3 Tips to Make Your Road Trip More Eco-Friendly

One of the great things you can do in life is to take a road trip. I mean, think about it for a second. You’ll get to see parts of the world you’d otherwise never see if you travelled by plane somewhere, you’re on the ground and you’re experiencing everything as it is, there and then as you drive past it. There’s no aerial views, there’s no crying baby noises in the background, just you, your friends/family/partner, and the world as it was meant to be seen, from the ground.

Travel is something that has grown and grown in popularity in the last few years with more and more people from all around the globe going travelling in one form or another. It’s estimated that 1.2 billion people worldwide travelled in 2015 and if even 10% of those people which is 120 million people, made a conscious effort to be more environmentally friendly, global warming would undoubtedly see the benefits.

Here we have 3 great tips for you if you’re planning a road trip to make it as eco-friendly as possible so that you can travel with peace of mind knowing that you’re doing your bit and if you’re travelling from the UK, or within the UK, you’re not playing as big a contributing part to global warming, which apparently the UK is the largest contributor to in the world based on a per capita calculation.

The Car – Pre-Trip Checks

This is a fairly obvious one to consider before you hit the road but many people neglect this and assume that their car is fuel efficient and provided they’ve no lights on the dashboard, they won’t think there’s any issues. Well, you don’t have a light telling you to change your air filter but it’s something to consider checking before you set off on your journey as a dirty air filter can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency by 20%.

Something else to consider if your car tyres. Generally, people look at their tyres, see they aren’t flat and that’ll do them for peace of mind. Well, if your car tyres aren’t inflated properly, it can have a detrimental effect on your miles per gallon which won’t help your wallet very much when you’re having to fill up more often. If you’re unsure about how to check your tyre pressure and making sure that they’re correctly inflated, here’s a handy tyre pressure guide.

Your Load – Watch What You Pack

This is something that you may not consider having an effect on the performance of your car but, actually it does. Ensuring that you pack as lightly as possible for your trip will go a long way to bettering the performance of your car. If you add an extra 20 to 30 pounds of luggage in your vehicle, it will make you much less fuel efficient and if you have a roof rack box on your car, it can reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 25% and will also have an effect on your miles per gallon performance as they interfere with the aerodynamics of your car.

Your Route – Plan Ahead

If you can, try to avoid the urge to just go out and hit the road without a plan in place. If you plot and plan your route ahead of schedule and before you leave, you will be able to find the quickest and best route to your destination in order to save fuel. Not only will this improve your carbon footprint, it’ll likely also go some way to saving your stress levels.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a modern car, the chances are it will have some form of cruise control built in. If that’s the case, utilise it. If you use cruise control as often as possible, it’ll maintain your car’s speed during your time on the motorway, highway or wherever it is that you may be travelling to. This means that it will use the petrol more efficiently and it’ll take a bit of stress off you too which is always a win, win.

Hopefully, you found these tips useful and helpful and they go some way toward helping you make better, more environmentally friendly choices prior to, during and after your road trip.

Voluntourism: Holidays That Make A Difference

Over recent years, voluntourism has had a lot of negative press. Which is unfortunate, considering the good that you can do, giving up a few weeks of your holiday to help the betterment of others and the environment. You only need to do a quick Google search, in order to find horror stories about voluntourism, but if you choose the right company and pick the perfect project, you can really help impoverished areas of the world.

Choose Your Project Wisely

Rule number one of voluntourism: choose your project with care. Some projects are created without the permission of the community, in order to cater for voluntourists. Many of these well-meaning travellers leave feeling cynical and disappointed by being placed in a poor project that has very little impact.

Assess your skills. Don’t just choose whatever you’re offered, because you think that every little helps. Unless you are skilled at brick-laying, don’t go and build a library. Unless you have some sort of teaching experience or qualification, don’t go into a school to educate children. You’re doing more harm than good. Ask yourself: what can I offer as a voluntourist? You may find that staying in the UK is your best bet.

Save Money Where You Can

Try to go to your area of choice for a reasonable amount of time, to make a stronger impact. In order to do this, you will have to be clever with how and when you book your flights – try following Bravofly on Twitter to find out about travel discounts. You can also save money on your accommodation, if you live like the locals, instead of opting for a hotel outside of the area you’ll be working in.

Look For The Lesser-Known Charities

If you stumble upon an organisation that has flashy advertising, this should be your first red flag. Usually, it’s the quiet charities – doing good work on the ground – that are your best bet. If organisations are spending a load of donated money on heavyweight promotion, you may want to look elsewhere. Obviously, steer clear of any for-profit businesses. You may be able to ask-around to find recommendations for great charities to work with.

Always do your research before you make your decision. Voluntourism can be expensive to do, so it’s important to make it count, for you and for the people you are helping.

The Benefits

We all go on holidays to escape the monotony of our daily lives. You may be surprised at how relaxing and life-enriching it is to work hard for others, in a climate and country that you are unfamiliar with. If you are someone who is a spa/beach addict, this may not be the adventure for you. But if you’re not afraid of going back to basics, and getting your hands dirty, you could make memories that will last forever.

Would you consider giving up your holiday for others? Let us know in the comments below.

Staycations in the UK: The Greener Way to Holiday

According to The Telegraph Online, more and more Brits are now vacationing at home, despite the improving economy. What started off as an affordable alternative to jetting off for sun, sea and sand in warmer climes during the recession, has now become something that many British families are choosing to do. The growing trend for busy working parents or career couples is to take short breaks closer to home instead of going for week long breaks in exotic destinations. It seems that the quirky ‘staycation’ has won the hearts of the British. But even more than that; it’s actually created a greener way for Brits to travel and this tourism trend could help us enjoy a healthier planet.

So where can one expect to enjoy a fun and environmentally-friendly UK staycation? Read on for some ideas on what to do or where to go.

The Caravan Holiday

It seems that the caravan holiday has come back into fashion for families who live and work in the city. Eco warriors are purchasing their own holiday homes (find out how on and are setting off for the UK’s rugged countryside. Some of the top places to caravan this year are:

  • Cornwall – pristine countryside and a stunning coastline.

  • Isle of White – beautiful beaches, traditional seaside towns, and plenty of activities for kids.

  • Lake District – the most incredible lakes, hiking trails and cycling trails.

The Country Cottage Break

If motorhomes aren’t your style, there’s another much more homely option. With the growing number of UK holiday rentals, it’s now extremely popular to book self-catering accommodation in the countryside. Cottages are affordable and can be a home away from home for families that want something different but don’t want to miss out on creature comforts. Some of the best cottage breaks can be found in:

  • The Cotswolds – unbelievable countryside, tourist attractions and fine dining.

  • Scottish Highlands – rugged mountain landscapes and outstanding historical sites such as castles and forts.

  • Devon – quaint villages, stunning beaches and walking trails dotted with ancient ruins.

Boutique Breaks / Glamping

More suited to young couples rather than families, the boutique staycation or ‘glamping’ has become hugely popular for those who might prefer style over practicality. From one of a kind hotel accommodation (such as eco-pods or green B&Bs) to posh camping, the UK now offers so many options:

  • Mongolian Yurts and Tipi Tents

  • Safari Tents and Chalets

  • Gypsy Caravans

  • Outdoor Cabins

If you would like more inspiration on where to go for your next UK staycation, head over to the Independent website for 100 Staycation Ideas.

Use a Gatwick Airport Taxi to Open up London’s Delights

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Everyone knows that London is one of the world’s great cities. If you are flying into Gatwick airport at the start of your visit, then using an airport taxi service is a great way to make sure that you reach your hotel on time, wherever in the city you are staying.

If you have flown into Gatwick for a break in London, then the last thing you want is to be kept waiting at the airport, hanging around for your transport into the city. Booking a taxi is an ideal way of dealing with this problem, as it means that efficient transport will be waiting for you at the airport. This makes reaching wherever you are going in London a much more straightforward process.

Deal with Distance

Many people who have not flown into Gatwick before will perhaps not realise just how far the airport itself is away from the city of London. Gatwick is located in the county of West Sussex, some miles to the south of London. Indeed, the centre of London is around 30 miles away and could take as long as an hour to reach in the car. A Gatwick Airport taxi is a good solution to the problem of travelling that distance.

Negotiating the journey via public transport such as the railway can take a long time. If you are not used to the way public transport functions in the UK, then this can be a confusing and stressful process, especially if you have family and luggage in tow. Your first few hours in the UK can be taken up with struggle, simply to make sure that you get to the right place so that the holiday can begin. Booking a Gatwick Airport taxi means that you can begin your break in a relaxed and settled state, rather than fretting and worrying.

See the Sights

Once you get into London, then the need to use a taxi becomes much less pressing. London’s great sights are all on major public transport routes and the transport infrastructure is very good, despite being very crowded at certain times of day. You can use the Tube to negotiate your way to many of the main attractions, especially the major museums and the locations associated with the Royal Family, such as Buckingham Palace.

Other major attractions, such as the Natural History Museum, the Tate and Wembley Stadium can be reached by public transport whilst you are in London. The main soccer grounds all tend to be on public transport routes too, if you enjoy sport, while the famous black cabs and red buses seem to be on every street if you do get lost at all.

Using a Gatwick Airport taxi to begin your holiday makes everything much simpler. By ironing the stress out of the beginning of your break, you free up much more time to enjoy what you have actually travelled to see: London and its wonderfully vibrant cityscape and sights.

Jennifer is a Londoner born and bred, though her parents came from Cork, in Ireland. A travel writer by trade; her favourite destinations are the Donegal coast in Ireland and Sydney in Australia. Throughout the course of her adventures, she has benefited from first-rate Gatwick airport taxi tranfer on many an occasion.