Sustainable Travel Tips: Seeing The World Without Destroying it

In 2022, the number of worldwide international tourist arrivals reached approximately 917 million. While there are many advantages to tourism (including employment opportunities, social benefits, and stimulation of economic growth), an increase in international travel has also seen a rise in carbon emissions, destruction of natural habitats, and exploitation of natural resources.

Thankfully, reducing these impacts does not mean you have to close the door on international travel altogether. There are a number of ways you can continue to explore the four corners of the world through sustainable travel.


Two puffins sitting on a sunny cliff

Copyright: Menno Schaefer /

What is sustainable travel?

Sustainable travel is all about minimising the negative environmental, social, and economic impacts of your trip. From the moment you begin booking your trip until you arrive back home again, the best practices should be used to ensure that you are not only reducing the negative effects of tourism, but also increasing the positives. 

How to travel sustainably

Changes to the way you travel that will ensure the places you visit are preserved for years to come. We’ve put together a list of our top sustainable travel tips. 

Travel by road or train

A train travelling through the mountains

Copyright: Apolinariy / Shutterstock

Flight shame, from the Swedish “Flygskam”, has become a popular sensation for many people travelling by plane. This term refers to the guilt that people feel for travelling by plane at a time when we are all desperately trying to cut down our carbon emissions. 

Globally, the aviation industry accounts for 2.5% of total CO2 emissions. In light of this news, many people are now offsetting their carbon emissions through companies such as Atmosfair and Tentree. While the work these companies are doing is a huge step in the right direction, many experts highlight the problem with carbon offsetting, namely that it doesn’t really work. For example, when planting trees to offset emissions it will take 15-30 years for trees to grow big enough to begin absorbing this carbon dioxide. 

The best way to cut out, or dramatically reduce, these CO2 emissions is to skip the flights altogether. To put things into perspective, taking the train from London to Paris instead of flying would reduce your CO2 emissions by up to 90%

Take the path less travelled


Copyright: Seb C’est Bien / Shutterstock & Photopank PL / Shutterstock

Hundreds and thousands of tourists travelling to popular destinations during peak season results in the phenomenon that is now known as overtourism (or mass tourism). This can cause damage to ecosystems, as well as making life very difficult for local people both in and out of peak season. 

Reduce overtourism by heading off the beaten track and exploring some of the lesser-known parts of the globe. There’s a good chance the experiences you have will be far more unique and valuable as a result. 

If parting ways with bucket list destinations like the Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu sounds too troubling, how about visiting during the quiet season instead? Not only will you avoid the hustle and bustle, but you’ll also be supporting local businesses that may struggle outside of peak season.

Reusables help you minimise waste while you travel

Away from the comforts of home, we are much more likely to find ourselves reaching for plastic bottles of water in 7-eleven, or grabbing a take-away in plastic packaging. The eco-friendly habits we’ve developed at home end up slipping out of the window. 

Solve this problem by coming prepared. Switching to a reusable bottle saves around 150 single-use plastic bottles from being thrown away each year. If you’re worried about the water quality in your destination, consider a reusable bottle with a built-in filter or water purifier.

You can also avoid single-use plastics from takeaway by slowing down and opting to dine in. If your heart is set on takeaway, try to source cafes or restaurants that dish up their goodies in compostable packaging. 

Local, local, local!

Whether it’s products, services, or experiences you’re purchasing, shopping local is the best way to both minimise the negative impacts of tourism and as well as boost the positives.

Travelling to exotic parts of the world and eating at chain restaurants doesn’t benefit the local people, nor the planet. By choosing local accommodation, opting for local experiences, and eating at locally-owned, independent restaurants, you’ll be supporting the local economy and creating a positive impact.


A colourful market in Marrakech

Copyright: Serenity-H / Shutterstock

Use Airbnb with care

When first created, Airbnb was designed so that people could rent out their flat while they were away. As its popularity boomed, many discovered that renting out property on Airbnb is an extremely profitable (and largely unregulated) venture. The problem is, this has led to many people buying properties to rent out as short-term lets, leaving the locals with a competitive and unaffordable housing market. 

Many cities are now clamping down on this, including Barcelona where over 4,100 Airbnb were recently removed in a bid to prevent short-term rentals taking over neighbourhoods. People wanting to rent out a property on Airbnb in Barcelona are now required to obtain the relevant licences prior to listing it online. 

In Berlin, similar regulations have been introduced, under the name “zweckentfremdungsverbot”, also known as the “anti-Airbnb law”. As a result, only a few landlords have permits from the city for short-term Airbnb rentals, and hefty fines of up to 500,000 euros are used to enforce this. 

So, what are the ethical alternatives to Airbnb? Staying in traditional, licensed B&Bs as well as hotels, hostels, and lodges. You could also consider using house sitting websites such as Mind My House or Nomador as a cheaper alternative. 

Choose eco-friendly accommodation and travel operators

A beach hut

Copyright: PhotoRoman / Shutterstock

One of our top sustainable travel tips, and the best way you can support the environmentally-friendly travel and tourism industry, is to choose eco-friendly accommodation and travel operators. 

Studies have shown that a 200-room four star hotel can use nearly 300,000 pieces of single-use plastic in one month, including plastic water bottles, amenities and food packaging. The shift towards ecotourism has seen a rise in environmentally-friendly accommodation, such as Jetwing Surf in Sri Lanka and Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica, where plastic waste is reduced (or eliminated), local food is served, and buildings are made from sustainable materials. 

Activist travel companies, such as Responsible Travel, are a great way of booking trips without having to do all the research for yourself. These companies can help you book trips that support local communities and preserve nature for future generations.



Urbex: The 21st-Century Explorers

We all know that building; there’s at least one in every town. Perhaps it’s the crumbling old mansion on a hilltop that’s said to hold antique treasures or the once well-loved but now decaying Grade II listed pub that’s not had a landlord in years. Or maybe it’s the creepy house that was abandoned years ago under strange circumstances, from which people say they can hear whispering in the night.


Given the mystery and intrigue that often surround these sites and buildings, it’s not surprising that some people would be interested in visiting them. What is surprising, however, is how these places have now become a huge internet phenomenon known as ‘urbex.’ 


So, what exactly is urbex? And how did it become so popular online?

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Readers & Writers: Literature’s Most Controversial Characters

The literary world is filled with iconic characters adored the world over. Anyone who's read the Little Women series has a shared trauma from the death of beloved Beth, which famously left Joey Tribbiani from Friends utterly distraught for an entire episode. 

Say a word against Samwise Gamgee, Frodo's right-hand hobbit and loyal friend from Lord of The Rings, and there will no doubt be endless LOTR fans willing to jump to his defence. 

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who would openly dare to dislike early feminist icons like Lizzie Bennett, described by Austen herself as “delightful a creature ever appeared in print.” Or those with near-superhuman abilities to overcome the most difficult of circumstances, such as Celie in The Colour Purple. 

While characters such as these have cemented themselves as being amongst the most well-loved heroes of all time, there are some characters who, at best, are the literary equivalent of marmite.

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Readers & Writers: Songs by Famous Artists That Were Inspired by Literature

For many people, music and literature sit at the opposite ends of the creative world. With one art form based around the creation of sound and the other often enjoyed in complete silence, it can be easy to think of music and literature as two creative processes completely unrelated to one another.

A closer inspection into both worlds, however, and you’ll quickly find that the two art forms are deeply intertwined. From the storytelling components of the greatest lyrics to the musical references that colour many of our favourite novels, there’s no doubt that music and literature have been natural bedfellows for generations.

There have been some instances in music where an artist has taken direct influence from a piece of literature in their lyrics. From quoting iconic authors like George Orwell and J.G. Ballard to basing entire songs around the narrative theme of a classic novel, there are some musicians who’ve taken pride in wearing their literary influences on their sleeves.

With this in mind, we’ve made a list of classic songs that were directly inspired by famous literary works.

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Readers & Writers: My Favourite Childhood Books

(IFeature image credit: GoodStudio/Shutterstock)

This piece is part of our Readers and Writers series, where each of our content writers chooses an aspect of the written word that excites them.


The older I get, the harder it becomes to vividly remember my childhood. But one thing that does stand out are the books that I used to read as a child. 

One of my earliest childhood memories with books would be the annual summer reading task run by the local library. 

Nothing was more exhilarating than going to the library, choosing a book and taking it out, only to read it and return it a week later. By telling the librarian what the book was about, and why you enjoyed it, you then earnt a sticker. Do this another five times, and you could complete the summer reading challenge. 

Who would have thought that such a simple reward policy could bring so much joy?! 

And it was this that really cemented my love of reading growing up as a child. The library became a literary haven; a labyrinth of stories to enjoy, make-believe worlds to immerse yourself in and wonderful characters you aspired to be.  

With this in mind, I have decided to take a trip down memory lane, and revisit the 10 most memorable books from my childhood that have helped shape the passion for reading I have today as an adult. 

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What is Biohacking? How to Become Your Best Self Using Biology

We all want to perform our best, both physically and mentally. Whether it’s getting in shape, boosting memory or improving overall health, we love trying to better ourselves.

Self-improvement is the basis of biohacking: a means of becoming the best possible version of yourself by manipulating your own biology. But the scope of biohacking has grown over the years and the lengths individuals will take to “improve” themselves seem boundless.

So, what does “biohacking” really mean? Is it safe to practice and how can you apply its principles to upgrade your own life?

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5 Free Ways to Train Your Brain and Improve Your Mental Capacity

5 Free Ways to Train Your Brain and Improve Your Mental Capacity

We all know the importance of exercise—the means of moving your body to improve blood flow, concentration and overall health. But few of us consider how important it is to also exercise our brains.

As we age, our cognitive skills and memory dwindle and even thinking becomes harder. But, by exercising our brain regularly, we can improve both our mental capacity and memory as well as delay cognitive decline.

Known as neuroplasticity, your brain has the ability to learn and grow throughout your life by reorganising its structure and creating new neural pathways. But to achieve this you need to be training and ‘exercising’ your brain regularly.

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Is Negativity Losing Its Place on the Internet?

The dream for the internet, when it was first introduced, was to support human connection no matter the distance. What the founders may not have expected was the negativity and toxic atmosphere the creation soon descended into. However, it seems that negativity is being driven away by a barrage of accounts that only deliver positive news, movements that shape our world, and strict online laws that can change a person’s life. But, is negativity really losing its place on the internet?


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Ecotourism in the United Kingdom

Ecotourism can help in the complex process of repairing the ‘lungs’ of the earth. Image courtesy of Mynatour


The term ecotourism, coined in 1962 by Canadian environmentalist Robert Hunter (1941-2005), refers to a tourism model that is sustainable on nature. As the world grappled with the threat of climate change over the past couple of decades, the ethical concept of ecotourism has caught fire and emerged as one of the fastest growing sectors of the travel industry.

According to estimates, global ecotourism generated approximately $800 million and $1 billion annually. Cognizant of this fact, the United Kingdom has long been developing ecotourism as part of its broader tourism strategy. If you’re looking at some green vacation ideas for your next domestic holiday, here are a few ecotourism ideas to get you started.  


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The 10 Most Haunted Places in Britain

Fancy meeeting a headless horseman on the next All Hallows Eve? Then head on over to Minsden Chapel in Hertfordshire


Why do some of us enjoy ghost stories, horror movies and haunted houses? It’s a simple matter of chemistry. Fear is a biological survival mechanism. When we overcome fear, the brain releases several chemicals, such as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, to ‘celebrate’ the achievement, which gives us a happy, and at times, euphoric feeling. Seeing as we’re all about pleasing our readers, check out our list of the ten most haunted locations in Britain that will absolutely kick your dopamine levels into overdrive!


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