With climate change an ever pressing concern these days and our own country currently doing battle with serious fires here, there and everywhere, no doubt the discerning jetsetters among you will now be looking at ways in which you can indulge your passion without having a big impact on Mother Earth.
The good news is that there is a lot you can to do help reduce your impact on the planet while still exploring and seeing what the world has to offer. Once you’ve sorted out your quick and easy travel insurance, you can start planning your next trip - so here are some top tips to help you do just that, with eco-friendly travel in mind.
You can cut your carbon footprint significantly while travelling if you go for budget airlines instead of the likes of British Airways, for example, and if you choose to fly direct, with no stopovers.
New research from Which? Travel has just revealed that because flag carriers have older fleets of wide-bodied planes, they use more fuel. And there are more business and first-class passengers, who take up more space in the cabin which means their carbon footprint is bigger.
Choosing shorter routes can also be beneficial, because you’re spending less time in the air. Direct flights are better for the planet because it’s more carbon intensive to take off than it is to cruise at altitude.
There are lots of options where green destinations are concerned and if you choose your next travel hotspot based on its eco-friendly credentials you could find yourself somewhere you never even dreamed of going… and absolutely loving it!
Check out this article in the Guardian, featuring some of the best sustainable holidays in Europe. They include going on an electric road trip through Switzerland (with a route that has 300 charging stations along 1,970km), an 11-day sailing tour of Galicia (perfect for solo travellers, it seems), and a train journey and trek through the Pyrenees (travelling on stunning vintage trains).
What you eat while you’re travelling could actually be worse for the environment than the plane you took. New research from Responsible Travel, reported on by the Daily Telegraph, shows that all-inclusive holidays have a bigger carbon food footprint than a self-catered trip because of a lack of choice and food waste.
To help address this issue, the researchers advised travel firms to offer greater plant-based choice, minimise food waste and prioritise local, seasonal produce.
This latter point means that you’ll be supporting the local economy and communities, while knowing that the food you eat hasn’t had to travel miles and miles in order for you to enjoy it.
Bigger hotels will have a bigger impact on the planet but there are many now taking serious steps towards sustainability, using local produce in their restaurants, building with reclaimed materials and so on. And then there’s always Airbnb, which can prove to be more energy-saving than staying in a big hotel.
Travelling light is great if you’re backpacking or similar, as it means you can easily make plans as you go along, without having to pack up lots of luggage at a moment’s notice. It also means you’ll be adding less weight to the plane, so reducing your carbon footprint even more.
Look out for local conservation and environmental opportunities for volunteering in your choice of destination. There’s sure to be a lot going on that you can join in with and help give a little back while enjoying your trip away.
And don’t forget about how enriching that kind of experience will be for you on a personal level, as well. You’ll meet all sorts of like-minded people, test yourself in new and interesting ways and make new connections wherever you go - some of whom are sure to end up being lifelong friends.
Some places are so popular that they get absolutely swamped by tourists each year. It can be better for both you and the environment if you don’t engage in a box-ticking exercise when it comes to travel and instead look for a deeper, more meaningful connection with the place that you’re in.