Karen is a freelance editor and writer from London. She specialises in responsible tourism, sustainable living, wellbeing and music. She contributes to a variety of titles including Adventure.com, High Life, Grazia, Soho House, The Independent, Wanderlust and, of course, Time Out.

Karen Edwards

Karen Edwards

Contributor, Travel

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Articles (7)

14 sustainable travel companies you can feel good about booking with

14 sustainable travel companies you can feel good about booking with

While we don’t want to labour on the negatives, you don’t need to be an expert or activist to understand that we are in a climate pinch. It seems a little contradictory to fear for the future while excitedly encouraging international travel, but we humans are an innovative bunch. Exploring the globe doesn’t need to be devastating, and being a responsible traveller doesn’t mean lectures and negativity. Whether you call it eco-travel, sustainable, ethical, regenerative or eco-travel, there is plenty to get excited about. An increasing number of sustainable travel companies are creating itineraries that allow curious minds to see the world while keeping the impact down. The experiences are awe-inspiring, from hiking remote mountaintops to embracing the world’s most impressive national parks, allowing visitors to engage with destinations in a way that extends far beyond the superficial. If you’re looking for an ethical and environmentally driven travel company for your next adventure, look no further. RECOMMENDED:  🍁 Five of the world’s wildest places and the people working to keep them that w🥾 The 16 best hikes in the world🌊 The 15 most spectacular places to swim in the world

5 countries that really need more travellers in 2023

5 countries that really need more travellers in 2023

While tourism across the world over the past year has somewhat recovered following the pandemic, the industry isn’t quite yet fully back on its feet. And many nations have been forced to re-examine how they should fill the revenue gap that thousands, sometimes millions, of travellers once brought to their economies. The loss in income, on both an individual and national level, has remained huge in some places – with the impact on infrastructure development and conservation efforts also stalling. For the many people working in the travel and tourism industry, and the communities who support or depend on it, the recovery continues to be slow and gruelling. So, while 2023 should be the year we carry on rethinking how we travel and becoming more mindful about our carbon footprint, it is also the year where we should choose our holidays wisely, making a conscious decision about where is best to travel under the current circumstances. As you plan your trips, consider the following countries – they have had a particularly difficult time over the past few years.  RECOMMENDED: 12 ways to be a better tourist right now

9 flightless travel adventures for 2023

9 flightless travel adventures for 2023

As we all come out blinking from a bewildering few years for travel, it appears that 2023 is the year we’ll return to full-scale normality. All-out travel is back – and the possibilities are endless. However, an entire return to normal isn’t perhaps what we should be wishing for. With the climate crisis and stories of overtourism dominating the headlines, there’s no getting away from the fact that sustainable tourism is important. Put simply, the way we travel must change for the better. One powerful way to do this is by flying less, particularly as transport-related emissions from the tourism industry account for such a significant percentage of both global transport emissions and man-made greenhouse emissions. If we all opted to fly less, there would be a significant reduction in carbon being emitted into the atmosphere. So, whether you’re planning to flop on a beach or embark on an adventure-filled journey, here are nine brilliant trip options to enjoy without setting foot on an aeroplane. RECOMMENDED:🏕 Essential ways to be a better tourist right now🗺 The best sustainable ecotourism destinations⏱ These cities could be underwater by 2030  

The 7 best sustainable ecotourism destinations

The 7 best sustainable ecotourism destinations

If there’s one thing the pandemic gave us, it’s the time to consider how we contribute to the ongoing battle against climate change. The truth is, travelling does come with an environmental and, often, cultural cost – but by choosing to travel more responsibly and sustainably, you can help to balance the negative impacts of tourism. As individual travellers, this means being culturally aware before we set foot in the country, acknowledging the history – good and bad – of a place. Choosing destinations that have already adopted locally-beneficial initiatives, such as investing in the surrounding communities or pledging to look after nearby ecosystems, is equally important. Take the time to book through ethical operators, who proudly showcase their commitment to eco-conscious and community-led programmes. After all, championing the places pushing for better tourism is a great way to show governments that consumers support sustainable travel too. Here are seven destinations that have already signed up to a more considerate way of life: all of them are well worth a visit as the world reopens. RECOMMENDED: 🥾 12 ways to be a better tourist right now🚂 11 of the most incredible train journeys around the world

Sustainable travel: 12 ways to be a better tourist right now

Sustainable travel: 12 ways to be a better tourist right now

Many of us already live pretty eco-conscious lives. You might have swapped to a reusable coffee cup or take public transport on the regs, you might say no to single-use plastics and use a green energy provider. That’s all great, obviously, and businesses are finally switching up what they do, too. But one thing we shouldn’t overlook – and it’s quite a biggie – is the impact of our holidays. So with COP27 about to get underway in Egypt, now’s a good time to think about the carbon emissions and waste and other certified bad stuff produced by the travel industry. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to explore the world without damaging it, and often you’ll be able to do your bit to support local communities as well. Here are 12 tips to consider when planning your next trip: so pack your eco-friendly suncream and enjoy a properly green getaway. RECOMMENDED: The 15 most spectacular national parks in the world

7 ways to have a greener, more eco-friendly Christmas in 2021

7 ways to have a greener, more eco-friendly Christmas in 2021

The festive season is fast approaching, and the shops are already tantalising us with their sparkling fairy lights, glistening tinsel and abundance of festive food. It’s almost a tradition to write off December as the month of overindulgence, but with a very real environmental crisis on our hands, perhaps we should all put a little more consideration into how we celebrate this year. From buying presents and decorating your home to the never-ending feasts and parties, it’s hard to imagine how it’s possible to make Christmas eco-friendly. But fear not – there are plenty of ways to delve into the spirit of the season without turning into Scrooge. Whether you’re partying your way through the month or planning a simple day at home with loved ones, here are a few easy and sustainable ways to enjoy yourself while keeping the planet front of mind.

10 once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences that put animals first

10 once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences that put animals first

Whether you dream of exploring colourful underwater reefs or going on a safari across the southern African plains, encountering wildlife in its natural habitat is a fascinating, humbling and often life-changing experience. As international travel reopens after 18 months of restrictions, these bucket-list trips will no doubt become more popular. Yet with issues such as overtourism, poaching, habitat loss and climate change heavily effecting countless species – putting many in danger of extinction – supporting wildlife tourism that prioritises animal welfare is now more important than ever. Booking with ethical operators is the first step. These are the companies who hire well-trained guides, understand wildlife behaviour and advocate for their safety. They care enough to provide an informed experience – educating visitors about animal physiology and the threats they face – while investing in the people and environment impacted by tourism. Considering an animal-themed trip in 2021? Here are ten once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences that put animals first. RECOMMENDED: 12 ways to be a better tourist right now