The very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travellers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world we are exploring; to travel responsibly is at the heart of our commitment as a global tour operator.
We believe that responsible travel is about the attitude you take with you and the choices you make when travelling - to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment. We travel by these values wherever our groups go; from remote regions of the Himalayas to trips through the developed Western world, like this three week coast to coast road trip across the USA.
This trip takes in some outstanding wilderness areas including the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Shenandoah, Yosemite and Mesa Verde National Parks. We not only take the opportunity to explore these stunning landscapes but also assist in the conservation efforts of these amazing natural wonders through the entrance fee we pay for access and through the camping fees we pay to stay overnight. We ensure that our visits leave no trace, taking away our rubbish, recycling where possible and staying at approved campsites within the parks with the infrastructure to support our small groups. There will be much opportunity during your park visits to explore on foot, and again in order to protect these conservation areas you’ll be asked to follow and stick to the paths while hiking.
These small steps combined make a big difference to the overall responsibility of touring holidays and you’ll notice other measures we take en route too. For example, you’ll be encouraged to travel with a refillable water bottle during the trip rather than purchasing a new plastic bottle each time you want a drink. It is estimated that 50 billion plastic water bottles are used in the USA every year and just 23% of these are recycled. The tap water in the States is safe to drink and we encourage all our passengers not to add to this rapidly escalating problem.
Environmentally, we are a carbon neutral company, offsetting not only the emissions of our offices and staff travel around the world, but also the ground emissions of all our passengers on all our trips. On this epic cross country journey that equates to 1,550kgs of carbon offset per passenger, per departure! We offer all our travellers the opportunity to offset the cost of their international travel with us.
As well as your local, American group leader and driver who will be with you for the duration of the tour, we also employ local site guides at certain points en route. Employing locally not only contributes financially to the local economy and assists employment opportunities, but it gives our travellers experiences those travelling with a UK group leader just can’t match. Exploring Monument Valley in the company of Navajo guide, offering fascinating insights about the largest Native American tribe in the US, whilst revealing the secrets of a region where more than two hundred thousand Native Americans currently live, is a truly memorable experience. Mesa Verde National Park is also best explored on a ranger led tour, allowing you to safely access more out of the way locations.
This trip involves a lot of camping and as such many meals will be prepared by the group as a whole using a food kitty system to buy supplies en route. We encourage the use of local, smaller suppliers who have often sourced the fresh foods they are selling regionally, reducing the food mile carbon emissions of our food. When eating out, we’ll tend to lean towards smaller, family run restaurants for the same reason. Not only does this allow us to sample local specialities, but it helps keep the money our visit is generating with those who will see the benefit from it most.