In centuries gone by, a tiny handful of explorers and merchants saw anything of the world. Even with the advent of commercial air travel, it has only been the last two or three decades that round the world journeys have become really affordable.
We specialise in travel round the real world, not Disneyworld, so when you book with us, you will be likely to be exposed to an enormous variety of cultures, behaviour and assumptions. This is sometimes challenging but is usually hugely enjoyable and it’s impossible not to come back more worldly wise. We believe that travel makes us more accepting and understanding of the world and our place in it. We think that is a good thing.
But isn’t flying round the world bad for the planet?
Here are a few thoughts:
- Apart from our conviction that £ for £, money spent on ‘experiences’ provides far more happiness than money spent on ‘things’, air travel doesn’t have a monopoly on carbon emissions. If you didn’t spend your money on a big trip, you might spend it on other energy-consuming products like imported wine or an energy guzzling TV.
- If you spend several months travelling, you’ll find yourself buying only what you need and wasting very little. Even with the long-haul flying, there is every chance you will generate less CO2 than you would at home
- Combining lots of countries into a single round the world itinerary uses up far fewer resources than making individual long-haul trips to each destination from the UK
- Flying is less wasteful these days. Fierce competition amongst airlines and the increased cost of jet fuel means that airlines now work harder to fill their planes. In the 80s and 90s it wasn't uncommon to bag a row of 4 seats on a long-haul flight, but this is now rare. Aircraft are also becoming ever more fuel efficient (e.g. the new Airbus A380 and the Boeing Dreamliner)
- On your round the world trip you are likely to come across locals, especially in places like Asia, Africa and Latin America, getting by with relatively little, but nonetheless remarkably happy. This can be a humbling experience and results in you returning home with a less materialistic mind-set that may well result in a lower carbon footprint for the rest of your life.
What we do
At Travel Nation we try to do our bit, wherever possible. In the office we reuse and recycle stuff wherever possible. Additionally, to offset the carbon dioxide emitted from our office’s energy consumption, we make an annual donation to the World Land Trust.
What you can do
Build some surface sectors into your round the world flight itinerary
A surface sector is travel agents speak for flying into one place and making your way overland to the next destination perhaps by train, bus or joining an organised tour, instead of flying.
Surface sectors not only make round the world flight costs cheaper, but will also reduce your carbon footprint. Classic examples are between Bangkok and Singapore, Cairns and Sydney, Christchurch and Auckland, Santiago and Lima, but there are limitless other possibilities. Your consultant at Travel Nation will be able to tell you about interesting surface sectors that can be worked into your round the world trip.
Offset your carbon emissions
You can further assuage your guilt about the carbon dioxide emitted by your flights by making a donation to an Carbon Offsetting organisation. Our favourite is the international conservation charity, the World Land Trust via www.carbonbalanced.org which protects the world’s most biologically important and threatened habitats acre by acre. Sir David Attenborough, is a patron and we figure if it is good enough for him, it’s good enough for us!