Byway Travel: What is it?
By definition, byway means “a road or track not following a main route; a minor road or path” or “a little-known area of knowledge” which perfectly encapsulates what Byway Travel are all about.
Byway Travel are a new travel company that design brilliant holiday packages that take you, literally, off the beaten track – no hectic tourist trails or airplane flights. In fact, Byway Travel exclusively offer flight-free trips by making alternative transport means – think trains, bikes, buses and ferries – easy to book.
Why flight-free you ask?
Well, Byway (and many many scientists) maintain that taking a flight is one of the worst things you can do for the environment as an individual.
According to figures from German nonprofit Atmosfair, even just flying from London to Rome emits more CO2 than an average person living in 17 countries emits in a whole year. And this year passenger numbers are expected to reach 32.4 million.
Carbon number expert and author of How Bad Are Bananas (which calculates the carbon of pretty much everything) puts it bluntly:
“There is no getting around the need to be frugal with our flying. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.”
So, what’s a holiday-lover to do?
Well, inspired by her own family flight-free adventures, founder Cat Jones started Byway Travel.
But you don’t have to go that far. You can just book a holiday with them.
“As we’ve become more aware of the impact of air travel on the climate, the environmental need for simpler flight-free travel has become urgent, and as the pandemic hit I knew the time had come for slower travel to take centre stage. So I founded Byway to make sustainable, multi-stop trips easy, and to help more people discover the joys of slow travel.”
Three years on, Byway is now a team of 35 mission-motivated adventurers – and growing.
Picture trips through the dramtic landscape of the Highlands, trips down the canals in Delft, medieval towns in the South of France, vineyards and forests in Alsace, and sun-soaked beaches on the Isle of Scilly – all with the bonus of fewer crowds.
Plus, the benefits of booking with Byway Travel include: full customisation of your trip; flexible tickets so it’s easy to change your plans while you’re away; Covid-19 refund guarantee with full financial protection from ABTA and on-demand support when travelling.
Byway Travel’s best-sellers:
Byway Travel: How sustainable is it?
Byway Travel’s mission is to make flight-free travel mainstream because they maintain that “travelling through the world is better than flying over it.”
By helping travellers plan alternative, flight-free trips, Byway Travel aim to:
- Reduce the climate impact of travel by making flight-free holidays mainstream
- Boost local economies and facilitate environmental recovery by drawing tourists away from hubs suffering over-tourism to the wonderful places in between
- Increase the proportion of tourist spend on sustainable products and services by prioritising partnerships with sustainable businesses
Between April 2022 and March 2023, 65% of their customers who fly ‘more than rarely’ booked a flight-free holiday instead, helping to reduce their carbon footprints.
Wherever possible, Byway Travel recommend and book places to stay that are sustainable, part of their local community and switched on to all things slow. In the past year 86% of the money they paid to accommodation partners was spent with locally-owned businesses, not international chain hotels.
You can read more about their impact in their impact report.
This year they have helped move the industry conversation forward by joining panels and giving presentations at various industry conferences. They also became a paying member of Travel by B Corp, where they share learnings and best practices with other travel B Corps. They are a founding signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, which commits signatories to halving their emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050, and has now been signed by 780 organisations.
Founder Cat Jones says:
“We plan to continue pioneering new sustainability- and equity-led approaches as we grow, share what we learn more widely, and we’ll raise the volume of our voices to actively challenge the status quo.”
Byway Travel is fully ABTA protected. ABTA is the UK’s largest and most trusted travel industry trade body and as a member, they offer you fully protected packaged holidays.
Byway Travel: Where can I book?
Via their website: byway.travel