Since its creation, HomeExchange has acted strongly toward a more respectful tourism for the natural world which surrounds popular destinations by fighting against mass tourism and putting at the heart of our mission the promotion of the generosity and hospitality of each one of us. It is on this basis of trust that we are convinced its quite possible to combine travel and sustainability when we all work together.
Home exchange is part of the larger context of sustainable tourism, but it is not without impact. Excited to contribute to the opening of a new chapter in history where Man respects his environment and is concerned about his impact on others, we wanted to remind you of the essential elements of more responsible travel.
To help, we have put together a guide to equip you to travel more sustainably and enjoy the benefits of seeing the world while keeping it a great place to explore !
¾ of greenhouse gas emissions from tourism are related to transportation. The choice of transportation to go on vacation is therefore essential to begin the first step of a more sustainable trip.
We give you some keys :
Soft mobility: a zero carbon solution
Walking, cycling, sailing ... are cleaner, and allow to approach the trip differently, and more slowly. A mode of travel that is conducive to reflection, introspection, and unexpected discoveries (we tell you more here).
The train: ecological, fast and practical
As most of them are electric, they do not emit CO2 directly into the atmosphere and can carry hundreds of passengers. If you want to know more about the (many!) advantages of the train, click here!
The bus: a divided (but still significant) carbon footprint
The ability to carry a large number of people reduces the emissions per passenger, making it one of the preferred modes of transportation when driving a thermal vehicle.
The electric car: a clean means of transport in terms of direct emissions
Electric cars are not widely used today due to their lack of autonomy, but they will become more important in the next few years as more and more efficient batteries are developed and more recharging stations become available.
The internal combustion car: the most used and polluting
Its practicality makes it a common mode of travel for vacations, but this mode of transport remains highly polluting. Reducing car journeys as much as possible is necessary to relieve congestion on the roads (reducing the risk of accidents) and make the air cleaner. If the car is the only solution, we think of carpooling to divide the carbon footprint (and the cost).
The plane: the most emitting means of transportation by far
Convenient, fast and sometimes cheaper than other modes of transport, the plane is still the most polluting mode of transport. For tourist transport, 40% of emissions are due to air travel. The first thing to do is to ban air travel to national destinations. If it is the only option, choose a non-stop flight and a longer stay. Also think about compensation.
You can calculate your carbon footprint according to the mode of transport chosen by clicking here.
The recent travel trend, which was put on hold by the health crisis, was for travelers to multiply short stays during the year. Express" trips are very destructive. On the other hand, longer trips have many advantages.
The third step to conservation as we travel is the choice of destination, a key element for a more sustainable tourism. You don't have to travel to the other side of the world (especially several times a year) to discover new cultures and new landscapes. Your travel dreams can fit your desire to limit your environmental impact but also to act in favor of a more local tourism and economy.
Think of Closer Destinations :
No need to go far away to get a change of scenery (A world tour without leaving France is possible, we'll tell you more here)! To disconnect from everyday life and release the pressure, the most important thing is to gain a fresh view, but that doesn't necessarily mean going to the other side of the world. We often think we know everything about our surroundings, yet our own back yards are full of wonders and opportunities for adventure. It is quite possible to be surprised and amazed by unfamiliar areas only an hour or two from home. By choosing a nearby destination, you boost the local economy and save time and money. The choice of transportation is wider and more conducive to the use of low-carbon transportation. And if you fall in love with the place, it will be easier to go back again when it's just a short trip nearby!
And if you fall in love with the place, it will be easier to go back again when it's just a short trip nearby !
Think About Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations :
Are you tired of crowded beaches? So are we. That's why we recommend you try a destination off the beaten path. A quieter, more authentic and less expensive trip is guaranteed.
And we have good news: all this is possible thanks to HomeExchange! HomeExchange has about 450,000 homes all over the world, so you can find a home in a capital city or in the middle of the mountains. As a bonus, your exchange partners will be able to share all their best advice to visit their region like a local, far from tacky tourist traps represented in the tour pamphlets!.
We have started a selection of helpful tips that you can find here !
To help you implement all the keys to a more sustainable trip, we can't fail to mention the best practices to start on your next vacation.
Here is a Short List to Pack in Your Suitcase: