Intrepid Travel, the B Corp certified tour operator that has been a leader in decarbonizing the tourism industry, has put together a list of some of the company’s most low-impact trips ahead of Earth Day for travelers interested in a climate-conscious adventure.
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 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.
“Intrepid recognizes that travel has an environmental impact,” says Matt Berna, Intrepid Travel’s Managing Director for North America. “We are committed to ongoing improvement of our environmental performance in our operations and across our value chain to minimize our impact on the environment. Intrepid has developed more than 40 new low carbon trips, with a focus on activities including walking, trekking and cycling. Lowering the carbon output from our trips is also supported by the development of our new domestic range. In addition, flights have been removed from five top-selling products in Borneo, Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam and Egypt.”
Here are 5 of its top picks for a low impact holiday:
- Vietnam Family Holiday – 13 days, from $1,400 USD 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 we’ve 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 travelers, seeing more of the countryside and smaller towns that you’d otherwise miss.
- Trek the Larapinta Trail – 5 days, from $1,264 USD 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.
- Egypt Experience – 12 days, from $2,244 USD per person
Non-essential flights can essentially be the same as driving
This cultural expedition is filled with small examples of how travelers 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 favor 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.
- Premium Peru – 9 days, from $2,397 USD per person
Community-owned > foreign-owned
On Day 2 of Intrepid’s Premium Peru trip, travelers 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.
- Walking in Grand Canyon National Park – 5 days, from $1,845 USD per person
Undertourism that over delivers
Travelers 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.
ABOUT INTREPID TRAVEL
Intrepid Travel is a world leader in sustainable experience-rich travel that has been taking travelers to discover the world’s most amazing places for more than 30 years. The company’s mission is to create positive change through the joy of travel. The company offers more than 1,150 trips on every continent and every is designed to truly experience local culture. With its own network of destination management companies in 23 countries, Intrepid has unique local expertise and perspectives. Globally renowned as a leader in responsible travel, in 2018 the carbon-neutral business became the world’s largest travel company to be certified B-Corp. Intrepid Travel is the only global tour operator with verified science-based carbon reduction targets and its not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation, has raised more than $11 million for more than 130 charities around the world. For further information download the company’s 2021 Integrated Annual Report and follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.