Eco-friendly holidays

Travel sustainably


Travel tips





Our planet is undeniably beautiful. The vastness of the sea, the richness of nature and the variety of landscapes are just some of Earth’s incredible treasures. One of the joys of travelling is getting to experience the beauty that the world has to offer, and it's becoming more and more important that we take steps to minimise our impact on the environment when we do travel. We need to preserve what we love.

Fortunately, there are various ways to make travel more sustainable, reduce environmental impact and preserve nature, while still enjoying action-packed, unforgettable travel experiences.

Here are some of our tips to make your next holiday more sustainable, answers to questions you might have about sustainable travel and some fantastic sustainable hotels and destinations that might inspire your next getaway.

Tips for sustainable travel

Planning is key

Choose your destination wisely

You don’t necessarily need to travel to the other side of the world to find exceptional beauty – some of the best travel experiences are closer than you think. The UK has some incredible holiday destinations, whether you’re after a coastal getaway, a countryside escape or a city break. What’s more, some of the best cities in Europe, such as Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, can be reached in just a couple of hours with the Eurostar.

Many popular tourist destinations are actually spearheading the growth of eco-tourism and the list of sustainable hotels is constantly growing.

Our tip: Consider a sustainable hotel for your next getaway.

Take your time

Is your dream to go far? Whether it's a paradise holiday in the Maldives, an exciting trip to New York or a cultural break in Southeast Asia, take your time and give yourself the luxury of really exploring a destination, rather than limiting yourself to a short escape and discovering it superficially. Travel slowly, take your time and really discover the destination you’re visiting and its culture.

You can also support environmental organisations such as Atmosfair and myclimate and offset the carbon footprint of your holiday.

Our tip: One long holiday is better than several short trips.

Pack carefully

When packing, consider brining a reusable water bottle and a tote bag so you can avoid the use of plastic bottles and plastic bags during your stay. And don't forget that lightweight luggage makes travel easier, saves time and helps reduce CO₂ emissions.

Our tip: Don’t forget to use refillable containers for your toiletries!

Get inspired before you leave

Find out about authentic experiences and sustainable excursions before your departure, learn a few words of the local language, and familiarise yourself with the customs and traditions of the country. This will allow you to leave well prepared, but also to show your respect to the country you're visiting, to its people and its culture.

Our tip: To get in the mood and be fully prepared for your adventure, research things to do in advance.

Tips during your stay

Use resources responsibly

Water is a vital and often scarce resource, especially in the summer, so use it responsibly when you are on holiday. For example, you can help your hotel save water by using towels multiple times and not asking them to be changed every day. Doing your best to save electricity on holiday is also an essential environmentally-friendly behaviour.

Our tip: Remember to turn off lights and air conditioning when you leave your hotel room.

Protect nature

Traveling responsibly also means being mindful and respectful of the nature around you. If you are hiking in a nature reserve, stay on the marked trails to protect the fauna and flora. Always bring a small paper/fabric bag with you to collect your waste (or litter you find on your way). Also, when swimming or going out to sea, use a mineral sunscreen without nanoparticles. This is to avoid damaging corals and marine ecosystems.

Our tip: when you can, opt for excursions or other guided tours that are organised in a sustainable way or by local providers who are concerned about the protection of the environment.

Support local businesses

Tourism is of huge economic importance for many regions and countries. It is therefore always recommended to support the locals by buying food from local shops or markets. For lunch or dinner, opt for family-run restaurants that offer regional, homemade and seasonal cuisine. In terms of souvenirs, consider buying handcrafted products sold in independent shops.

Our tip: Discover the local culture by opting for authentic cuisine.

Use public transport

Whenever possible, use public transport, walk or rent a bicycle. Rickshaws are also a sustainable means of transport.

Our tip: Exploring on two wheels is particularly enjoyable in Europe's bike-friendly cities.


What does it mean to travel sustainably?

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sustainable tourism (or ecotourism) takes into account current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, and also addresses the “needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities”. Travelling sustainably, therefore means travelling respectfully and responsibly. This includes reducing the ecological footprint of the trip as much as possible, being careful with the use of resources and being open to people, nature and traditions and customs in the destination.

Why travel sustainably?

Travel has an impact on the environment: the CO₂ emissions of global tourism contribute to climate change, landscapes are changed due to tourism infrastructure, water pollution and waste remain on-site even after holidaymakers have left. In order to preserve the attractiveness of popular destinations and the beauty of them for future generations, it is necessary to adopt a conscious approach to limited resources. Anyone who travels sustainably contributes to the protection of nature and local culture. Travelling responsibly does not mean giving up travelling. On the contrary, an environmentally-friendly approach allows you to sharpen your gaze on what is worth preserving. By making responsible decisions on your trip, you can fully enjoy it.

How do I travel sustainably?

On this page, you’ll find some useful tips for traveling in a more sustainable way. Planning and organising your holidays is a fundamental element for sustainable travel, so if you are already thinking about this, you’ve already taken a big step towards travelling sustainably.

To help you plan your holiday, there are a few questions you can ask yourself: what is the most suitable destination for me? Are there any destinations that make it easier to be sustainable? Which sustainable cities are worth visiting? What is the most sustainable means of getting to my destination of choice? If I choose air travel, can I stay long enough to make the trip worthwhile? Which sustainable hotels best suit my expectations and budget? Are there eco-friendly activities I can take part in (e.g. diving trips that preserve the marine ecosystem, beach clean-ups, etc.)?

During your stay, a careful and responsible attitude is essential for sustainable travel. Enjoying your holidays while keeping in mind the impact of our actions is the key to an unforgettable getaway.


Find inspiration for your next sustainable holiday

Sustainable destinations

Eurostar city breaks

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