Spain and Portugal 11 day tour
Description of Spain and Portugal 11 day tour
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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.
PlanetGoing on vacation is a lot of fun, however in order for it to stay fun for future generations we need to reduce the amount emissions we emit. Carbon emissions have doubled over the last 20 years which is the cause of 5% of all man-made global warming. If aviation was a country, it would be the 7th largest emitter of CO2 in the world. Furthermore, aircraft emit more than just CO2, the impact on climate change could be between two and four times greater than from CO2 alone. If nothing is done about this, aviation will contribute over a quarter of the world's total carbon output by 2050.
To reduce our carbon footprint while traveling we need to change what we eat and buy, where we choose to stay and how we travel from point A to B. That is why on this vacation we will advise you how to reach the destination by train and can help you book tickets if you require. Whilst on the tour itself we use only public transport to keep the emissions down. This not only allows you to get more of a flavour of the country you are traveling through by allowing you to meet locals etc. but can be more relaxing too.
On average, our interrailing tours are 74% more environmentally friendly than flying! Traveling by rail is the greenest way to go, and Europe’s network of trains are among the most extensive and environmentally friendly in the world. Almost all rail companies within Europe have electrified their lines, reducing the need for diesel powered trains, which contribute towards significant air pollution issues.
When traveling, we further help to protect the environment by encouraging all our customers to travel with a reusable bottle rather than buying bottles of water every day, reducing the use of single-use plastic. Every hostel and hotel we use has drinking tap water so why not pour yourself a bottle and leave it in the fridge overnight ready for the next day?
To minimise our own carbon footprint, we will never send out printed communications such as brochures or newsletters; we provide these digitally on the website, and are more than happy to email you a copy if you like. In the same way, all communication with customers and the trip information is sent through email. If customers still prefer to receive a physical copy of our travel pack, it’s printed on recycled paper and in turn, are 100% recyclable themselves.
PeopleAs well as our responsibility to the environment, we also recognise our impact on local communities as part of the tourist industry. First and foremost, we are highly aware of the potential impact of mass tourism on local communities, which is why we always aim to encourage sustainable travel, whilst promoting travel as a means of building cultural understanding.
We do not oversell destinations which suffer from too much tourism. We have a certain number of hostel beds available and once these spaces are filled we stop offering the destination to ensure that we don't contribute to the issue of overtourism. We always endeavour to provide ‘less touristy’, locally owned destinations and suggestions for sightseeing in each city that you'll visit.
We have taken the time out to meet with and forge strong personal relationships with our partner hostels and hotels on this trip, in order to benefit both customers, as well as local businesses. Through them we recommend locally based tours, excursions and activities which provide income to local businesses.
We make sure customers are aware of the positive impact they can have on the destinations they are visiting, in particular the smaller businesses. It’s easy to overlook the positive economic stimulus you can have by frequenting local businesses such as shops and restaurants, which is why we make sure all our customers have knowledge of this. We encourage travelers to sample the local cuisine, stay away from global chains and speak to locals for the best recommendations. Some of these are also listed in the personalised travel pack all our customers receive. Not only does this result in a more authentic travel experience, traveling with us will empower you to support locally run businesses and give the opportunity to truly get to know local people.
On the Spain and Portugal tour we include numerous local activities, such as: experiencing the historical heritage of Barcelona by visiting Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, eating authentic Spanish paella by the beach during a daytrip to Oropesa, climbing El Miguelete Bell Tower in Valencia, visiting Cuenca on a daytrip, going on a traditional tapas tour in Madrid, a daytrip to Sintra and finally, having a authentic Portuguese meal at Francesinha in Porto.
We do not include trips to zoos in our packages, this is since keeping animals in zoos deprives them from their natural habitat. The animal is also deprived of its natural social structure and companionship. All in all, zoos are bad for animal welfare.
Lastly, we also encourage our customers to travel with an open, respectful attitude towards other travelers and local residents. We provide basic language essentials in each of our travel packs to help foster cultural immersion and encourage getting off the beaten track to gain a truly authentic experience of each city that you visit.
Back at the office, staff are encouraged to pursue charity projects and volunteering which contribute to the local community, we offer flexible hours to accommodate these projects. In the past year three of our staff have undertaken and continue to undertake regular volunteering, including; teaching English to refugees living in Leeds, providing mental health coaching and support to girls in a local primary school, and helping with rehabilitation projects in a local prison. In addition, staff are encouraged to participate in charity fundraising. In 2017 a team of staff members took part in Race for Life to raise money for Breast Cancer UK.
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