Travel gives us so much, so it’s time to give something back. From the breath-taking beauty of the places you visit to the local people who bring them to life, responsible travel helps safeguard destinations’ natural and cultural heritage for generations to come. And making a difference is easier than you think.
To kick off our Earth Month celebrations and our mission to simplify sustainability, we have put together some simple tips to help you make your travels more meaningful.
5 easy ways to make travel matter:
1) Give back by volunteering
Ever thought about doing a volunteering vacation? Voluntourism lets you give back to local communities via hands-on volunteer experiences, while at the same time building a genuine connection with the people whose lives you’re helping change. But, make sure to do your research and choose the right company to coordinate your activities to ensure they will truly benefit the community. We recommend ME to WE.
Experience volunteering with Trafalgar and ME to WE on our India Trip Extension.
2) Travel with companies that make a difference
Choose a travel company that is committed to making a difference in the destinations they visit – through concrete action not just words. Our JoinTrafalgar programme operates on the three basic principles of helping people, preserving places & wildlife, and caring for the planet. And, we walk the talk with more than 80 trips featuring ways you can give back, including supporting local traditions and livelihoods through our Be My Guest encounters and off-the-beaten path experiences.
3) Give the gift of giving
Too often, we give gifts that are greeted with an enthusiastic thank you and then put aside and forgotten. While the impact of these gifts is fleeting, the waste created by their packaging and wrapping can last for decades. So why not give a gift that lasts in its impact, not its carbon footprint, by donating to a charitable cause that’s important to you or your loved one, and make a difference through the simple act of giving.
4) Respect wildlife, at home and abroad
If you visit the zoo, do research to confirm that it operates not for mere entertainment but to work towards the conservation of the animals it houses. Likewise, avoid circuses that use animals for entertainment, and abstain from riding animals if their health and care is questionable. As part of the joint mission set forth by our parent company’s not-for-profit foundation TreadRight and JoinTrafalgar to protect wildlife around the world, we never send guests to venues where elephants are ridden or forced to perform. We believe in respecting the rights of not just the people but the wildlife and marine life with which we share this precious planet.
5) Make travel a force for good
Through travel, you can help sustain local communities in the destinations you travel to. Your tourism dollars can be a powerful driver of economic growth, so make sure they are being spent wisely. Look for businesses that use profits to benefit community development, human and environmental wellbeing so your next holiday can help preserve the biodiversity, culture and traditions of the places you visit.
We are doing are part to make travel matter, but the journey towards a sustainable future requires everyone to do pitch in. To join us in our Earth Month Evolution, we’ve enlisted Craig Kielburger co-founder of the WE Charity as one of our four Earth Month Ambassadors to further inspire you to make a difference.
Take a look at his tips for making your travels more meaningful. And stay-tuned the rest of April for more simple, actionable tips on how to incorporate sustainability into your life and travels all year long.