Dayana Brooke | founder & editor
When we emerge from our imposed travel hiatus, social distancing and isolation, embrace your new mindset and gratitude for our amazing planet Earth.
Filled with gratitude for life, humility, compassion and eagerness to get out and explore again. These are the ultimate building blocks to create your new 'normal' that is more sustainable in life and travel.
Here’s how you can return to travel in a positive way and support people, planet and wildlife.
1. Keep it Local
There are so many travel experiences around us and you do not have to travel for hours to enjoy them either.
Look at exploring new suburbs in your city, embrace local cultural industries and heritage sites, spend time in a museum or a new cafe you have been meaning to visit. Go with a friend and grab a coffee or something to eat while you are there.
Consider adding a local guide, bike ride, a craft workshop, or even a night in a hotel for a little more jazz. You will feel a new sense of exploration, had new adventures, didn’t go far and supported local businesses in the process.
2. Keep it Close
Whether you choose to fly, train, bus or drive, remember the new travel norm is to keep it close. The travel time should be no more than a few hours, long enough to feel like you are out and about, but close enough that you can choose a mode of transport that will be low in CO2 emissions.
Enjoy a hike, trail, bike ride, food from the local farmers market or even a swim at the beach. Stay the night in a local boutique hotel or rent a campervan and choose your own spot for the night. The more things you do, the more you can support the local economy.
3. Book Travel with a Travel Advisor
The next time you need to ‘book travel', reach out to a Travel Advisor and start the conversation about your next trip away. In fact, don't wait and begin that conversation now.
Travel Advisors/Agencies are the backbone of the tourism and travel industry and will welcome new referrals and bookings to help rebuild their business once travel bans are lifted. Use Virtuoso Travel to find an advisor that best suits your travel needs. They are well-travelled, highly experienced, offer personal recommendations and have connections that go beyond what you can book online. Your personalized itinerary will be seamless and hassle-free.
You haven’t even left on your trip, and already your travel experience is creating a positive impact.
4. Travel with an Ethical Tour Company (ETC)
I'm always talking about the many merits of traveling with an ETC, simply because they have done all the groundwork and embedded the pillars of sustainable tourism into every trip, staff and company from the ground up.
Your trip is guaranteed to create a positive and enduring impact on the community you visit, your hosts, the food you eat, the transport you take, your overnight stay and so much more. You'll also make really cool friends and often trips are 100% carbon neutral.
5. Support wildlife and nature conservation
If you travel, consider it a great privilege you can also support wildlife conservation and preservation. This can be as simple as visiting your local National Park, staying in an Eco Resort, right up to an amazing wildlife experience such as a safari in Africa, India, Amazon, Pantanal, Galapagos Islands and many more.
Your travel experience can contribute to supporting projects such as Rhinos without Borders, conservation movement in Guyana, or preserving Indigenous land and cultures with a stay at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge in Ecuador.
Be sure to choose something you are interested in supporting or keen to learn more about, this will make your experience even more meaningful.
6. Share your experience
Leave a review. Simple right. It’s called social philanthropy and it’s one of the most effective ways to make your travel a positive one. You can easily share, rate your experience and write a review on Tripadvisor, LinkedIn, booking.com and even on Facebook or photos on Instagram.
Sharing is caring and your review will go a long way to help build credibility for future travelers to read, so they too can have the same awesome travel experience.
7. Travel. Enjoy. Respect
One in every 7 people will have the opportunity to travel the world, so make it a positive one you can share with others. Get involved and join the movement with UNWTO #TravelEnjoyRespect.
Be empowered to share your experience and show your support to responsible and sustainable tourism and travel. The more of us who can raise awareness, the greater the opportunity to engage global tourism industries in a positive way.
Travel responsibly, be present, enjoy the moments and help preserve it for future generations.
Travel is one of our greatest assets as humans to connect and engage with others. Realise your own natural instincts and help shape and influence a better world for all of us to live in. We have the power to travel and leave a lasting impact.
Let's always make it a positive experience for the planet, people and wildlife.
How can your future travel experiences create a positive and lasting impact?