The surge in staycations has focused attention on more environmentally-friendly holidays. Here, we outline some tips to help you plan.
From the New Forest to the Brecon Beacons, the Lake District to the Scottish Highlands, many national parks and protected wildlife areas offer public transport options and walking routes, so why not forgo the car and lighten your carbon footprint? Remember to research routes and availability in advance though - spaces fill up quickly.
If you’re travelling in a group of three to nine people, have a look at eligible journeys with GroupSave, which can save you one third on train tickets. There are also similar savings to be made with the Family and Friends railcard.
Travelling by public transport comes with the added bonus that whoever usually drives can kick back and enjoy the sights en route. The Settle - Carlisle rail line is spectacular, while the trip from Oxford to Hereford takes you through the Cotswolds and its beautiful rolling hills.
Another option would be an electric or hybrid car, which you could rent through Enterprise or Onto. For charging, try Instavolt, a rapid electric vehicle charger network that Starling has teamed up with. Every time you pay for an Instavolt charge with your Starling personal or business debit card through the Instavolt app, we’ll plant a tree through our partnership with Trillion Trees.
Going green outdoors and indoors
If you love the outdoors, why not try camping? The Greener Camping Club lists environment-friendly campsites it has vetted, while Camping in the Forest aims to work with campsites that put forest care at the heart of what they do.
Some campsites also have bikes available to hire - a great eco-friendly option for exploring the area. You could also look into sea kayaking or rock climbing as part of a fun, adventurous and green day out.
But enjoying an eco-friendly holiday doesn’t mean you need to stay in a tent. There are a variety of websites that can help you find green options indoors, including Visit Scotland and Visit Wales. If you fancy a cosy eco-friendly cottage, you could always try the National Trust, they have a whole range.
Saving energy and resources
Before you leave home, switch off unneeded appliances and think about adjusting your hot water and heating. It’s easy to forget when you’re dealing with last-minute preparations but it could save both money and energy.
While you’re on holiday, turn off lights when you leave your accommodation. You could also ask for your towels and bedsheets to not be replaced daily (it saves on water usage from the washing). Another tip is to avoid those miniature plastic toiletries bottles by bringing your own soap and shampoo bars.
At Starling, we’re committed to reducing our own carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest and hopefully much sooner, as part of the Tech Zero Charter.
Enjoy locally grown produce
Embrace your destination by enjoying locally grown and produced food and drink. Choosing to shop and eat from local businesses may also be better for the environment as it usually means fewer international imports and less air miles on your food.
Whether it’s a pasty in Cornwall or fresh salmon in Scotland, you can keep track of how much you spend on eating out, or anything else, with Spending Insights, a feature of the Starling app. This feature will tell you how much you’ve spent, what on and at which merchant. It also automatically breaks your spending into categories, such as eating out, shopping, and transport.