The Green Benefits of Choosing a Short Haul Holiday




Short-haul holidays have a number of benefits for travellers. Less time on the plane means more time on the beach for a start, and because short-haul destinations are within a couple of time zones of the UK, the unpleasant punch-drunkenness that constitutes jet lag is eliminated. As well as these conveniences, choosing to take a short-haul holiday can also mean you’re taking a greener holiday, too.

Of course, any holiday which involves taking a flight comes with a substantial carbon footprint, but by choosing to stay in destinations closer to the UK, you are reducing the carbon emissions associated with your travel significantly. If you were to choose to reach your short haul destination by another, more eco-friendly means of travel, you could reduce this even further.

The greenest forms of holiday transport

Flying is the natural first choice for many holiday makers, but in some situations, particularly for short-haul destinations, you might also have other travel options open to you. Here are some of the other types of transport you could consider, not least for their green credentials. 

  • Ferry or cruise ship: travelling by boat is not only more eco-friendly than flying, it can also be more fun, too. Whether you take a small ferry across the channel or a luxury cruise to the Mediterranean, you have the opportunity to stroll around, shop and eat in comfort, unlike when you’re stuck in your seat on a plane. The carbon footprint associated with a short-haul ferry journey is around 1.2 tonnes.
  • High speed train: the Eurotunnel offers an excellent opportunity to reach a variety of European destinations quickly and in comfort, but with a smaller carbon footprint. In the time it takes to check in and board an aircraft you could already be speeding through the French countryside, sipping coffee in comfort. The carbon footprint of a European train journey is around two tonnes.
  • Car: around one in five UK holidaymakers are now planning to travel to their family holiday destination by car. The convenience of being able to pack everything into one vehicle and hit the road has meant a massive increase in the number of people driving into Europe. Driving from London to Madrid in Spain would have a carbon footprint of around half a tonne of CO2.

Not every destination can be reached by the various methods of transport mentioned above, so for some people and some places, the short-haul flight would still the preferred option. Short-haul air travel has a carbon footprint of around three tonnes, compared with long-haul which has a typical seven-tonne footprint.

How to go greener if you have to fly

If flying to your destination is unavoidable, you can look into offsetting your carbon emissions to minimise the environmental impact of your travel. Many companies will take a small fee from you, which will either go towards planting enough trees to offset the CO2 emissions from your journey, or into projects for sustainable energy, such as solar panels or wind turbines.

Some holiday companies are able to offer more environmentally friendly holiday experiences, too. Club Med, for example, has a number of eco-friendly, all-inclusive holidays on offer, which bring nature into your trip through cleverly planned activities designed for all the family. From nature walks to environmental sampling activities, children and adults can have the natural world around them brought to life on their holiday.

Is green travel something that is important to you?  How do you make your travels greener?


Some posts on our site, Travels4Couples, do allow us to make money. However, we do not sacrifice our integrity and only post those articles that match our brand and we feel would interest our readers.

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