3 Beginner-Friendly Ways to Make Your Next Family Holiday More Sustainable

sustainable travel

Travelling with kids is no easy feat. You’ve got extra luggage, food and moods — we hear you (in fact, we are you). But family holidays also offer endless opportunities for creating lifelong memories and learning about the world that exists outside our daily bubbles.

Increasingly, we’re all thinking about how we can travel in a way that’s more sustainable, and below, we discuss three beginner-friendly ways to make your next family holiday better for you, and also the planet. 

Education at the Door 

Travelling the world and accumulating new experiences is one of the best forms of education, and travelling with kids from a young age can be a wonderful way to introduce them to the world outside of their home and culture, and see landscapes beyond books.

Setting the tone at the start of your trip is a great way to establish ground rules. Evie, an award-winning author and founder of a family travel blog, Mumpack Travel, has been travelling with her daughter since she was three. She has explained to her daughter from the beginning that, as travellers, their job is to be extremely mindful of where their tourist dollars go, and they do their best to disrupt the environment they’re visiting as little as possible.

Having this conversation with your kids on what and how to respect the experiences to come is a great starting point. As a perennial rule, remember that if you won’t do it at home, don’t do it while travelling. 

Related: The Way We Travel Is Changing — Here’s What Travel Looks Like in a Post-Pandemic World

Related: How To Turn Climate Anxiety Into Action That Makes a Difference

Slow Travel and Savour It

Once you introduce kids to your travel plans, the itinerary will inevitably change. It’s unlikely that you could go too far off the off-the-beaten track without extra planning, so ditch the packed itinerary and take each activity slowly. We mean, slow enough to savour it without watching the clock. 

Consider using Octa, an app created by eight-year-old Zara Khanna to connect kids and families with travel experiences and children from all around the world. 

When you stay in one place longer, you and your family will be able to absorb and better understand the place you’re visiting so much more. You could take a long train ride instead of a flight, or maybe go on long walks instead of taking a taxi. This also means you’re leaving a smaller carbon footprint, and possibly also means less wastage. 

Slow travel allows for immersive travel and curiosity — two big factors that help cultivate sustainable travel. Allow your children to ask questions about the things around them, and find out the answers through the locals around you.

At the end of your trip, ask your kids questions about what they remember at the property they stayed at or the activity they did. They might unknowingly already have picked up a thing or two about keeping the planet safe. 

Local Experiences Over Souveniers 

Ever noticed how sometimes kids are overjoyed from just being in the pool or by the beach? The simple joys are sometimes enough for them. Cultivate an appreciation of an experience by pausing to appreciate, photograph and maybe even speak with your family about the feelings you’re having when visiting a new place. 

Possessions might be beautiful to collect in the moment, but they’re likely to collect dust at home if they don’t serve any other purpose in your real life — thus, adding to waste and excessive consumerism. Consider making scrapbooks or videos with your kids of your family travel experiences to immortalise your experience, instead.

Evie from Mumpack travel shares that paying a local person directly for their service or buying a product from someone on the street or beach is a small and important way to show support to the local economy.

We’re never going to be perfect at travelling sustainably. “Everyone makes mistakes during travels, but try to do your best, be mindful of where your money goes”, admits Evie.
“Try to remove the ‘I’m being ripped off’ mindset and replace it with one of generosity — $5 means a coffee to us, but to many families, it means they eat that day.”

Having been on the road for more than a decade, Evie vows that travelling with this mindset has helped her to make incredible connections, and friendships, and find a deeper joy and satisfaction in travelling.


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Any representations, views, or opinions contained in this article are those of The Latch and do not reflect those of and are not endorsed by Suncorp Bank.