Sustainable travel: How to make your holidays more eco-friendly
Sustainable travel. Eco-friendly holidays. Going green. Whatever you want to call it, acting responsibly is a key aspect of travel. From switching to reef-friendly sun cream to supporting conservation and community projects, there’s plenty that can be done to ensure your adventures are that little bit more sustainable. Here are just a few of our top tips…
Make the journey worthwhile
The most environmentally friendly way to travel is to avoid flying, so if you’re really serious about your carbon footprint then no-fly river cruises, rail holidays and UK breaks are all ideal options. If you’re dreaming of a far-flung destination, plan to stay longer in your destination (if you can) for a more eco-conscious trip. Instead of a long weekend in New York, for example, you could spend a couple of weeks exploring more of the east coast, or even venture north to Toronto and Montréal.
Reduce plastic waste
Being mindful of plastic consumption is something we all do at home. But it’s something that’s really easy to continue when you travel, too. Pack your own shampoo and body gel instead of using hotel minis (save on suitcase space by decanting your products into reusable miniature bottles), bring a canvas tote for any souvenir shopping, and look for biodegradable wet wipes. If you prefer drinking through a straw, reusable metal or bamboo ones are ideal for eco-friendly travel.
Pop a refillable water bottle in your hand luggage to avoid buying bottled water everywhere (insulated ones are great for keeping water nice and cool in hot weather). We’ll provide one for you on some of our Asia escorted tours and on our river cruises (where the switch has helped us to save a staggering 20,000 plastic bottles per year).
If you buy anything new for your trip, make sure you unwrap it and dispose of the packaging before you leave – it’s a lot easier to recycle at home than it is to try and find the right type of bin in a hotel or when you’re out and about abroad.
Support your destination
Look for local-led experiences and excursions that put money back into the community. Not only are these more sustainable in the long term, they also tend to give you a brilliant window into your destination. It’s not just at an individual level – travel companies also need to play their part. Wherever we can, we actively source excursions and experiences that benefit the local economy.
In Armenia, for example, we support a network of small enterprises by taking travellers to experience traditional cuisine with local families in their homes. We also partner with Mala Mala in South Africa, one of the few safari camps that’s actually owned by the local community.
The drastic decline in travel last year highlighted just how many people rely on tourism. Without visitors, small business owners lose out on customers, food suppliers lose business with restaurants, hoteliers are left with empty properties. When it is time to travel again, make sure you buy local when you’re away – pick up snacks or local produce from markets, look for souvenirs and gifts that have been handcrafted in your destination, and support independent shops and restaurants wherever you can.
In the smartphone era there’s no need to print off reams of paper to take on holiday with you. Boarding passes can often be saved to your phone, Google maps can be downloaded to view offline (no need for WiFi or data roaming) and apps like TripIt can help with collating your itinerary details. If you’d like to go paperless for your Titan holiday, just let us know when you book – we’ll email you all your documents so you can save them to a phone or tablet.
You can even make your pre-holiday browsing greener. Ecosia is a search engine which plants trees using the money its ads generate, so you can help the environment while planning your next eco-friendly holidays.
For more inspiration, take a look at our Worldwide brochure or UK short breaks, or speak to one of our travel advisors.
Although she loves a lie-in at home, Laura is often up and about before dawn on holiday. She’s watched the sun rise over the Grand Canyon, Uluru and Angkor Wat, but her favourite was seeing the first light of the New Year sweeping across the yacht-dotted waters of Sydney Harbour.
Why choose a Titan Travel tour or cruise?
Our award-winning collection of holidays covers all seven continents, with carefully planned itineraries ranging from rail journeys and river cruises, to small-group adventures and trips exclusively for solo travellers.