If you’re planning a holiday, you may be looking at ways to avoid air travel because of its heavy carbon footprint and potential links with global warming. You may be considering alternative travel options, or you could be looking out for a completely different type of holiday, requiring minimal or no transport of any kind. But eco-friendly holiday solutions can be hard to think up, so here are some suggestions to set the ideas flowing.
1. Train travel
Take a scenic train journey, stopping off at places of interest along the way. Choose a route with something special at the end, like a seaside resort or an exciting city. A train ride can be fun and relaxing for all the family, especially with a bagful of games and treats for the longer stretches. Help your children chart your progress online, and record it in a video diary to enjoy on your return.
2. Cycling and walking
Set out on your trip by foot or pushbike, and travel entirely on your own steam. Hiking and cycling in the great outdoors can be immensely invigorating, with the magic of nature all around you. With suitable clothing and equipment, you’ll be free as the air. Book overnight accommodation along your route, preferably with a luggage courier system, or pick one place as your base. Your children will enjoy checking the route and celebrating goals achieved, but be sure to factor in some rest time, too.
Depending on where you live, you may not have easy access to a beach, but chances are you’ll have some beautiful inland water nearby. Many rivers and lakes have water sports facilities, such as canoes and paddle boats to hire. They can be great places for swimming and sunbathing, too, with all the sparkle of the sea on a fine day. If boating is your passion, why not take your vacation on a barge or motorboat, cruising from one beauty spot to the next?
4. Working holidays
Bring a sense of purpose to your holiday by combining it with a project. There are some interesting working holidays to be found online, inviting individuals and families to help with noble causes like planting trees, maintaining footpaths and cleaning beaches. You’ll have skilled workers to guide you, and food and accommodation laid on, often in magnificent settings. But for some people, the camaraderie is the icing on the cake. Check out what working holidays are available in your area, and let the kids help you pick one.
5. Home-based activities
You can have a great holiday without going away at all. Pack your vacation period with local day trips, activities and social events, and you’ll feel as refreshed and rejuvenated as you could wish. Check out your local area for sports facilities, shows, exhibitions and restaurants, and get planning. Perhaps include a night or two in a local hotel, or base yourselves there for the whole of your time, as if you were miles from home. You’ll have all the luxury and fun of being away, with none of the hassles of airplane travel.
These flight-free holiday ideas offer a broad choice for your family, and there are plenty more possibilities, too. Browse the brochures for even more options, and see what alternatives your friends have found. Whichever solution you pick, it’ll have the bonus of being great for the world, as well as for you.