First Aid For Flying Shame

Photo of author

( — July 14, 2022) — More and more people are realizing how bad flying is for the environment. In Sweden, they even have a word for it: flygskam, or flight shame. It is the shame you feel when you travel by plane, while there are alternatives that are less harmful to the environment. This feeling of shame is not strange when you consider that a return ticket to Peru produces as much CO2 emissions as an average car in the Netherlands produces on an annual basis. One trip by plane will undo all your sustainable actions. We are happy to give you first aid with flight shame.

What to do if you are ashamed of flying?

There are also many reasons why you might want to get on a plane. Traveling brings a lot of good things. It helps people in poor countries out of poverty; you contribute to the protection of nature reserves; you learn to look at the world with a broad perspective; and – not unimportantly – travel makes you happy! So the big question is: can you still get on a plane without feeling guilty? We tell you what you can do if you suffer from flight shame.

Less frequent and longer trips

The step from eating meat every day to being a vegetarian is too big for many people. That is why the phenomenon of flexitarianism was created. This means that you eat as little meat as possible, but enjoy it more when you do. Do the same with flying. Travel by plane less often and stay away longer. This way you make sure that you get the most out of it when you do go on vacation by plane. Of course, you don’t have to go on vacation less often. Alternate your distant travels with destinations that can be reached by train.

Travel less far and avoid the shame of flying

You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world for unique experiences and special encounters. Spain and France are familiar territory, but have you ever thought about the pristine landscapes and Roman ruins of Albania? How about the crystal clear mountain lakes and traditional Balkan villages of Montenegro? Or the endless hospitality of the locals in Romania? All of these destinations are at least as adventurous as Laos and Bolivia, and you can reach them simply by train. Say goodbye to your flight shame!

Make the trip part of your vacation

Of course, a plane will get you to your destination a lot faster than a train or bus. But what if you make the train journey part of your vacation? Plan a few days for the train trip to Albania and you can make some great trips along the way. Paris, Milan and Rome are a small sample of the possibilities. With the Interrail pass your travel dates are not fixed and you are flexible to go wherever and whenever you want.

Stop with short flights

Make it easy on yourself and agree that from now on you won’t take flights for distances under 500 kilometers. Wherever you are in the world, 500 kilometers or less is perfectly doable with alternative transport. Especially in Europe, this is a breeze. For such short distances, traveling by train is often faster too!

Choose the alternatives at your destination

Also at your destination you can choose to cover long distances by bus or train. This takes longer, but is a much more authentic experience than moving around in a plane full of tourists. After all, the locals also travel by public transport. By avoiding domestic flights you travel much more consciously and slowly. You take the time to absorb the surroundings and really get to know the locals. That’s what we call slow travel.

Travel with an electric car

Yes, it is possible! Going on vacation with an electric car has long since ceased to be a utopia. Especially in Western Europe, charging stations are installed everywhere, making it increasingly easy to charge your car on the road. Are you traveling with a large group, say with more than 9 people? (in Dutch: personenbus huren / 9 persoonsbus huren)Know that there are also electric vans that you can rent, especially in Europe.

Moreover, electric cars are getting better and better, allowing you to travel longer distances on a full battery. We think this is such a good idea that we are committed to using electric or hybrid cars as much as possible at our destination as well. In Sri Lanka, for example, we are already working with drivers who drive hybrid cars.

Compensate your CO2 emissions

Always choose to offset your flight. The money you pay for the compensation is invested in projects that, for example, plant trees, distribute sustainable stoves in developing countries or install solar panels. In this way, the CO2 your flight causes is saved or removed from the air somewhere else. It is far from a solution to flying, but still better than doing nothing. Better Places offsets the CO2 emissions of all its travelers. This includes not only accommodations, local transportation and the excursions you do, but also the flight needed to reach the destination that you book yourself.