Dispelling the Myths Around Responsible Travel
From what you eat to what you wear, how you live to how you travel, leading a sustainable lifestyle can seem overwhelming. But don’t panic. Even though your Facebook feed is filled with tales of raw foodist eco-warriors and back-to-basic survivalists, extreme sacrifices aren’t the only way to make a meaningful impact on the well-being of our planet.
In 2009, Trafalgar launched JoinTrafalgar based on three fundamental pillars: helping PEOPLE, preserving PLACES & WILDLIFE and caring for our PLANET. And, alongside TreadRight, a non-profit organization created by their parent company, The Travel Corp., JoinTrafalgar has initiated several programs to begin transforming travel into a force for good.
To help you realize just how easy it is to make your vacations matter, we want to dispel three major myths surrounding responsible travel.
Myth #1 – You’ve got to get dirty to make a difference
Getting your hands dirty digging wells and building schools is honestly a great, and fulfilling, way to give back to the communities where you travel. And, if you want to volunteer on your next vacation, options are available. But, there are so many ways to give back without sacrificing your dream of the perfect, relaxing, manual labor-free vacation.
JoinTrafalgar experiences let you make a difference during your holiday while still enjoying all the highlights that attracted you to the destination in the first place. As you Connect with Locals through our exclusive Be My Guest experiences, you will be welcomed into the homes, onto the farms and, sometimes, even into the kitchens of your local hosts as you share a meal, learn about their culture and experience a day in the life of the people that make each destination so unique. And, your visit helps these local communities thrive by supporting small businesses and allow locals to preserve their traditions for future generations.
Myth #2 – Traveling responsibly means sacrificing convenience
Not even close. Did you know that coach travel is one of the greenest transportation options available? Think of it as a giant carpool, eliminating the need for rental cars, taxi rides and other individual vehicles. And it’s more convenient than trying to navigate the traffic laws or confusing public transport system in an unfamiliar country. Furthermore, a fuel-efficient coach, like the ones used on our tours, uses 85 percent fewer CO2 per passenger-kilometer than car or air travel and 40 percent less than traveling by train. Comfort and conservation, all in one.
Myth #3 – Ecotourism is the only way to be an eco-warrior
Green this, eco that. It’s not what you call it; it’s what it does that matters. You don’t have to embark on an ecotourism holiday or stay in a hut in the jungle with no running water to make your travel more sustainable. By making small changes, you can be an eco-warrior every time you travel. For example, cutting down on plastic waste. We have banned single-use plastics in our offices and are on the way to doing so on all our trips. We’ve already banned the sale of plastic bottles on our coaches in North America and Europe, and we are on target to being completely single-use plastic free by 2022. You can do your part by bringing reusable water bottles and cutlery along on your travels.
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Nicki Danvers is a partner marketing manager at Trafalgar.