There are few things as special as booking your holidays, but it can be tough these days to find ways to travel without impacting the environment. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize your carbon footprint and make sure you can enjoy a greener family holiday.
Stay Close to Home
You may like to occasionally venture further afield, but if you go on several family holidays a year, why not make sure at least some of them are enjoyed close to home. Save up your bigger trips to make the most out of them, and spend the rest of your holidays exploring the areas nearby – after all, the most important thing about a holiday is the time you spend together.
A flight to New Zealand or any other far flung destination is likely to impact your carbon footprint heavily and for most long haul destinations is unavoidable – cycling to New Zealand just isn’t feasible. However, as unavoidable as this is, that shouldn’t stop you from going. There are plenty of ways you can go out of your way to reduce your carbon footprint once you arrive.
Choose your Accommodations Wisely
Your accommodations can be instrumental in reducing the amount of impact your holiday has on the environment, and most hotels and hostels make it hard for you to work out how eco-friendly they really are. Search for organic farms, green holiday homes that are happy to show their credentials, or think about camping or even caravaning.
Perfect for families, a cycling holiday is a great way to bond as well as to explore a new place. Hire bikes or take them with you – if you’re taking the train or flying to your destination, find out whether you can pay to pack your bikes.
Be aware that some companies might have a large surcharge and it might be more practical to find a hire company.
Use Public Transport
If you’re holidaying far away from home, it can be tempting to hire a car or rely on taxis but by choosing public transport you can be drastically reducing the amount of energy your family expends. Buses, trains and trams are great ways to explore when you’re on holiday, and they can also offer you a better way to experience a new place than from behind the wheel of a car.
Look out for Green Ratings
These can help you find the best places for you and your family to stay. If you’re thinking of travelling in Europe, the Travel Life Green Leaf logo is a good way to work out whether someone takes their green responsibilities seriously, and in America the ASTA Green Member logo is a good indicator too. Also, the Association of Independent Tour Operators can be a great and unbiased resource for finding greener places to holiday.
Enjoying a greener family holiday doesn’t mean having to give up any of the fun of travelling, it just means you need to be a little more creative in the planning stage. Book wisely and you can enjoy a green holiday with a clean conscience.
About the Author
James writes for cheap flights specialists Skyscanner.net.