Week 42 - 7 Eco Holiday Ideas
Last week I wrote about the reasons to avoid all inclusive holidays. Today I offer you 7 alternatives that are all much more eco-friendly, varying from a traditional self catering holiday to a working holiday learning new countryside skills. What will your next holiday be and will it be great for the environment?
7 Green Holiday Ideas
1. Independently owned and managed holiday cottages
If you book your holiday direct with the owner then you are supporting a family run business. They will be putting money back into the local economy and you will not simply be lining the pockets of big multinational organisations. Many of the large online travel agents also charge booking fees and certainly cannot offer the personal service you get with owners. Owner-managers can help answer all your questions and help you find things like local organic food shops and ideas for green days out. You might want to choose a holiday on a farm which is a great way to see how food is produced and to learn about the countryside. So what about a holiday at Eco-Gites of Lenault on the smallholding in France that I run with my husband and boys? Use the hashtag #HolsDirect to search on social media.
2. Eco-labelled holidays
Look for holidays that are specifically marketed as eco-friendly - they could include buildings constructed from reclaimed/green materials, those using renewable energy or offering organic/fair-trade food etc and are all likely to be more sustainable than large scale resorts. Examples include eco cottages/lodges, small scale eco cruises or responsible eco-tours.
3. Walking/Cycling Holidays
If you like your holidays to be a bit more active what about walking a ling distance footpath or cycling across a country? Many companies offer organised trips where your luggage is transported to your accommodation and all you have to do is walk or cycle to the next stop.
4. Canal holidays
Here's a great way to see the countryside but maybe slightly less energetic than walking or cycling.
5. Conservation Working Holidays
Another active idea here - organisation like the The Conservation Volunteers, The National Trust and the Wildlife Trusts (UK) organise holidays for groups of people to learn conservation skills through practical holidays. Full training is given so you don't need any prior experience and you could become adept in such skills as dry stone walling, hedge laying, fencing or woodland management.
Keep it simple and get back to Nature, sleeping under the stars - you don't need to buy all the newest and most expensive camping kit but I would recommend buying the best quality tent you can afford so that it lasts.
7. Avoid flying - use the train or ferry
What-ever holiday you choose try to avoid flying and use public transport where possible. This could be a ferry or train to get there and choose a holiday with good public transport links. If this isn't possible (and in the case of Eco-Gites of Lenault we do recommend a car when you visit us) then look for activities to do locally that limit your car use (as I detailed in this blog post!).
Remember, when you are on holiday do support local tourist attractions and businesses, eat in local restaurants and buy form local markets/traders. Do not be tempted to buy mass produced gifts for your friends back home but go for those made locally - all this will put money back into and support the local economy.
Finally - this may be an often used saying but when it comes to holidays it is never more true:
Do you have any other green holiday ideas - maybe something you have already done or is on your travel bucket list?
Have you seen all the other posts in my #WeeklyGreenTips series? Click on "Weekly Green Tips" in the labels section in the right hand column for loads more green inspiration.