These are the best tour providers out there ready to help you make more ethical trips.
Sustainable travel means traveling in a way that supports not just the environment – for example, offsetting or reducing your carbon footprint – but also the communities you visit.
At Blacklane, we’re committed to working with local communities around the world to provide professional chauffeur service to our guests. When you download the Blacklane app and book a ride, you can rest assured knowing that you’re connecting with a local chauffeur.
Here are some great travel companies working to give back to communities around the world – environmentally, culturally, and economically.
Natural Habitat Adventures
With the World Wildlife Fund as a conservation travel partner, Natural Habitat Adventures is committed to its mission of “conservation through exploration”.
Naturalist guides lead expeditions into remote areas, with the aim of turning visitors into ambassadors of the regions they visit.
Each tour is small, averaging about nine people, which makes each trip more intimate and authentic.
The tour operator has been offsetting all CO2 emissions, from trips to office operations, since 2007.
Trip locations include South America, Alaska, Greenland, and the Amazon.
Intrepid has done some incredible work towards its mission of “creating positive change through the joy of travel”.
It’s a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, which provides a framework to help it align company operations and strategies with accepted principles in human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.
Aside from being a carbon-neutral company since 2010, it’s working towards transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in all offices by 2025 and all trips by 2030.
And, it’s set an emission reduction target to reduce emissions at a “pace and scale that science says is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C”, according to its website.
And that’s just the environment. Intrepid also celebrates “local leaders”, who work as tour guides for their groups on more than 1,000 adventures around the world.
They’ve also set up a non-profit organization called The Intrepid Foundation that works with grassroots projects across various industries – from healthcare and education to human rights and gender equality.
If you’re in a new place and finding it hard to pick a restaurant or coffee shop, most people will scroll through Trip Advisor to read reviews of the atmosphere, the friendliness, the quality of the food.
But, what if you had a way to search for eateries by sustainable practices?
Kynder is a platform that hosts recommendations for hospitality spots that are eco-conscious and community focused.
Each place is handpicked by Kynder to make sure it meets certain criteria, including sustainable practices, staff wellbeing, and community involvement.
The site began in San Francisco, so it’s fair to say the majority of recommendations are in the U.S.
Kind Traveler serves as a “Give + Get” hotel booking platform where you can donate to a charity and get exclusive hotel rates in return.
All you need to do is select a desired destination across the U.S, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, and find a hotel you would like to stay at.
Kind Traveler shares information about the hotels – from wellness programs, green initiatives, and community impact – and the locally-vetted charity you would donate to. All charities must be aligned with a minimum of one UN Global Goal for Sustainable Development.
A $10 donation can unlock exclusive perks at your hotel of choice, across more than 22 countries.
Travel can be more than an exciting trip away from home, it can also be a time to absorb and engage with different cultures.
At Collette, the focus is on not just travel, but the ways in which each tour can positively impact the communities, animals, and area it promotes.
When choosing destinations, Colette says there are a few must-haves: finding people who can best reflect the cultural heritage and diversity of their community, working out ways their tours can help locals if needed, working with restaurants that source locally, and ensuring the ethical treatment of animals.
Examples include a tour in India that includes a lunch run by acid-attack survivors, a Switzerland tour that only travels by rail to reduce the carbon impact, and an Australian tour that gives guests the chance to adopt a penguin on Phillip Island Penguin Reserve.
Much Better Adventures
This tour company is for the more adventurous, with activities including wild hikes, rapid rafting, and wild swimming in places across Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, and the Americas.
With such remote locations on offer, Much Better Adventures relies on local tour guides to show off their backyards. The company also works 100 percent with locally-owned independent businesses. It claims that for every $100 spent, about $80 goes back into the local economy.
Much Better Adventures also measures and reports on its carbon footprint and channels five percent of its revenue into reforestation and rewilding projects.
As a co-founder of the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency movement, Much Better Adventures is a part of a bigger shift towards building a more regenerative tourism industry.
5 minutes can change the world
This Earth Day, we’re joining Time for Climate Action! There are so many ways to do good for the planet that are quick and easy, but have a lasting long-term impact. Take action today!