The travel pendulum keeps swinging and no one is quite sure in which direction both the industry and we, the travellers within it, are heading next. At a time when nothing is quite certain, one thing remains constant: wherever we go (or don't go), a conscious approach should come first. Eyeing up a long-haul escape? Keeping that carry-on firmly closed, at home? Letting wanderlust lead the way? Travel experts and editors weigh in on the ways we can move around more thoughtfully - and where they hope to go next.
Experts and editors weigh in on more thoughtful ways to travel
"Instead of relying on myriad transfers that increase my carbon footprint, I want to spend more time soaking up a singular destination, exploring by train, boat, bike and even on foot, hiking where I can. Not only is this a novel way to see and experience places you may not have visited before, but it also allows more time to process and reflect on the rich tapestry of cultures, customs and breathtaking natural beauty that a destination offers. I'm itching to visit Japan, specifically Tohoku's mesmerising Kiso Valley. This historic area lends itself beautifully to slow travel, being easily accessible via two express trains from Tokyo Station. The valley was part of the ancient Nakasendo Route, merging the new capital Tokyo - called Edo in those days - with Kyoto, the former Imperial capital. This rugged and densely forested region of Japan offers an authentic way to commune with the natural world and almost take a step back in time. Sign me up."
Brendan Drewniany, Director of Public Relations and Communications at Black Tomato
Revisit and Rediscover
"As the new year looms, so do annual reflections and resolutions. Something about the year 2022 feels fresh, attractive and, ultimately, a welcome change. As I continue to navigate the ever-evolving travel landscape, I'm hoping to strip things back to where I feel most at home and connected to the landscape that surrounds me. For me, this is a lesser-trodden beach on the south-west coast of Corfu, Chalikounas. This place has seen me at all ages and there's something truly beautiful about visiting a destination that remains unchanged regardless of what's happening in the world. As I (hopefully) make a beeline for the sun-drenched streets of Greece, I'll strive to continue to travel slower, immersing myself in the culture before me."
Georgina Groom, Editorial Assistant at SUITCASE
Return to Safari
"As travellers become more conscientious about how they travel and the impact of their travel, I believe one of the best things we can do is support businesses that employ local and therefore make an impact in the local community. Those who work in tourism are often the breadwinners, supporting their extended families. What these individuals earn is put back into their community and supports more people, creating a virtuous cycle. I am very keen to get back on safari, having seen first-hand the impact of these vast areas having no visitors. All the parks and conservation areas need income from tourism to fund the amazing conservation projects run across the continent. Not only is the wildlife more at risk of poaching during times of low-to-no tourism, but those who rely on the income to support their families and communities lose access to education, health and opportunities to improve their situation."
Justin Huxter, Owner and Travel Designer at Cartology Travel
Support Sustainability-Forward Suppliers
"We head into 2022 with the renewed hope of borders reopening and our collective ability to rediscover this beautiful planet. I will continue to offer dreamy, imaginative escapes for my clients while always supporting those hotels and countries with sustainable travel practices at their core. Blue Moon Escapes consistently strives to work with environmentally conscious suppliers throughout the world while encouraging travel to countries such as Bhutan, a destination whose tourist model is founded on sustainability principles. While in Sri Lanka, recently, I was cheered by the lengths that several properties, including Teardrop Hotels, have reached, such as being both plastic-free and community-focused. I will also look to continue to educate myself and build strong partnerships with similar organisations while highlighting the positive impact that exploring this amazing world can bring."
Jess Pugh, Founder of Blue Moon Escapes
Champion Independent Properties
"While many of the world's most glorious (and often sustainability-forward) hotels fall under a corporate umbrella, smaller, independently owned properties in rural areas have been hit unduly hard. A new year presents an opportunity to start afresh and support what really matters to you, whatever that may be. I plan to go above and beyond to find lesser-known boutique properties not on my radar yet and continue to return and support the owner-led places I love. Top of my list? Foraging and fancy scones at the Allen family's Ballymaloe House in East Cork, botanical cocktails at The Baa Bar of the Hibbert family-founded Thyme, nestled deep in the Cotswolds, and, closer to my current home in Florence, yoga, honey and sensationally peppery olive oil at Podere Ebbio."
Rachael McKeon, Editor-in-Chief at SUITCASE
"I'm a chronic overpacker and the fact that this affects my overall travel footprint has been bearing heavily on my conscience this year. In 2022, I plan to pack lighter. Much lighter. Plus, I'll be decanting any can't-do-without beauty products into refillable containers - like these nifty ones from The Karry - and avoiding the last-minute dash to Boots for throwaway travel-sized beauty products at all costs."
Grace Lee, Editorial Associate at SUITCASE