Arizona and New Mexico self drive vacation
Description of Arizona and New Mexico self drive vacation
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetResponsible Travel doesn't mean having to compromise on the enjoyment of your trip or the quality of your accommodation.
As a company we are firmly committed to the principles of ethical travel. Our comprehensive Responsible Practices policy summarises our commitments and actions.
Although the very basis of our ground operations lends itself to the ethos of responsible tourism, this policy re-iterates our commitment to:
• Use locally owned hotels
• Use locally owned ground agents
• Use local guides and drivers
• Promote community tourism projects from homestays to craft shops
• Support charities that work within the destinations that we travel to
Whilst we recognise that a vital element of any vacation is relaxation, we do try to encourage our clients to be aware of the impact they have on their destinations. We hope this will help to ensure the sustainability of our destinations and improve the quality of our clients' overall experience.
Ethical considerations are also part of our research and development process and we encourage feedback on our practices. Clients are asked to comment and make suggestions on our responsible practices when completing their post-trip questionnaire. In addition to this, as well as visiting destination-based initiatives whilst on their educational trips, our country specialists are encouraged to help continually improve our responsible travel initiatives.
We always prefer to use hotels which have environmental policies in place regarding reuse of towels and sheets, electricity and water usage.
Where available we recommend our clients stay in ethically responsible accommodation, such as eco-lodges that aim to preserve the beauty of natural surroundings.
Ethical practice is not just limited to the destinations we operate in. Responsible practice is exercised in our office with various measures put in place aimed at reducing, re-using and recycling resources where possible.
We carry out dedicated responsible travel training sessions with all employees upon joining the company.
We minimise our electricity consumption by switching off lights, computers, fans etc in rooms that are not in use and at night. We also monitor thermostats and keep doors and windows closed when heating is on.
We recycle all office paper, encourage double-side photocopying and, where appropriate, circulate documents by email. We also exercise effective control of brochure production, distribution and disposal.
We encourage car sharing amongst employees and are part of a cycle scheme.
Despite the fact that this a self drive vacation, there are ways in which you can minimise your impact on the environment while traveling and see what practices some of the places that you will travel to are committed to fulfilling.
Hotels and restaurants en route will be happy to refill your own water bottles. This one act will save you dollars and will mean that you aren't disposing plastic bottles in bins along the way.
In Tucson, you can park the car and walk or cycle the Turquoise Trail. It's a 2 ½ mile long loop trail through downtown Tucson that highlights structures and sites of historic interest and is marked by a turquoise stripe on the sidewalk. It begins at the Presidio Museum and was created by the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation. You can pick up walking tour brochures at the Presidio Museum or at the Tucson Visitors Center.
Tucson is also the first American city to become part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for gastronomy, honouring Southern Arizona's food traditions and culinary innovation. Part of this award is based on Tucson chefs teaching children about healthy meals and gardening and collaborating with local growers. The University of Arizona works on the forefront of agricultural research ready to tell the rest of the world about sustainable growing practices and biodiversity in a likely arid future. Silver City has the same concerns from increasing heat, drought and other climate variability, such as larger and more intense wildfires and has just released it's Sustainability Plan to 2030.
Taos is home to the Earthship Community & Earthship Biotecture. An Earthship is a type of passive solar house that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires and was pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds. Michael wanted to create a home that would do three things: first, it would utilize sustainable architecture, and material indigenous to the local area or recycled materials wherever possible; second, the homes would rely on natural energy sources and be independent from the "grid"; thirdly, it would be feasible for a person with no specialised construction skills to build. Today you can take a self-guided tour through this gallery-style Education Facility which allows you to experience a fully-functioning Earthship that combines passive solar architecture, thermal mass construction, renewable energy, integrated water systems that include indoor food growing, and the use of natural and recycled materials.
PeopleWe are committed to supporting a wide number of responsible and ethical initiatives, including environmental projects, community tourism projects and education programmes. We encourage our clients to visit many of these initiatives such as wildlife sanctuaries and co-operatives.
Through client-specific notes in our tailor-made itineraries, we continue to actively recommend restaurants, shops and other local businesses so that the community is directly benefited. Most of these have been discovered by our country specialists and include craft shops that ensure tourist money is fed back to the individuals who produce the crafts, and restaurants which train local street children.
We promote environmentally friendly tours and accommodation in a number of destinations.
We prefer, where possible, to use smaller, locally owned ground agents. Not only does this ensure that it is the host community who are managing and benefiting from the local tourist industry, but we also believe that our clients will have a better trip as local agents have a much more intimate knowledge of the region.
For the same reasons as above, we always use local guides and drivers. This not only provides crucial employment and income for the local community, but also increases the authenticity of the client’s trip.
We favour ground agents who have an awareness of responsible tourism policies and strong environmental commitment. Responsible practice is one of the principle criteria during the selection of new suppliers, and ethical initiatives form a fundamental element in our ground arrangements.
In addition to feedback from country specialist visits, all our ground agents are asked to keep us updated on their own responsible tourism practices as well as potential community tourism projects, local charities and eco-accommodation that we can recommend to our clients.
Clients are asked to report on the behaviour and awareness of our agents and local guides once they have returned home from their trip.
We always try to favour small locally owned hotels over large international chains. We work closely with our local ground agents to source more small guesthouses, B&Bs, boutique hotels and eco-friendly lodges. This ensures that as much revenue as possible remains in the host country as well as providing an experience with more genuine character for our clients.
New Mexico and the Four Corners are some of the only places in the United States where the landscape encompasses ancient history. Thanks to the arid, high-desert conditions of the Southwest, many of the ancient sites built by ancestral Native American peoples between around 1000 CE and 1500 CE still remain. On this trip you can learn all about the Ancestral Puebloan tribes with visits to their ancient cliff dwellings.
Santa Fe’s art community spans generations, from some of the best and most prestigious art markets in the world to an eclectic mix of galleries. The city's rich history and modern flair are on full display at annual art markets, from July’s International Folk Art Market and the vibrant Spanish Market to the celebration of Santa Fe’s native history at the Indian Market in August.
And, with more than 250 galleries to explore, you'll be astonished by the city's array of art, including traditional and contemporary painting, photography, pottery, sculpture, textiles and more.
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