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Travel tips

6 responsible travel activities you can do to celebrate Earth Day

Apr 12, 2024 by Steph Herron

Our team here at Go Ahead keeps Mother Nature front of mind every day, but this Earth Day (April 22) we’re taking an extra moment to thank our planet for playing host to so many beautiful travel memories. After all, our globetrotting adventures wouldn’t exist without the planet that inspires them. Whether you’re looking for Earth Day activities that give back to the environment or are just realizing that you need some Responsible Travel inspiration, we have you covered. Here are six of our favorite ways to celebrate Earth Day— both on our tours across the world and at home.

1. Make local connections

Getting to know a local culture is one of the most rewarding ways to discover a new destination. There are countless opportunities to do this during our guided tours, like visiting a Maasai village on our Kenya Wildlife Safari or joining a home-hosted dinner on our Egypt & Nile River Cruise. In fact, supporting local communities is one of the pillars of Go Ahead’s commitment to responsible travel, so expect authentic experiences on all of our tours. Shopping local is another great way to not only connect with the community you’re visiting, but also one of our preferred ways to celebrate Earth Day. By searching out traditional, handmade goods, you’re supporting the artists and craftsmen who create them and investing in souvenirs that are environmentally friendly.

Experience it on tour: Immerse yourself in the Maasai way of life during a visit to a local boma, or Maasai homestead.

2. Appreciate natural beauty

Another one of our top Earth Day ideas? Take time to explore and marvel at the stunning beauty of the planet’s protected landscapes—right in your own backyard. There are 63 national parks in the United States and 38 in Canada. Whether you opt to take one of our National Parks Tours or venture out on your own to spend a day at the national park closest to your home, you’re in for a treat (and a spectacular Earth Day celebration). We recommend taking some time to reflect as you gaze at the breathtaking scenery around you. You’re sure to gain a newfound appreciation for the beauty of our planet.

Experience it on tour: Enjoy sweeping views of four US National Parks on one of our favorite tours.

3. Visit green cities

Did you know that the European Commission (the executive branch of the European Union) awards the title of European Green Capital to a different city each year? The 2024 winner is Valencia, Spain, but in the past Tallin, Lisbon, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Ljubljana have all been recognized for their commitment to improving both the environment and quality of life for citizens and travelers alike. These are all cities that travelers can visit on our guided tours. One of our favorite Earth Day activities is to pay a visit to any of these spots to enjoy their abundant green spaces and witness their sustainability initiatives in action—and be sure to check out some of our other favorite sustainable tourism destinations, too. 

Experience it on tour: Visit the 2024 European Green Capital, Valencia, on tour with us.

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4. Explore on foot

Of course, you’ll need to fly, drive, or hop on a train to get to a faraway destination, but try out an alternate form of transportation once you arrive: your own two feet! Stretch your legs and stroll through your new surroundings. Walking may not initially sound like one of the most groundbreaking things to do for Earth Day, but when you choose to walk through your destination, you’ll have the unique chance to soak up the scenery of a new city or get closer to nature. If this suggestion sounds like a fun way to celebrate while getting some steps in, then consider booking one of our Walking Tours—they’re filled to the brim with wonderful Earth Day activities for adults and children alike. Between the leisurely downhill hikes through charming Italian country villages and the scenic strolls crossing olive-tree-lined vineyards, you’ll feel like you’ve found heaven on Earth.

Experience it on tour: Wander through the Amalfi Coast with us.

5. Be mindful of your energy use

Many of the daily small choices you make can have a big impact on our planet. Some tips for staying green while traveling? Before you leave for a trip, make sure all of your appliances are turned off and unplugged so they don’t use extra energy while you’re traveling. Educating your kids or grandkids and encouraging them to get in the habit of doing the same is one of our top Earth Day activities for adults as well. When on the road, be sure to only take as many maps or brochures as you need, and don’t forget to recycle them rather than throwing them in the trash. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, whether that’s at home or in a hotel on one of our tours. To conserve water, turn it off while you’re brushing your teeth and keep your showers short. When packing, consider swapping in some eco-friendly travel essentials. Even simple changes like these can make a big difference, which lands practicing environmental mindfulness a spot as one of our Earth Day ideas.

6. Book a tour that’ll help you give back

If you’re ready to find more ways to celebrate Earth Day, book one of our tours that puts an emphasis on Responsible Travel. Think you’d enjoy the chance to plant a tree for Earth Day? Travelers on our Grand Tour of Costa Rica: From the Caribbean to the Pacific will not only partake in a reforestation project, but also visit a Toucan Rescue Ranch along with wildlife refuges and nature reserves. If you’re looking for a tour that packs a serious environmental punch, Costa Rica is the destination for you. All of our Costa Rica tours are filled with some planetary appreciation. On our Costa Rica for Solo Travelers: Volcanoes, Jungles & Beaches tour, travelers will take part in a hands-on mangrove reforestation project and tour a wildlife sanctuary.

You won’t only find reforestation initiatives and wildlife sanctuaries in Costa Rica, however. Mangrove reforestation activities and visits to elephant sanctuaries are also on our Highlights of Southern Thailand: Bangkok, Phuket & Krabi tour, making it another great choice for travelers looking to honor the planet. Lock in your spot on one of these tours to celebrate this world Earth day, and don’t forget to check out 10 more responsible travel experiences you can find on our tours.

Ready for a grand Earth Day celebration? Join any of our responsibly crafted tours.

Responsible travel
About the author | Steph Herron
Since moving abroad for college at the age of 18, Steph’s never doubted that travel is her passion in life. When she isn’t seeking opportunities to satisfy her wanderlust—and inspiring others to do the same—you’ll find her exploring Boston’s vegan food scene, shopping for eclectic pieces to add to her closet, or rewatching 90s romantic comedies.

Celebrate Earth Day on tour

views of the aegean sea from the greek islands with white buildings in the foreground
views of the aegean sea from the greek islands with white buildings in the foreground views of the aegean sea from the greek islands with white buildings in the foreground
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