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Travel articles on our campaigns

How responsible are cruise liners?
The cruise industry has been ignoring its responsibilities in local destinations for too long. Here, we examine the evidence clearly showing cruising as the bad boys of travel.

Is it ethical to travel to Burma?
Tourism to Burma (or Myanmar) has however been widely linked to human rights abuse, and the country's pro-democracy leader and Nobel prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has asked tourists to stay away - a boycott that has been supported by the international community.

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Travel articles about Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and responsible tourism
Responsible travel is a new way of travelling for those who've had enough of mass tourism. It's about respecting and benefiting local people and the environment – but it's about far more than that.

A day at Lewes Local Nature Reserve in the rain
We at Responsible Travel tend to talk a lot about what travellers can do to benefit their travel destination and we like to offer advice on the best way to minimise impacts and how to support conservation projects. But we’re not all talk and last week we braved the rain to stop talking and take some action...

Green or Greenwash?
We've always tried to be open and transparent about the way we work at Responsible Travel, welcoming and encouraging your comments and reviews to help us improve, provide you with a better service and promote responsible tourism throughout the travel industry. Last week, however, we had a call from The Observer newspaper - not looking for last minute Responsible Travel holidays for their travel pages or for our comment on the latest carbon offset scheme but to defend ourselves against accusations of greenwashing...

Issue related travel articles

Should all inclusive holidays be banned?
Saint or sinner? Do all inclusive holidays provide a much needed break for millions of families on a tight budget and employment for local people - or deny local communities a fair share of tourism revenues? Was the Gambia right to attempt to ban all inclusive holidays?

Kilimanjaro porters need better care
Those who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro know that the porters are the heart and soul of your trek. Without their hard work and strength we would not be able to fully experience the magnificence of Kili. But the truth is porters are often impoverished Tanzanians who depend on this labor-intensive employment in order to feed themselves and their families.

General travel articles

Stay with Count in Transylvania
It was 1987. Ceausescu and his Securitate still had Romania in their clutches; in fact most Romanians at that time probably could not remember life to ever have been different from what it was then.

Responsible Tourism in Finnish Lapland
“So what's your stance on the environmental impact of tourists driving snowmobiles Timmo?” The question was asked by a British journalist at midnight whilst sitting in a traditional Lappish kota or teepee on top of Olos Fell in North West Finnish Lapland. I've always felt quite privileged to have been there to hear the answer because it highlighted just how important tourism has become in remote corners of the globe.

Destinations away from the crowds
Have you ever gone abroad on holiday to escape the same four walls of your office to find that despite being on the other side of the world all you hear are English accents? Here at Responsible Travel we believe that holidays should be about getting away from it all, seeing the sites, enjoying the peace and quiet and certainly not being surrounded by English tourists and ex pats running chip shops.

Finland Summer holidays
If escaping the July hordes and reconnecting with the last true wilderness in a land of magical landscapes sounds like your cup of tea, Finland can offer all that and more.

Celebrating inspirational women: How travel can empower and liberate us all
In today’s modern society, feminism is rather passé. We’re still striving for equal pay in this country and many charities and NGO’s are working towards equal rights (and basic human rights) abroad. At Responsible Travel we continue to remember Anita Roddick - not only as a great business woman and humanitarian but as a great female role model.

Tips on summitting Kili from our travellers
Climbing Kili is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge and the best way to find out what it's really like is to talk to those who've been. Here we've gathered our favourite quotes from all the Kilimanjaro reviews we've received...

Our romantic holiday choices
Want to book a romantic weekend away or journey round the world with your partner but don't know where to go? Aparently we at Responsible Travel are a romantic lot so we've put together a collection of our favourite romantic hideaways and adventures to inspire you...

Paradise islands off the beaten track
Finding your paradise island off the beaten track… There are many well-known islands which have been luring travellers for a long time, however, the vast majority of the world’s islands remains relatively unexplored. Some of these undiscovered paradise islands could be beckoning for your next holiday to an island retreat…

Pedal power - the rise of the cycling holiday
This year it seems that more people than ever are thinking ‘green’ about their holidays and opting to travel by bike in their chosen destination. At Responsible Travel we’ve seen an incredible 86% increase in the number of people looking for cycling holidays this year. And with over 200 fantastic cycling holidays to choose from it’s easy to see why. tours the Caribbean
The Caribbean is famous the world over for its picture perfect white sand beaches and the laid back lifestyles of its people. Made up of more than 7000 islands, islets, reefs and cays and with spectacular diving, mouth-watering cuisine and a truly tropical climate, it is one of the planet’s most popular tourist destinations.

Be inspired by these reviews from our travellers
Your voices have been heard! With 3600 reviews so far and counting, it’s your views that have helped thousands of other travellers to choose their next trip. Here are some of our top reviewed holidays and what other responsible travellers have had to say about them…

Romance, weddings & honeymoons with a heart
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner surely there’s no better time for us to launch our new wedding gift list service.

Sailing the high seas
Stepping off the mainland onto a boat and putting yourself in the hands of the wind and the waves is the very essence of adventure and freedom. The high seas have carried their fair share of great explorers, traders, pirates and romancing lovers, all with magical tales to tell and just as exciting are the voyages open to responsible travellers!

Small group holidays
For solo travellers or family adventurers, small group holidays are an excellent way to see any country. We sent Jerrine, one of our helpdesk experts, on a group adventure in India to see first hand what a group holiday is all about.

Romance in paradise
Whether you’re planning your honeymoon or think that romance in paradise shouldn’t just be the reserve of newly weds you’ll be spoilt for choice with our pick of dreamy destinations.

The great summer outdoors
With midsummer passing by and the unpredictable British weather looming over us, there is no better time to be planning how best to spend the remaining summer months.

Escape the 9 to 5 and try something new
Everywhere you look there is a list of things to do before you die; all the books and magazines tell you that these are things that you must do and experience to make your life complete. But here at Responsible Travel we appreciate that everyone is different, everyone has a different budget and everyone has a different idea of what an adventure is. So instead of boring you with another list of things we think you should do, we’ve selected a few of our favourite adventures from the extreme to the serine to share with you.

Searching for love on distant shores - our survey results
You heard it here first – going on holiday could be better than any dating site when it comes to finding your long term partner. According to a straw poll conducted in our latest newsletter, 17% of you met your current partner whilst on holiday (and 6% hope to in the future)! We agree that there’s definitely something romantic about travelling...

Walking - the best form of responsible holiday
Walking holidays by their very nature are low impact and allow you to experience the area at a pace not afforded by other types of holiday.

What to pack in your rucksack
Knowing what to take with you on holiday can be a little tricky. Aiming to travel light is a great plan but it’s very easy to get carried away and take everything but the kitchen sink. So we’ve had a think and come up with a selection of some of what we consider travel essentials to make it easier for you to pack for your next holiday.

Why wilderness is the new luxury
Luxury holidays are all the rage. Most people expect to stay in far better standard accommodation than that in which they live at home. On holiday we feel that we deserve the very best, and a special treat. However with 'luxury' being one of the most overused terms in marketing its getting harder to understand what luxury actually means.

Volunteer travel articles

A taste of volunteering, by Justin Francis
If you are interested in volunteering to work with communities in need, or in wildlife conservation, but are unable to take very long periods off work then there is a new type of trip – a taste of volunteering – that might be of interest for you.

Find the Gap: Great ideas for a responsible gap year
The 'gap year' has always been a fantastic opportunity for travel, discovery and making a difference and the chance to take time off and see the world is becoming increasingly popular for all age groups. So whether you're picking up your A-level results this week, looking for that big career break or simply want to get the most out of your two week's off there's bound to be a volunteering placement thats perfect for you.

What to look for in a responsible volunteering organisation
If you’re planning a volunteering trip, whether it’s a 3 month volunteer placement in a remote corner of the world or a weekend somewhere closer to home, it’s always good to know what to expect and the best way to do things. Our friends at people & places have helped us to write this guide on responsible volunteering.

Using your holiday to make a difference
Edward Abbey once said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul' but there is no longer any reason to look at the world's problems and feel helpless. If you like the idea of travelling with a purpose then the amazing range of volunteering holidays now available means that we’re confident that you’ll find a volunteering trip to suit you.

Family travel articles

Baby on board
The thing that worried me most about becoming a dad (bulging nappies aside), was the thought of kissing those exotic long-haul holidays goodbye in favour of a nice day out at the local country park and visiting the grandparents – “yours or mine this weekend?”.

Booking a family resort
As the parents of young children planning your holiday inevitably means putting the kid's needs first and your own desires second. Increasingly nowadays, though, you'll find it needn't be that way. There are a swarm of hotels and resorts that offer something for every member of the family.

Camping with kids
It is a shame that once children arrive on the scene, plenty of once intrepid campers seem reluctant to venture far from home. Parents face a common dilemma. Whilst there is no doubt getting the kids outdoors can make for lifelong memories - the question is, will they be good memories?

Read the real experiences of trail blazing families
Are you worried about taking the family to distant continents for a really amazing adventure? Taking your family to far-flung destinations can be a daunting prospect, but whatever the make up of your family there are many who have blazed a trail before you.

Our guide to family holidays
Don’t stay at home just because you’ve got youngsters! Travelling with kids can be stressful, let alone ensuring they (and you!) enjoy themselves while on holiday, but don’t let this put you off planning a holiday for the entire family.

Top tips for family holidays
We have compiled our top ten tips on travelling with children, as well as helpful advice from other parents, to help you plan your family trip and make the most of travelling with your little ones.

Crunch busting European deals for families
Despite the fluctuating exchange rate and tightening of purse-strings all round, Europe may still be the perfect choice for your family holiday this year. With more operators than ever putting on great offers to entice families back to some of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations there is plenty of reason to shop around and take advantage of some truly crunch-busting deals.

Off the wall family holidays
Although a sand, sea and sun package might be just what you're after for this year's holiday, don't let having a family in tow deter you from going on a holiday with a difference.

Read the real experiences of trail blazing families
Are you worried about taking the family to distant continents for a really amazing adventure? Taking your family to far-flung destinations can be a daunting prospect, but whatever the make up of your family there are many who have blazed a trail before you.

Why is travel good for children?
A family holiday can be a great opportunity as a parent to kick back or rekindle your own sense of adventure, but there are several ways in which our kids can really benefit from a great family holiday too which shouldn't be overlooked.

Travel reviews

The not so great white hunter
Laurens Van der Post, Willard Price and Wilbur Smith have a lot to answer for. As a small boy I read with great excitement about African adventures, and most of all about how tribal Africans - particularly the San (or bushmen) - could live at one with nature moving effortlessly through the bush only what they needed.

Walking with the Maasai
Removed from their land in 1974 to create the famous Masai Mara National Game Reserve the Maasai community are fighting back with innovative tourism ventures developed in partnership with responsible tourism businesses.

Sea kayaking in Scotland
My holiday was in the Outer Hebrides – a wonderful, awe inspiring and educational 7 days. The scenery was magnificent but one the most memorable experience for me was sharing it with five others that were just as impressed with both the location and history of the area as I was.

Iceland weekend adventure holiday
Last February I wanted a weekend with a difference. I wanted to experience a country I hadn't visited before, I wanted a new challenge, experience a new culture, and have fun! After reading about the Iceland weekend adventure holiday on the site I was sold.

Exploring Mercantour
Escape the hustle and bustle and take some time out in the Mercantour National Park, a delightfully secluded corner of France.

The Maldives by Electra Gillies
The first time I visited these enigmatic islands that stretch over the Indian Ocean I was nine years old.

Adrenaline bride
Where in the world does an adventure travel addict take his bride on honeymoon?

Trans-Siberian Railway
The Tran-Siberian Railway is the ultimate rail journey, the longest in the world, possibly the coldest if you go at the wrong time of year and the only journey that travels in two continents in a single journey, while staying in the same country.

Fragile mountains, by Tessa McGregor
Tessa McGregor joins an expedition to survey snow leopards and other animals in the mountains of the Altai Republic, Central Asia.

Winter sun in the Gambia
I had always wanted to visit the tropics and when we decided to catch some winter sun, the Gambia - being only a 6 hour flight from the UK - seemed the perfect choice.

Learning to dive in the red sea
My brother is a keen scuba diver, and has been urging me to learn for years, but as a nervous snorkeller (I hate the water flooding down and the feeling of claustrophobia!), it was never high on my priority list.

Dahab dive sites
Whether novice or pro, the Red Sea offers diving for all, and this, the second of my reports, gives you an idea of the dive sites around Dahab.

The human rights trail by Laureen Gillam
Saigon to Phnom Pemh: The human rights trail.

A Mercantour adventure
By Catherine Farrell, Responsible Travel holiday offers every traveller who makes a booking through us the opportunity to enter our draw to win a holiday.

Flying colours in the rainforests of Trinidad and Tobago
Darlington Chance saunters towards us just before 7am. We are caught without time for breakfast as we hoped he would follow Tobagonian custom by arriving at least half an hour late. Darlington is Tobago's only Rastafarian guide.

Expedition to Expedition
Despite badly made tea and an un-useable gas stove, Shaun O'Dowd revels in a camping expedition to a remote Queensland national park.

Sailing the Labrador
We’re aboard the good ship, anchored snugly in in Shoal Bay on the south central coast of Labrador. The wind is blasting over the vessel at 50-55 knots and, much to my relief, the anchor is securely set. It is 4 pm and the clouds are speeding by close overhead.

Cowboy in training
My boyfriend’s experience of riding rested on a single hair-raising hour with a pair of feisty Arabs (horses) on a windswept Moroccan beach. So I was stunned when he volunteered for a 90km, 3-day trek in France – the annual transhumance from the mountains of the Mercantour National Park down to the coast.

Tanzania volunteering
My project was a renovation of Sinai Primary School, serving roughly 600 students in only 5 classrooms. The school was about 2 miles from town, so every morning my guide and I rode our bicycles down to the job site.

My tour to the Amazing Kingdom of Thailand
I had the best experience and most exciting tour in Thailand, which I will always live to remember, and greatly treasure. My first visit was to Bangkok – Capital City of Thailand.

Selenkay Conservancy, Amboseli, Kenya
Dan Stiles visits and evaluates the fortunes of a private wildlife conservation area in Kenya - Selenkay

Fitness holidays
My wild quest for super-fitness By Ian Belcher. A two-week work out in Kenya, can leave you sweating like John Prescott in a sauna.

Sri Lanka from the Inside
Our attention turned to Sri Lanka which seemed to offer an extraordinary variety of natural and manmade attractions in a small island.

Where shall we travel now? Adventures in Thailand and Laos
This was the dilemma that faced my boyfriend and me as we stood at the Bangkok Airways check in desk at the start of our two-week holiday in Thailand and Laos. Our flight to Luang Prabang had been cancelled due to heavy monsoonal rains and there were to be no more departures for at least the next two or three days.

Exploring Vietnam
The gentle rocking of our carriage came to a gradual stop as the long whistle of the train announced our arrival into Lao Cai. Peering out the window of our cozy berth, my traveling partner, Ramona, and I witnessed the deep pink of a dawning sky as the sun rose to burn off the morning mist.

Northern Exposure trip to India
My introduction to a nine day tour of North India felt like having my face held at the mouth of an exhaust pipe. Everything about Delhi is a shock to the system. The dirt, the noise the traffic – combined they make London seem a Suffolk village in comparison.

Tree climbing on the Isle of Wight
Watching as your parents dangle from a tree may not be everyone’s idea of fun for a Sunday afternoon but it is definitely one of the best things you can do on the Isle of Wight. We were, of course, tree climbing.

Surprising Morocco: holiday winners tell us about their trip
Claire & Sarah tell us about their holiday to Morocco that they won in our competition.

My magical Olkimitare school visit
It was a hot, still Kenyan afternoon and I was nearing the end of my trip on Exodus’ Classic Kenya Safari. The Kicheche Camp Manager Williams had arranged a driver to take us across the plains on the thirty minute journey to Aitong Village.

Top tips from fellow travellers
Every day we receive some extraordinary comments from people who have been on one of our holidays. It’s impossible to show them all, but we have decided to share some of the best tips with you.

India holiday competition winner, their story
Every month someone who has booked their holiday through Responsible Travel is chosen as a winner of our Win a holiday competition. This month one of our lucky winners reports back from India , where they travelled with Intrepid travel, one of our members.

Accommodation travel articles

Restoration accommodation...the rest is history
One of the greenest ways to create a new hotel can be not to build one at all. Staying in a restored building can be a unique experience and in the process you will be helping to preserve the character and distinct culture associated with such buildings.

Cool Kenyan lodges
It has been said that Kenya is the Mzee, or respected old man, of ecotourism. However, too often local communities face the costs associated with preserving Kenya's majestic wildlife without seeing any of the benefits from the so called ecotourism on which it largely depends.

10 ways to tell if your eco-lodge is really an eco-lodge
'Eco' and 'eco-lodges' have become buzzwords used by both terrific organisations dedicated to conservation and benefitting local people, and those seeking to exploit its marketing potential for economic gain with little or no regard for destinations.

Agro tourism - a growing trend in the UK
At Responsible Travel we’ve seen interest in UK farmstay holidays more than double in the past year which is great news for the carbon footprint as well as a sign that getting out and about in the beautiful British countryside is still one of our favourite pastimes.

Community travel articles

What is community based tourism?
Community based tourism is tourism in which local residents (often rural, poor and economically marginalised) invite tourists to visit their communities with the provision of overnight accommodation.

Go on safari in Zambia & help support a communityy
Justin Francis from Responsible Travel sets out to discover if it possible to enjoy one of the most authentic luxury bush camp safaris in Africa and to help reduce poverty at the same time.

Getting behind Community Based Tourism and Conservation International have joined forces to promote a new type of tourism that is changing the way we travel.

Village India, a new concept in Indian tourism
A herd of buffalo wandered back from the fields, followed by women in brightly coloured saris, water gourds balanced on their elegant heads. Blue jays darted overhead as smoke rose from the cooking fires and aromatic smells filled the air.

Gaia Women
A group of local women formed a cooperative "Gaia" to prepare and sell traditional culinary specialties unique to this area. Today, their membership has increased to 40 women and their services have expanded throughout the region.

Community based tourism and Fair trade fashion
Justin Francis talks about what makes community based tourism so special and the parallels with the fair trade fashion world.

Travel articles on wildlife

Watching wildlife the responsible way
The thrill of watching animals in the wild has gained widespread popularity, especially in the tourism industry. Our resident Zoologist Holly Foat looks at the impact this may have on wildlife and provides tips on how to watch wildlife the responsible way.

Can wildlife tourism help conserve our endangered species?
Wildlife watching holidays often focus on the iconic species such as whales, tigers and polar bears, many of which are often the most threatened. So can wildlife tourism help conserve our endangered species?

Animal welfare issues in tourism
Animal welfare is often overlooked, so here we’re going to take a look at how animal welfare should be considered by travellers and what Born Free, a UK based animal welfare charity, are doing to raise awareness of these issues.

Travellers tips for animal friendly holidays
When on holiday it’s important to consider the welfare of the animals and wildlife in the host country. Our friends at Born Free, an international wildlife charity working to prevent animal suffering and protect wildlife in the wild, have helped us to compile this list of tips to help you have an animal friendly holiday.

Which is the biggest killer, climate change or the hunters?
Polar bears are commonly used by the media to illustrate the effect of climate change in polar regions but we ask is the biggest threat to polar bears really climate change or the hunters?

Wildlife tourism in Kenya
The civil unrest in Kenya at the beginning of 2008 will undoubtedly have had a severe impact on tourism to the country. This will have been a major blow for the countries economy but also for the countries wildlife. Our friends at the Born Free Foundation tell us why…

About to go on holiday? Think twice about your souvenirs
If you’re about to go away for your holidays soon and you think you will probably come home with a few souvenirs then read on. Our friends at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) have told us why it’s so important that you should think twice about what you bring home with you.

Risks in animal interaction
Our friends at the Born Free foundation are concerned with the welfare of these animals and also with the welfare of the tourists which is why they have helped us give you this information about the risks involved with interacting with animals and what you can do to help.

Animal welfare issues at rodeos and stampedes
Rodeos and stampedes are often major tourist attractions but the welfare of the animals involved can often be at risk. Our friends at the Vancouver Humane Society have helped us put together some information about rodeo events.

Turtles and tourism
They may have outlived the mass-extinction of dinosaurs, but sea turtles face a new threat: tourism.

The beaches of Crete – a Greek tragedy
Few tourists to Crete realise that when they book their package to a beach resort, they may be supporting one of the major contributing factors to the demise of the Mediterranean Loggerhead sea turtle, which has its major nesting areas in the world on Greece’s beaches.

Our monthly guide to watching wildlife
From watching penguins to tracking bears, the wonderful world of wildlife offers something to inspire us all year round. You don’t need to be an enthusiast to be able to enjoy a wildlife holiday, and there are often plenty of opportunities for exploring the local culture, relaxing and meeting new friends.

Swimming with dolphins – the experience of a lifetime?
For many people swimming with dolphins is a lifelong ambition and dream, but does fulfilling this dream come at too high a price?

Swimming with Sharks
There is an increasing trend among adrenaline junkies and wildlife enthusiasts to swim with the ultimate predator. But is cage diving with sharks an ethical way to see one of the world’s protected species?

Breakfast With The Birds
Andy struts arrogantly across the restaurant floor, eyeballing numerous diners who have entered his domain before selecting a German couple in the corner.

Think Twice: If the buying stops, the killing will too!
Millions of people fly out of the UK each summer in search of sun and relaxation. And many thousands come home with illegal souvenirs made from animal parts - often with no idea that they have done anything wrong.

White Lions - Guardians of Africa’s Gold
The White Lions are South Africa's pride and joy, our living national treasure. Or so they should be. All over the African continent, from Egypt in the North to Bushmanland in the South, legends of the White Lions existence grace ancient oral traditions and cave paintings.

Bird watching in Sri Lanka
I had never previously given any thought to visiting this tropical island just off the south east coast of India. A quick look on the ‘net told me that there are over 400 bird species (26 endemic species, and over 70 endemic sub-species), (endemic meaning found nowhere else), a large range of mammals from elephants to leopard to mongoose and it is also described as a “global hot spot” for reptiles.

Top 10 wildlife experiences
We have hundreds of wildlife holidays for you to chose from whether you want to go on a bear watching holiday or a snow leopard tracking trip. But to help you find the perfect holiday for you we have picked our top ten wildlife watching experiences from around the world.

Whale watching & swimming with the amazing humpback whale
Whale watching is becoming increasingly popular and we believe it’s a great way to show that whales are a valuable asset to the tourism industry and should be protected. In this article, our friends at WhaleSwim Adventures share their thoughts and discuss the threats to humpback whales.

Looking for big cats in the Masai Mara, without Simon King
It was nearly six years ago that when I was asked what my ideal job would be and I replied ‘I’d love to work for the BBC on Big Cat Diary’. It wasn’t the best response considering I was in an interview for a telemarketing job, but last week, there I was, six years later in the Masai Mara watching a cheetah stalking a Thompson’s gazelle.

Animals to see before they die
Forget the credit crunch, its endangered animals that have received the most airtime this week in the Responsible Travel office, thanks to the arrival of a copy of Bradt's '100 animals to see before they die'.

10 of the best wildlife experiences on the planet
Not much can come close to that feeling when you spot an animal in the wild, especially when you’re not expecting it: awe-inspiring, breathtaking and wonderful and always a moment you will never forget. So we’ve put together our top ten favourite wildlife watching holidays in various locations around the world, some in the very remote wilderness and some closer to home.

Ancient sea turtles threatened by development in Mexico
The Los Cabos area in Mexico is well known for its pristine shoreline and clear blue seas. It is also home to the last private preserve for the nesting beaches of endangered sea turtles, the San Cristobal Nature Preserve. However, since July last year the preserve has been under threat from a Sinaloa-based company...

Animal Olympics
With the Olympic Games just around the corner, we thought we’d join in with the Olympic spirit and acknowledge some of the top athletes of the animal kingdom.

Tiger spotting in India
Earlier in the year we sent Jerrine, one of our helpdesk experts, to India to soak up some of the sights, sounds and smells that this vast country has to offer. Here she recalls more about her Tiger spotting experiences and how tourism is aiding the conservation of this iconic creature.

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