We all love a getaway. Especially as here in the UK the days are getting shorter and the weather getting colder, we all find ourselves dreaming off a holiday in warmer climes. But as much as we enjoy our time away, we can't help but think about one huge thing. Did you know that commercial flights are the most carbon intensive behaviour that most individuals participate in? This is due to the emissions created just to get them off the ground. To put it into context, a return flight from London to Bali produces a lot more emissions per passenger than eating meat for an entire year. That is HUGE. And we don't want to be part of that. If you'd like to explore your flight-free options when it come to getting away, we're here to help!
Air travel makes up about 2% of global emissions and this is only increasing more and more every year. This is also going up more than any other form of transport. In Europe, planes emit around 10x more CO2 into the atmosphere as trains when covering the same distance. Many trains are transferring to renewable energy sources, meaning that difference becomes even larger. So, switching out domestic or short haul flights for trains, boats and coaches can make a huge difference to your carbon footprint.
So, how can you make the most of a no-fly holiday?
Make the journey part of your trip. Travelling on the ground may take a little while longer, but it really is all about the journey not the destination. With the train you can hop on and off to explore extra destinations, try delicious local cuisines, or even visit that museum you've always wanted to go to. If you're worried about passing the time, you could bring board games, download your favourite Netflix show, buy a new books and pack your favourite snacks. You might even catch some lovely views or a sunset on your way!
Staycation swaps to save £££. From mountain escapes to warm sandy beaches to 5* luxury resorts, anything you can find abroad, we think the UK has something to offer instead. Less hassle, more fun, and you might even save some money! So why not swap a trip to Berlin for a week exploring the vibrant streets of Glasgow? Catch some rays and enjoy the sandy beaches of Margate, instead of Barcelona.
Avoid the airports. When you skip the planes, you don't have to deal with the airport! This means that you often skip the long queues, the security checks, the liquid limits, and the baggage claim. So you're free to travel with your full-size toiletries, large and heavy bags, and can spend your time doing something better than queueing.
Find the best deals. Booking train travel in advance is a great way to save money. Did you know you can get a whopping third off train travel when 3-9 people travel together? Or you can take advantage of one of the many railcards on offer, you could earn your money back on the very first use. Taking the coach is also a sure way to save money, and you can spend the time resting up before your big trip. Seat 61 is a great resource for planning your trips, big or small.
And what to do if you do need to fly?
We know that holidays are a hard-earned treat for many, and sometimes it's necessary for you to fly. There are some easy ways to help reduce your impact such as taking direct flights, staying away for longer, packing light and sitting in economy. All of these actions help to use less fuel, thus lowering your environmental impact. You could also consider offsetting the emissions from your flight through a reputable company offering investments in projects such as tree planting. You can also support initiatives such as an aviation tax for the elite minority of people who take up a huge share of the flights. You can read more about this in Possible's report here.