To honour Earth Day, Intrepid Travel has put together a list of some of its lowest-impact trips for travellers interested in a climate-conscious adventure.
It’s Earth Day today and if we remember just one message from this monumental day, it’s that we should all tread a little more lightly.
While all of Intrepid’s 1,000+ tours around the world are fully carbon offset and the company itself has been carbon neutral since 2010, the B Corp says the past few years have seen an increased focus by its product development team to create trips that lower its carbon footprint even further, with a focus on removing internal flights, increasing its use of low-carbon accommodations and adding more human-powered adventures.
So here are 5 of Intrepid’s top picks for your next low impact holiday:
1. Vietnam Family Holiday – 13 days, from $2,100 AUD per person
Trading planes for trains, taxis for cyclos: This 13-day tour from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh shows how travelling with a low footprint can help create a big impact. From navigating cities on a cyclo, a novel three-wheeled zero-emission wonder, to a family dinner at KOTO, a not-for-profit restaurant connecting at-risk youth with careers in hospitality, this trip is a perfect example of travelling with people and the planet in mind.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: Beyond local, low-impact transportation and a focus on community-operated restaurants, in 2022 Intrepid replaced a flight from Hanoi to Hoi An with an overnight train. Rail travel is not only better for the planet but it often enhances the experience for travellers, seeing more of the countryside and smaller towns that you’d otherwise miss.
2. Trek the Larapinta Trail – 5 days, from $2,159 AUD per person
Off-grid is even better than offsetting: Going off-grid is one of the surest ways to minimize your environmental impact. On Intrepid’s Larapinta Trail adventure, travelers will tackle the rugged landscape of one of Australia’s greatest multi-day walks, where days are spent hiking and swimming in the wild and nights are spent camping in the wilderness in traditional swags under the star-filled desert skies.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: While a digital detox can help provide a much-needed mental recharge, it is also the most environmentally friendly way to travel. A 100% human-powered adventure like this effectively means eliminating your footprint.
3. Egypt Experience – 12 days, from $3,651 AUD per person
Non-essential flights can essentially be the same as driving: This cultural expedition is filled with small examples of how travellers can make a big impact. From trains and boats to dinners with a Nubian family, you’ll quickly learn why locally-minded travel is better for the planet.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: In 2022, the flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel was removed in favour of driving. Between airport check-ins and wait times, it was calculated that door-to-door there was essentially no time saved from flying and lots of emissions to be saved by driving. Be sure you are looking at total travel time vs. flight time for the truest picture on how much “time” and “energy” a flight will take – the answer may surprise you.
4. Premium Peru – 9 days, from $3,856 AUD per person
Community-owned > foreign-owned: On Day 2 of Intrepid’s Premium Peru trip, travellers will visit Posada Amazonas, nestled on the side of the Tambopata River in the Peruvian Amazon. This lodge is community-owned by the Ese Eja Indigenous people and will host travelers for 2 nights. As traditional stewards of the land, the lodge was built using local materials and designed to work in concert with nature.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: Community-owned lodges and hotels are collectively owned and developed to benefit multiple families and residents of a community. These types of properties are found all over the world and almost guarantee 100% of your tourism dollars genuinely support the community you visit. When looking for a unique stay, try booking a proper community-based hotel stay.
5. Walking in Grand Canyon National Park – 5 days, from $2,625 AUD per person
Undertourism that over delivers: Travellers will capture the magic of the USA’s famed Grand Canyon on a guided 5-day walking adventure, starting with a hike along the popular South Rim, soaking in spectacular views of the Canyon and Colorado River, before continuing to the lesser-visited and awe-inspiring North Rim that sees just 10% of the visitors of its southern counterpart. Local guides will show off hidden trails, secret look out points and unusual wildlife each day, before spending the evenings in a scenic campsite beneath a sky full of stars.
Climate-conscious tip from this trip: The road less travelled is often a much more sustainable and responsible one. By seeking under-touristed trails and lookouts, you are reducing the strain on the built environment and helping ensure other places and people benefit from tourism. Always seek out alternative views, perspectives and paths that will provide the same effect with a reduced impact.
For more information head to www.intrepidtravel.com
Share this story