New Year, new travel habits? Make a change to how you travel in 2023 and leave a positive impact with these top tips...
1. Buy responsible luggage
Madlug bags are sleek, durable, and made in Belfast, and for every bag sold, this certified B Corp donates a bag to a child or young person in care. There are over 90,000 ‘looked after’ children and young people in the UK, many of whom are moved from placement to placement frequently without luggage to carry their possessions in. Madlug founder, Dave Linton, spoke of one looked-after person telling him that they had to carry all their belongings in a bin bag. Find out more, and buy a bag with a heart at madlug.com.
2. Choose green hotels
Many hotels have eco-friendly processes in place, such as refillable toiletries in the bathrooms, reduced linen services, and providing carafes or reusable water bottles instead of plastic ones. Eco Hotels has information on many hotels worldwide with their eco practises, and their green accreditations.
Other ways to know if you’re making the responsible choice include the menu options – is the produce advertised in season and locally sourced? Are the staff local and paid fairly? Does the hotel have any community outreach programmes that you can get involved with? Take a look at staybeyondgreem.com for more things to look out for when choosing your accommodation.
3. Support Local communities
Make sure you tip! Hotel staff, drivers, tour guides, restaurant staff etc., sometimes rely on tips from tourists. Another great way to support communities is by hiring local guides, these people will have a wealth of knowledge about the area that you’ll be hard-pressed to find yourself and can show you less visited spots to really make your friends back home jealous.
Invisible Cities is a UK social enterprise that employs and trains people who have experienced homelessness to become tour guides for their cities. The high-quality training provided includes soft, transferrable skills to help the recipient with pursuing other roles in hospitality. The walking tours available with Invisible Cities often have a niche theme and are a fantastic way to support the in-destination community and explore a new area. Find out more about Invisible Cities, and book a tour of a UK city near you here.
4. Make the journey part of the trip
Consider jumping on a train to get to short-haul destinations. There are some incredible views to be witnessed along the railways of Europe that you’d miss out on by flying, and that’s without mentioning the dramatically decreased levels of CO2 emitted by train travel compared to air. For example, Travelling by Eurostar from London to Paris emits 93.2% less CO2 than travelling by plane per passenger. Find out more about your emissions at ecopassenger.org
5. Shop local/ responsible
Buying souvenirs is a key part of any holiday – but try to stay away from anything that looks mass-produced as sometimes the people making these items are not treated well. Look instead for handmade items using local techniques – these make for authentic, responsible purchases.
If you can’t find anything suitable in destination – goodtrip, a UK social enterprise, produces responsible and sustainable souvenirs for worldwide destinations, and a percentage of every sale is donated to tourism charities that benefit people all around the world! Find out more and shop the collection at goodtrip.org. (Ps, if you use this link, 5% of your purchase will be donated to the Charitable Travel Fund.)
6. Make green flight choices
Take time to compare airlines, know your flight’s climate impact and make a qualified choice. You can find flights which use less CO2 with search engines like Google Flights and SkyScanner. You can also use Atmsofair to offset your flight’s carbon footprint, but many airlines offer this on their flights already.
7. Pack with a conscience
Fill your responsibly purchased luggage from Madlug with school and medical supplies, clothes, toys, and period products to donate to communities in the destinations you visit. US-based 501(c)(3) organisation, Pack for a Purpose has a wealth of information available for travellers to find places to donate, and what sort of items are sought-after.
Once you’ve made your donations – you’ll have more room in your luggage to pack your handmade souvenirs. It’s a win-win-win!
8. Volunteer while away
Here at Charitable Travel, we’re passionate about helping our customers leave a positive impact on the world when they travel. So we built a hub full of incredible opportunities to get stuck in and Volunteer while you’re away. With projects all over the world, you can get involved in beach-clean ups, caring for animals in rescue centres, and supporting research in conservation centres! Find out more in our Big Holiday Help Hub!
9. Book with an agent
Make the most of your holiday by booking with an expert travel agent. Not only will you be supporting a small or local business after an extended period of uncertainty, but you’ll also have access to a huge amount of knowledge and advice, ATOL, ABTA and financial protection to protect your money and holiday plans, and help to plan your perfect break.
10. Support charities with your holidays
Book your holiday with Charitable Travel! We’re a one-of-a-kind travel company that lets you donate a portion of your holiday price to the charity of your choice, completely free!
As a not-for-private-profit social enterprise, we sacrifice part of our commission to allow you to support the causes you care about while you book the holidays of your dreams at prices you’ll love. We’re an independent travel agent with the ability to sell holidays from almost 200 suppliers, so we have the perfect trip to suit everyone’s needs.
Find out more about our social purpose here.