glerups have been loved by travellers for decades, and we’ve loved nature just as long, so it makes sense to share our top tips for travelling well.
We all understand the dichotomy - travel can deliver incredible benefits to individual travellers and the communities they visit. It also has potential for harm. The pandemic offered a much-needed reset for visitors and destinations. Now that we’re able to be out exploring the world again, we can take some of those lessons with us to be better travellers.
The lowest impact trip is the staycation, so have a think about your holiday goals and ask if they can be achieved without the big travel miles. If your main motivation is time out with your family, you might be able to engineer a nearby escape that delivers.
Support good operators
Some pockets of the travel industry are seriously upping their game in response to climate change. Queenstown has declared it will have carbon neutral tourism by 2030. And a group of operators in the top of the South Island have joined together in a commitment to regenerative tourism. The Nelson-Tasman region has developed a Zero Carbon Itinerary for visitors. Wherever you go, seek out the operators who are committed to doing things differently and can demonstrate how they are making a difference.
Choose public transport, walking and cycling wherever possible. If you need a private vehicle, look for an electric car. Good Travel Go Electric Eco Tour offers an itinerary and discounts for a South Island electric car road trip, complete with accommodation, food and experience recommendations.
A simple Keep Cup and reusable drink bottle can cut out a lot of waste on a holiday. Say not to brochures, too, and use websites or photos to follow up instead.
Eco-accommodation options are springing up everywhere - and include some incredible options from tree houses to glass houses to geodesic glamping structures. Be a good guest by ignoring single use toiletries and packing in your own, by minimising cleaning and using towels more than once.
For local communities to reap the economic benefits of tourism, the money needs to end up in local hands. Look for local shops and restaurants to spend your money in and ask where food and goods come from. Local food is the most sustainable food. By prioritising local with each purchase, your tourism dollar can benefit local people and families.
Explore the wilderness or visit a wildlife sanctuary. Getting to know nature motivates us and our fellow travellers (especially the small ones) to be more committed to protecting it.
Regenerative tourism, like regenerative agriculture, gives more than it takes. Some of the most meaningful travel experiences out there are opportunities to take part, volunteer your time, connect and give back. Hunt out “voluntourism” opportunities wherever you go.