Sustainable travel companies for your next trip

Summer is on the horizon, and you might have your heart set on your first trip abroad for quite a while. If you’re looking for a way to keep your carbon footprint as low as possible when flying to a far-flung paradise, you’re not alone! But, there’s no need to feel guilty and never take a trip again. By choosing sustainable travel companies, hotels, and tour providers, you’re can help make a difference to the planet and see all it has to offer at the same time.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite sustainable travel companies that are genuinely doing something good for the planet and its people. Enjoy your sustainable trip!

6 minutes to read

by Katie Skelton/ 1st April 2022

Sustainable travel companies to consider using for your next trip

Kiwano Hotels

Kiwano Hotels is run by two digital nomads, Rebecca and Lionel, who are passionate about adventure, and slow and sustainable travel. If their selection of hotels, lodges, and self-catering options isn’t enough, they also have a partnership with The Holiday In A Box Co – providing you with a hamper themed around a destination and filled with activities.

Kiwano’s founders say: ‘Rather than feeling guilty about travel, we can make lower-carbon and more positive-impact choices by thinking about the places we stay, what we pack, what we eat, when we travel and where we go.’

Photo credit: Kiwano Hotels

 

Leaf-rating system

Tired of the many eco-certifications that weren’t always legitimate, they’ve created an easy way to identify a hotel or trip’s sustainability levels: their leaf-rating system, with the top tier being a gold leaf status. They assess hotels based on things like their energy and water usage, architecture, waste, and their efforts on rewilding.

As well as Kiwano’s rigorous assessment of whether a hotel/trip is worthy of the green or mighty gold leaf, they’re also passionate about hosting events, providing content, and creating online toolkits to inspire business owners to join the ‘rewilding movement.’

The Holiday in a Box gift also avoids plastic wherever possible, and you’ll only find edible, useful, or activity-based products in order to reduce waste.

Select Green Hotels

Think booking.com but for sustainable hotels! Sustainable travel company Select Green Hotels help their users find and book the best eco-hotels all throughout Europe, whether you’re looking for a mountain getaway in the Dolomites or a city break in Frankfurt.

Sustainability

Not just any ‘eco hotel’ can become a part of their directory. Hotels are selected based upon how well they meet their eight sustainability criteria (see image below), ideally with at least half of the criteria being met. The categories include food, energy, materials, and waste, all with the planet at their core. They’re guided by the UN SGDs and the criteria defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

The eight sustainability criteria: Learn more here

Terra Sur Travels

Owned by travel lovers Christian and Angelica, Terra Sur Travels design conscious trips around Latin America, with a choice of choosing your trip to be entirely tailor-made or by your travel style – from honeymoons, to motorcycle holidays, to wellness breaks.

A focus on slow travel

TST believes that regenerative tourism is the way to go, choosing trips with a focus on slow travel and centred around the local environment. They’re also partnered with a number of organisations, such as Amiguitos del Océano which aim to reduce ocean plastic pollution, and the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Terra Sur’s specialist destinations include:

Image credit: Terra Sur Travels

 

Responsible Travel

Possibly one of the biggest varieties of trips on offer, Responsible Travel has trips for absolutely every taste. From accessible holidays to family walking, to cycling, to last-minute trips, you’d be hard pushed not to find a trip to suit your tastes.

Sustainability

Every one of their trips has been screened by a real human, and have the planet and its people at their hearts. They’ve set out their three goals of delivering a 55% reduction in CO2 per passenger by 2030, being nature positive by 2030, and they want all of their work and trips to be entirely inclusive of everyone. Their trips all work to not only support the planet, but they ensure a maximum benefit to the planet, too.

Photo credit: Responsible Travel

 

Natural Habitat Adventures

You can expect big adventurous trips from the official travel partner of the World Wildlife Fund. Natural Habitat Adventures, or Nat Hab, will take you on polar bear trips in the Canadian Arctic, African safaris, Galapagos tours, and trips in the infamous Amazon, to name a few. Or, if you’re of the cruise-loving kind, you can book a small-ship cruise expedition instead.

Sustainability

Nat Hab has built their business around their mission of ‘Conservation through exploration,’ protecting the planet by inspiring travellers and supporting local communities. As the world’s first 100% carbon-neutral travel company, they’ve provided over $4.5 million to support WWF’s conservation efforts.

Photo credit: Natural Habitat Adventures

 

Gondwana Ecotours

Gondwana Ecotours are a private and small-group tour organiser, for those wanting to experience bucket-list destinations around the world. And they really are bucket-list: you can see the Northern Lights in Alaska, go gorilla trekking in Rwanda, or witness The Great Migration camping in Tanzania and (hopefully!) spot the likes of zebras, lions, elephants, and hippos.

Committed to the planet

As well as offering 100% carbon-neutral tours, they also support local businesses, particularly those who are working hard to be more sustainable – because spending money locally is much more responsible.

They also donate a portion of their revenue to a range of charities, and they’ve got an impressive list of certifications, too, like being a Green America Certified Business, a member of the International Ecotourism Society, and offering their carbon-neutral trips in partnership with Cooler.

Photo credit: Gondwana Ecotours

 

Is the wanderlust hitting you?

We hope we’ve inspired you to take a sustainable trip, whether it’s close to home or in another corner of the globe – and when more of us put our money towards businesses doing good, the more those businesses can do good and help save the planet. 

We’d love to hear all about your sustainable trips – who doesn’t like a travel photo? Why not tag us on Instagram @ailunacommunity, and we will share them with our audience to inspire others, too.

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