Responsible Travel Policy
Our company goal is to travel kindly: to be kind to our travelers, kind to our local partners and people we interact with on tour, kind to the environment, kind to each other and kind to all living beings. We believe we have a responsibility to stand up and take action when we witness unkindness.
We try to employ local people as often we can. We believe these people are the ones that know the area the best and can give our travelers local interaction. This is throughout the trip process from guides to drivers and so on. We have local people on the ground and we also try to make sure that we avoid big corporations and brands and try to stay at locally owned places if such a choice is available at our standard.
What this can look like in reality:
- Included tours to local attractions and towns with a highly qualified tour guide
- Visited French owned restaurants and vegan grocery store in Paris.
- Stayed in a locally owned independent French hotel in Ensisheim.
- We gave a $500 donation to Animalsace in France who are campaigning to get vegan options on university menus.
- We gave 200 euros to the Bear and Wolf Sanctuary.
We are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment. We are still a small boutique company who is still growing and figuring out everything, but we feel confident that we are going above and beyond to travel as consciously as possible
What this looks like in reality:
- We work from home. We’re a boutique travel agency. We are vegan for the animals, our health and the planet. This means that we really do care about many of these issues.
- All our meals on our trips are 100% vegan.
- Encourage people to bring their own toiletries so they do not use the hotel’s ones. Our travelers are keen to comply with this, as we do know if these products are vegan and cruelty free or not.
- We ask people to bring a refillable water bottle from home or we provide them.
- We sometimes provide a reusable mug. This is made from enamel. When we ordered these we were saddened that the packaging contained a lot of packing materials, so we collected the eco foam and posted it back to the manufacturers. We also insisted that the cardboard was recycled
- For any take away food we insist on eliminating or minimizing any single use. For this picnic on a train, we brought Tupperwares to the patisserie so that we did not need to use single use plastics. We also ensured that everything was recycled afterwards.
- All our travelers are provided with this cutlery kit (10:30) made from up-cycled fabric and a tote bag and includes bamboo cutlery and a straw.
- When we travel in countries that do not have potable drinking water, we insist our travelers minimize their plastic use from water bottles with the following
- Allow travelers access to out Steripen to purify tap water.
- Suggest they buy their own Steripen or a lifestraw before arriving
- We include 10 water purification tablets in their tote bags so that travelers can purify their water.
- In the buses we use a big water container like this and add a hand pump. We encourage people to fill up their refillable bottle with this every time we get on and off the bus. This simple action really helps.
- We ask the hotels to replace any plastic water bottles with glass (in the room)
- We ask hotels for there to be access to water. In a communal space so everyone has access to it.
- We also do volunteer beach clean ups.
- One of our guides was so inspired by our veganism and commitment, she has now opened a vegan restaurant in Hoi An and employs many of the strategies that we use in our own trips to reduce waste.
- We remind restaurants many times about the use of single use plastics (straws and bottles)
- Our trips have a focus protecting all animals, but especially wild animals in their natural habitats. We visited the Green Viet Douc Langur project.
We know we have an impact on the communities we visit and we know that an impact can be positive or negative. We try our best to visit projects that are benefitting people that are directly impacted and indirectly from tourism.
What this looks like in reality:
- Veganising local versions of dishes.
- We take care not to visit any attraction where there is exploitation of any type.
- Having virtual bookclubs of important local books to get a deeper understanding of the history of an area for example our travelers are reading ‘Shake Hands with the Devil” by General Roméo Dallaire to understand the history behind the Rwandan genocide
- Visiting KOTO in Hanoi.
- We speak openly and clearly with guides and instruct them that they must be comfortable to speak out if there are any difficult situations.
- We vet our guides carefully to ensure that they follow our guidelines.
- The founders have a deep understanding of the country they are visiting and are mindful of this in all areas.
Our Reflection Process
We have a full debrief after each trip and consider all parties feedback to ensure that there is continual improvement in all of these areas.