of my slow travel in upcoming articles.

Here are some book I found useful while investigating slow, car-free travel:

Books On Electric Vehicles

Mid-Atlantic Biking Books

Mid-Atlantic Boating Books

See also this Wikipedia article on Slow Travel, and the Rails-to-Trails group.


1 thought on “Enjoyable Travel Using Slow, Clean, Car-Free Techniques”

  1. For cycling:
    not a book but the most informative source of info for long bicycle trips. crazyguyonabike.com
    The site formatting is text heavy but that makes it load quicker.
    Also there are often great photos from locations that you could never stop in a car.

    Following copied from the “about” page
    This is a free, independent website for hosting bicycle touring journals, forums and resources. The content is contributed by people from all over the world. You can browse the journals and articles or register and then create your own. Also check out the forums (message boards), reviews (users’ reports on bicycle touring gear), resources (links, routes, hospitality, businesses and other useful info related to bicycle touring) and classifieds (companions, for sale, wanted etc). You can find interesting content via serendipity, or see what other users think is cool (or controversial) via the ratings.

    Crazyguyonabike’s main strength is its simple focus on bicycle touring, combined with a scalable design which allows for a huge amount of content to be easily edited, browsed and searched. Unlike many other Web 2.0 sites, crazyguyonabike actually hosts real content, rather than simply acting as a link aggregator to point to other websites. Also, the design is deceptively simple and non-flashy, which makes it fast and easy to use on slow connections and portable computers. Finally, of course, the community itself makes crazyguyonabike special. The site would be nothing without all the people who contribute their content to make this one of the biggest repositories of bicycle touring literature in the world.

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