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5 ways to make luxury travel more sustainable

We love luxury travel; after all who doesn’t enjoy lounging next to infinity pools, sipping Champagne in swanky city hotels and travelling in comfort and style as you see the wonders of the world? But sometimes we worry that our love of luxury has a huge negative impact on the environment, as indulgence and luxury are not often words that are synonymous with sustainability and being eco-friendly. So here’s 5 ways that you can make your luxury travel more sustainable, follow these tips and you can happily reduce your environmental impact without reducing your enjoyment of travel. 1. Pack light OK, let’s assume you’re going to fly business class. After all, once you’ve spent the night wearing a sleep suit in Upper Class, stretched out under a duvet on your flat bed, it’s hard to contemplate returning to economy and doing battle with your seat arm rests as you attempt to twist into the optimum upright sleeping position (that we all know doesn’t really exist). But with that extra luxury comes an increased luggage allowance and with that, a temptation to pack more. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Cabin One of the things we can do do begin to minimise our impact when we fly includes packing light. The less luggage we have, the less fuel it takes to transport it. Pack clothes that are multi-purpose, accessorise to change the look of an outfit, go ultra light with your tech and luggage; every little helps. Make a list of all of the things that you didn’t use on the flight back home to look at when you pack for your next trip. Packing light not only helps save the planet but it also helps save your energy. 2. Carbon offset your trip When you book your flight, think about offsetting the carbon emissions created from your journey. Carbon offsetting involves making a donation to a company to fund projects which actively reduce carbon production. It’s a good short term solution to addressing the huge environmental damage caused by flying. Use one of the many carbon offsetting options found online to calculate how big your carbon emissions will be for the trip you are taking, then pick a project that you like the look of and click though to make your donation. 3. Research your airport transfer options When you land, think about how you will get from the airport to your location. Using shared forms of transport (public buses, trains, metro systems) has the smallest carbon footprint as you’ll be sharing the impact with the other passengers, but you don’t need to exclude the hotel limo service just yet. Check to see if your hotel or resort uses energy efficient cars and you might just be surprised. On our recent trip to Hong Kong we got to take our first ride in the planet friendly, highly acclaimed luxury sports car manufactured by Tesla Motors. The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong have a fleet of electric powered Teslas to transport guests and they are every bit as impressive as the hype would lead you to believe… Ritz Carlton Hong Kong- 4. Pick sustainable accommodation First thing to do when trying to make that luxury trip more planet friendly is to pick a hotel or resort that has a good sustainability policy. All major hotels and resorts will have one of these and there are some places where you’ll know they take their environmental impact seriously because they’ll be telling you about it on their website, through the press and will probably have won reputable awards. Look for places that have taken positive direct action like removing the sale of sharks fin soup. Thankfully, some of the world’s biggest hotel groups like Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Hyatt have taken a stance against this destructive trade as well as supporting other sustainable initiatives. It’s entirely possible to stay in places where luxury doesn’t come at the cost of the planet, like Soneva Kiri the über laid back luxury resort in Thailand where SLOW LIFE (Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wellness Learning-Inspiring-Fun-Experiences) explains their philosophy well. At the heart of the resort, their ‘Eco Centro’ garden and recycling hub gives you a great insight into their commitment to being environmentally friendly. Here you can see their bio-fuel station, the recycling plant that sorts all kinds of waste from the resort and the pretty pools with wavering reeds that filter waste water naturally. Soneva-Kiri_7252 5. Food One of the biggest positive impacts we can have on the planet is to go vegan, which means stopping eating animals and their by-products. It takes less energy and water to produce food made from plants and there are none of the destructive environmental impacts associated with eating meat or fish. But no need to worry that you’ll be missing out, most luxury hotels and resorts are able to cater well for a vegan diet and will see making vegan food for their guests as an exciting challenge. If you choose to eat a vegan diet during your stay you’ll be reducing your environmental impact with every mouthful of food. It takes 920 gallons of water to produce just one 8oz steak, that’s the equivalent of taking a 7 hour long shower. In comparison 8oz of tofu (far too much for one meal by the way) takes 150 gallons of water to produce. Help save the planet and eat vegan on your luxury travels. Try options like those at Six Senses Con Dao where the executive chef and his team can create a whole menu of delicious vegan, healthy and planet saving food for their guests; combining luxury, indulgence and sustainability all in one go. Six-Senses-Con-Dao_8564 Follow our 5 ways to make luxury travel more sustainable and enjoy your travels in a more planet friendly way, with a few simple choices we can all begin to reduce the impact we have on the planet whilst still enjoying the finer things in life. Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Paul Eyers

Paul Eyers is co-founder of Vegan Food Quest who write about luxury hotels and resorts in Southeast Asia with a focus on sustainable travel, eco travel and vegan travel. Currently based in Malaysia, Paul also writes about sporting events and some of the finest golf courses throughout the region.

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  1. I think going vegan is fine except if you go to a place which is known for their fishing industry. Must eat the fish then!

  2. hi Maya
    thanks for your comment

    as a vegan i would not agree about eating fish as i believe the fishing industry is applying a major part in destroying our oceans and if we continue consuming and over fishing eventually our oceans will die which is very bad news for the planet…


  3. Nice informative blog by Paul Eyers, each and every 5 points describe in a good way. Why should we neglect Charter Flight? Experience the ultimate luxury travel in charter flight.

  4. Hi John

    Sorry for the delayed reply, I must have missed your comment…

    I would love to be in a position to charter my own aircraft and experience the ultimate in luxury…one day hopefully!


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