Helen Dugdale

Small Steps To Make Your Family Travel Sustainable

We want to make sustainable family travel a habit not just a confusing buzz word that gets banded around. But how can you be environmentally friendly as a family without spending all your time constantly checking that everyone is using the right bin?

Let’s get something straight, to be an environmentally conscious family whilst planning or enjoying your holiday, you don’t need to just sleep in a tepee or only travel on foot. It simply means that you’re more aware of where you go and what you do and tweak the choices that will help you to lessen your (negative) impact on the world around you. Those choices may only make a small difference individually, but when added together, can make a whopping difference!

© Luggage, where to head to next?

Deckchair Adventures wants to bring sustainable travel into the mainstream

We want to make travelling sustainably as natural as packing a book and some undies. It’s something that kids should be taught from an early age, so it just becomes second nature. As the population of the world continues to rise, becoming more globalised and richer than ever before, tourism and holiday options will continue to increase, placing more and more pressure on the resources and global treasures that we love.

Here are our top 6 things to do to get you started…

Make the most of air travel

We already know that flying is bad for the environment. But admit it, not many families will want to sign a pledge stating that they’ll never board a plane again. What it does mean is that when we’re booking flights we should be trying to make as much out of each flight as possible. It can be as simple as when booking long haul stay in your chosen destination for a longer or use stopovers as a way of visiting more places along the way. For instance, you might stop in Dubai or Hong Kong for two nights on the back from a three-week trip to Australia, instead of just a two-hour layover.

Stay in places with a green policy

One of the biggest decisions that you’ll have to make when travelling is where you should stay. The options are endless from luxury hotel to eco-lodges, it’s just worth adjusting your choices based on the measures that each company takes to be more “green.” If you can’t find any details on their website, don’t be afraid to ask them. If they don’t have an environmental policy in place your questioning may trigger them to produce one.

Rethinking your packing

Keeping sustainability at the front of your mind when packing can often mean that you take less of the stuff you don’t need. Simple things like familiarising yourself where the local shops are before you arrive can help reduce the need to pack bulky toiletries, as at your final destination you can nip to the shop to purchase the essentials. This way you’ll also be adding to the local economy.

Take the road less travelled

At Deckchair Adventures it’s our obsession to visit the places that other people are missing out on as they all head to the same old ‘bucket list’ locations. Looking for places that are further away from the crowds will not only help you to get a more authentic experience during your trip but also help with cutting down the chances of popular sights becoming further degraded due to excessive trampling from thousands of tourists in walking boots and flips flops.

Payback, why not volunteer?

If you want to take your travel experience to the next level, then why not volunteer during your holiday? Even if you only take a day out or a couple of hours to offer some help to a local cause, you will get to know new people and learn some new skills that could easily come in handy at home, and you’re giving back too, what could be better?

Support responsible travel companies

It may take a little more planning and time to find a more responsible travel company or accommodation, but it can be worth it, remember all the little things add up! Just as you can look for sustainable hotels online, you can also find out crucial information about the environmental practices of the companies you’ve chosen to travel with. It’s all about the research and asking questions.

© Annie Spratt