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.
14 sustainable travel companies you can feel good about booking with
Whether you call it eco-travel, green travel, sustainable, ethical or regenerative travel, if you’re an impact-minded traveler concerned about your imprint upon the Earth’s ecosystems and local cultures, you probably want to choose your travel experiences and providers carefully. But being a responsible traveler doesn’t have to be a buzz-kill. Diving unspoiled reefs, hiking remote mountaintops in the world’s best national parks, observing Africa’s big game, building wells in a remote village – the sky is the limit when it comes to where and how travelers engage with destinations in meaningful, exciting ways. The critical link often comes down to the travel company who plans, organises, stages and conducts your trip. So, when it comes time to plan your next purposeful adventure, you won’t go wrong by enlisting the expertise of the following travel companies. From flight-free holidays to ecotourism activities, these are some of the more ethical and environmentally driven players in the global travel business. RECOMMENDED: 12 ways to be a better tourist right now
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
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
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
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
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
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