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Often there is the misconception that luxury travel cannot be sustainable. However, due to growing trends in eco-tourism and sustainability due to net zero goals and Covid-19 lockdowns, attitudes towards luxury travel have changed. Here are a few ways to ensure that your luxury trip is also sustainable.
If you are planning a luxury vacation and are looking to rent a private jet, searching for empty-leg flights is a great way to ensure sustainability. Empty-leg flights are trips that are scheduled to fly without any cargo or passengers so choosing to fly in this way can give purpose to an otherwise empty flight and can save you money while doing so.
It is suggested that around 30-50% of private jets often fly empty so choosing to fly this way can help to reduce the number of journeys that fly without purpose.
If you a planning a domestic break, traveling by train is a great way to ensure sustainability due to using 70% less energy than flying by aircraft and producing 80% less greenhouse gas than traveling by car.
Due to planes releasing the majority of their emissions during take-off and landing, choosing alternative transport if traveling shorter distances can be beneficial to the environment.
The destination you choose is key if you are aiming to ensure sustainability on your trip. For those who are able to plan a luxury vacation, visiting less affluent countries with fewer tourists can help give back to the community and aid the area socio-economically.
An example of this is Costa Rica where eco-tourism has allowed the preservation of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest – home to 17% of the world’s species. Due to the focus on long-term sustainability, the country is expensive to visit resulting in fewer tourists and plenty of stunning experiences and stays that give back and support the local community.
For sustainable, luxury stays, you want to look for high-end low-impact accommodation. In the majority of places around the world, you will be able to find eco-friendly hotels and experiences, such as the Aqua Hotel in Germany which is the first high-rise in the world to be powered solely by renewable energy.
You could also look to visit homestays or hotels that actively support or are run by marginalized members of the community such as the Magdas Hotel in Vienna.
Generally, to ensure sustainability, avoid large international chains and instead consider options that will directly benefit the country and community.
Focus on Local
Vacations are often a time when we unwind and indulge, but this extravagance can lead to waste and excessive carbon emissions. To negate this, you should try to focus on local as much as possible – from local produce grown by local farmers to tours and activities that benefit the local ecosystem, people, and animals.
When planning excursions during your vacation, avoid anything that allows you to ride or touch animals as responsible companies won’t promote or allow unethical practices. If you are a keen animal lover then consider visiting a rehabilitation center, or better yet, volunteering there!