Responsible travel, sustainable travel, eco-travel - call the concept what you will, but these buzzwords are making waves, and with good reason. We all want to safeguard our beloved planet, but we don't want to (and shouldn't) give up travel altogether, so how can we create the conditions for the two concerns to coexist harmoniously? Well, the good news is that with some small changes and conscious choices surrounding our travels, we can all make a difference, and Original Travel are determined to help our clients (and staff) to travel responsibly in a genuinely meaningful - but still fun and rewarding - way. So here are some of our top tips for how to travel responsibly in 2020...
1. Why Fly?
Beyond our carbon neutral pledge, when it comes to flying there are a few things you might want to consider before you book to make your flight as low impact as possible. Is your destination reachable by any other method of transport such as train, boat or some other kind of wonderful combination? We can help you devise a master plan, but if you need to fly (with totally off-set carbon), try and avoid taking multiple short haul flights or flights with multiple stopovers. Once you're in situ, consider travelling domestically by train - you'll see more of the country and have a blast on the way.
2. Best Guest
Be a responsible guest. Choose a hotel with good eco-credentials that supports the environment and local people (we will help with this). Be sure to turn off electricity and air con when leaving a room, reuse your towels, and try not to use disposable toiletries (shout out to California which has banned single-use plastics in hotel rooms). Pack your own reusable water bottle and reusable bags and avoid single-use plastics. When it comes to buying souvenirs, avoid any made from shells, coral, leather or other materials that could be illegally sourced. While we are on the subject of souvenirs, ideally opt for those that are locally made. They might cost more but buying local helps to support local people, and they're often much better quality. Win-win.
3. Mind of Your Own
Be mindful of the environment. When you are hiking, stick to marked trails in order to minimise the risk of harming the local flora and fauna (you could even take a bag with you to pick up rubbish as you go). Choose an eco-mode of transport, like taking a bike instead of a car, and try to avoid places that suffer from overtourism; by not adding to the crowds, you will minimise the risk of causing more damage to these areas and help to support lesser-known locations and businesses.
4. Pick and Choose
Make a choice. You can choose your holiday destination based on where will benefit from your money or when you are in a destination, you can get really hands on and take part in activities that help the environment, such as joining the excellent Rhinos Without Borders charity on a rhino release.
Are you wanting to travel reponsibly this year? Get in touch with our experts today.