2019: the year of travelling with a positive impact

We’re working hard with our entire team to positively contribute to our travel destinations. But we cannot do it without you, our travellers. Together we are making 2019 the year of travelling with a positive impact.

In 1985, when I made my first long-distance journey through South America, I instantly knew that I would never stop travelling. Now, almost 35 years later, I still think that. But I am also increasingly worried about the negative effects of travel.

I want to continue to enjoy all the beauty in our world, and so I also want to change the way we travel. You do not always have to get on a plane to have an unforgettable experience. Travelling by bus or train can be just as worthwhile. You get see the landscape around you change and come into contact with local people. That is what makes travelling so special. In 2019, we at Better Places Travel are focusing even more on traveling with a positive impact. Will you join us?

The positive impact of travel

With travel come many good things. Travel brings you happiness. It brings you a better understanding of other cultures. You get to witness with your own eyes how beautiful our world really is. And what you find beautiful, you also want to protect.

Tourism provides local employment and helps preserve nature reserves and cultural heritage.

During our trips, you will come into direct contact with the local residents and really get to know the country. At the same time you contribute to improving the living conditions of the locals while also protecting nature. We call that travelling with a positive impact. The beauty of it is that, not only are the locals happy, but so are you! According to psychology professor Ap Dijksterhuis, people experience happiness when they spend money on time, experiences and the happiness of others. All those elements come together in our positive impact trips.

Stop with plastic

2019 will be the year of travelling with a positive impact. Something we can only do together. How? First by eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottles. Together with our local travel experts, we’re providing as many safe water refill points as possible at the destination. This allows you to fill your own refillable water bottle and not have to buy disposable plastic bottles anymore.

More conscious flying

It really worries me that air tickets are so cheap these days that we have forgotten how special it is, and do not realize how bad for the environment it is. Yet I also understand that for many distant destinations you have no choice but to get on a plane to visit them. That is why we are asking people who, like me, love to travel to fly less often to faraway places and once there to stay for longer. There are also other things you can do to fly more consciously. Did you know that you can save up to half of your CO2 emissions by choosing a direct flight with a modern aircraft?

What are we doing ourselves? In 2019 we will also offer travel within Europe. We want to show that you do not have to travel to the other side of the world to be surprised by beautiful places and people. Still want to go a distant destination? Not only do we compensate the international flight, but also the CO2 emissions of the entire trip. We additionally set aside €7.50 per passenger to invest in making our journeys more sustainable. We do this by, for example, investing in solar panels for homestays we work with. That is what we at Better Places Travel mean with a positive impact.

Collaborate with small-scale organizations and family hotels

Tourism creates employment. And yet often only a small part of tourism income actually ends up in the hands of local residents, which is so important. That is why we like to work with local travel experts, guides and small-scale hotels that are run by families.

Take, for example, the farming village of Corporaque, which lies in the middle of the Colca Canyon of Peru. Here you sleep at the home of Jesusa and her family. By staying in this cozy and comfortable homestay you get to experience the daily life of the family. Or take the beautiful ecolodge of local farmer Dim in Sri Lanka, for instance. He built the rooms with his own hands, using only materials from the surrounding environment. Here you can sleep over a lake where wild elephants come to drink every morning. Experiences that you will truly never forget!

In order to create even more positive impact, Better Places Travel also cooperates with initiatives like Resirest, The Backstreet Academy and I Like Local. Resirest allows travellers to eat together with a local family for a fee. The Backstreet Academy and I Like Local offer activities organized by locals. Initiatives such as these allow locals to benefit directly from your stay. Another way of travelling with a positive impact.

Want to know what else you can do to travel with a positive impact? Watch this video:


Saskia Griep

Saskia Griep

Founder Better Places Travel

More about sustainable travel

Read more about travelling with a positive impact and other ways of sustainable travel

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