Travelling without taking is an idea that is increasingly in the minds of travellers. In Northern Europe (Scandinavia), the shame of flying for environmental reasons has even become a movement called the “Flygskam”.
It is true that in a world that is suffering the full impact of global warming, it is important to ask the right questions and adopt responsible behaviour to reduce its impact on the planet.
But, is it really possible to travel without flying? The answer is not a simple one…
Why travel without taking a plane?
With the arrival of low-cost airlines, the number of passengers worldwide has exploded. Flying has become a common consumption for many people and is a real threat to the environment. Moving in the air is on average fifteen times more polluting than taking the train! The aircraft impacts the climate and accelerates global warming, particularly through CO2 emissions from kerosene combustion.
Traveling without flying is a more responsible way to travel, which limits the carbon footprint of each individual. In an “ideal” world, flying should only be booked when there is no alternative but a long-haul flight and should be considered as an occasional means of transport. The aim is to limit the number of flights (especially short and medium distance flights such as the weekend in Barcelona, the Ascension Bridge in Marseille…) to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.
What are the alternatives for not flying?
Air transport is the fastest when it comes to long journeys. So, how can you go far without taking a plane? To do this, we advise you to start by changing your relationship to time and travel.
Approaching travel from a different angle and trying new adventures with means of transport other than flying will not spoil your holiday in any way, perhaps even the opposite… This may be an opportunity for you to travel at reasonable costs, reconnect with nature and escape the stress of airports.
Among the alternatives for travelling without flying are:
If we were to mention that only one means of transport as a substitute for flying would certainly be the train. There are many advantages to travelling by train: being dropped off in most city centres on arrival, contemplating beautiful landscapes during the journey or even travelling at night… Moreover, when you take the train, baggage restrictions are much less restrictive than those imposed by air carriers!
In Europe, there are low-cost lines that make the train accessible to the majority of people. Some train companies such as Interrail offer packages to travel within and between several countries, allowing you to visit many places with less impact.
It is a way to travel at your own pace and take the time to choose your itinerary by selecting roads that offer beautiful landscapes.
ATTENTION: so that the car can be considered a more responsible means of travel than the plane, it is not a question of travelling alone, but rather of sharing this means of transport. Bringing several passengers together in a single vehicle reduces the environmental impact per passenger. This is the very principle of carpooling or hitchhiking where gas or toll costs may be shared equally.
In France, car-sharing platforms exist and connect people who want to share the road. This same system also exists in many countries in Europe and around the world. If you wish to try this experience abroad, you will have to adapt to the language of the country you are visiting. With a few organizational efforts, you will be able to enjoy friendly moments and travel in an eco-citizen way.
Accessible to small budgets and those with a lot of time, the bus allows you to travel long distances. Long considered uncomfortable, buses are now equipped with new devices to make travel more pleasant: Wi-Fi, individual lighting, comfortable seats…
Many bus lines available in France also serve several European countries.
If you travel to areas separated by seas or oceans, you can also avoid flying by boat. Depending on the number of passengers carried, travelling by boat can reduce your carbon footprint.
If you can travel by sailboat, your footprint will be even smaller! Unfortunately, this is not always possible or suitable for everyone…
Other ways to get around and experience exceptional adventures without flying
Other means of transport can also replace air transport. There are in particular two-wheeled transport modes: bicycle, scooter, motorcycle…
A bicycle trip, for example, can be a simple and effective way to get around as part of a local trip and for the bravest, even for a long trip.
There is nothing more tempting than a plane ticket as inexpensive as a bus, carpooling or train trip, but what better way to travel than to reduce your environmental impact? Alternatives to travel without flying exist so take advantage of them!
If you have a small travel budget, we advise you to go ahead and buy your tickets or plan your itineraries. With preparation, travelling without a plane, taking advantage of the roads and at lower costs, it is possible!
New ways of travelling
To reduce your carbon footprint when travelling, you can adopt new travel styles that will also help you discover places and people from a different, more authentic perspective.
Ecotourism is a kind of eco-responsible travel that confirms the commitment of some citizens to sustainable development. This style of travel limits its impact on the planet, seeks to preserve the places visited and support local populations.
If your trip is to the other side of the world, it will be difficult to travel without flying. On the other hand, you can quite prefer less or non-polluting means of transport once on site and thus offset (a little) your carbon impact.
Far from mass tourism, ecotourism allows you to preserve nature, take the time to meet local people and be refreshed on roads that you will certainly not have been able to admire from the air.
The Slow travel
Slow travel is a state of mind that favours the qualitative aspect of travel to the detriment of the number of sites visited. In a world where speed is king, whether at work, in transport or even in leisure, this movement advocates the discovery of a country or region at a slow pace and taking care to be attentive to the environment and favouring other means of travel than flying.
The proximity trip
By favouring short trips, close to home, you can discover places just as surprising as those you would have visited on the other side of the world.
If you live in France, don’t forget that it is a country full of breath-taking landscapes: sea, ocean, mountains, countryside… By taking a closer look at all these local treasures, you may find destinations that meet your expectations. It would also be an opportunity to consume locally and above all to favour modes of transport that are softer than flying for short distances.