In a world obsessed with checking countries off bucket lists, slow travel is emerging as an antidote. Think slow-paced itineraries (or no itineraries at all!), deep breaths, and no shortcuts. By Rashima Nagpal

1. Caravan on the great ocean road in Australia

Arguably one of the greatest road-trip destinations in the world, Australia’s Great Ocean Road is not meant to be sped through. A site of national heritage, the 234-kilometre stretch lining the southeastern coast of the island country is breathtaking. A caravan holiday, or ‘campervanning’ as the Australians call it, is the ideal way to take in its wild beauty. Make pit-stops to climb clifftops, surf at pristine beaches, spot wildlife along the way, and camp the nights away at dedicated caravan parks. All you need to do is gather your loved ones, decide a route, rent a nice van (, and get going.

2. Bike through burgundy’s vineyards in France

where to go in 2020

Focussing on Burgundy’s farm-to-table ethos, a guided 10-day biking excursion organised by VBT takes you along scenic canals and through ancient vineyards. Between Lyon and
Dijon, both UNESCO sites, you’ll cycle through sylvan towns imbued with wine traditions. Apart from being eco-friendly, this is also a great chance to visit the 15th-century Hospices de Beaune, browse through Dijon’s wealth of fascinating museums, savour classic French cuisine at a Michelin-star restaurant, engage with a local family during a game of pétanque and enjoy a picnic lunch at their charming summer home.

3. All aboard the California Zephyr in the US

where to go in 2020

The great American railroad saw a steep decline as automobiles took over the country in the 1920s. Many trains (such as the Havana Special, Phoebe Snow, Colorado Eagle, and more) were gradually discontinued as a result. But not the California Zephyr. A daily service that runs between California in the west and Illinois in the east, it takes you through seven US states. On this journey of three nights and four days—51 hours and 20 minutes—the scenery changes constantly. From the canyons of Utah to the forests of Colorado and the cornfields of Iowa— the view from the window is all you need for company.

4. Go local in Alpujarras, Spain

In Alpujarras, the southern foothills of Sierra Nevada, life is still largely about taking long walks with the local shepherds, the aroma of almond fields, traditional tapas, and plenty of cheese and wine. With guided walking tours, it is possible to immerse yourself in the unspoiled rural beauty of Andalusia. Sample and learn to cook Alpujarran cuisine, explore Moorish water channels, stroll through olive groves and orchards and the Laroles Valley for scenic views, visit the silk weavers in the region, stay in a stone house in the hamlet of
Mairena, and taste the local way of life.

5. Take an old-school cruise in Kerala

where to go in 2020

Kettuvallams, or in more modern terms houseboats, have played a significant role in the backwaters lifestyle of Kerala. From carrying grains and spices to simply navigating through the vast Vembanad Lake, these vessels have stood the test of time. Today, with thoughtful initiatives such as one undertaken by CGH Earth, it is possible to experience the glory of the olden days in the backwaters of Kerala. Onboard one of the Spice Boat Cruises, life is made up of sweet nothings— fisherfolk indulge you in traditional meals and stories from god’s own state. What’s better? These boats are powered by solar energy and vegetable oils to prevent harm to the ecology of the lake.

Handpicked by A-list

Saurabh Rai preferred hotels & resorts

Soneva Fushi, Maldives:

Earthy and sustainability-oriented ethos, they’ve perfected the art of ‘unplug and reboot’.

The Leela Palace Udaipur:

Unbeatable location, on Lake Pichola and minutes from the old city; sheer simplicity and slowness of life inspire happiness.

Related: Luxury Train Travel: Chug Into 2020 With The Latest Travel Trend