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5 reasons why you should give the gift of (sustainable) travel

Plus responsible tour ideas for every discerning traveler



hands holding a small box wrapped in green paper with small white flowers

The holidays are fast approaching and perhaps you’re starting to think about what to get your favorite adventurer… While there’s always talk about the latest and greatest gear, gadgets, and clothing for every occasion and activity, you know this year you want to give something extra special. Studies show that people prefer experiential gifts as opposed to material ones. So why not give the gift of travel this year? Below are 5 reasons why you should give sustainable travel as a gift, plus some ideas on what kind of travel experience might suit your special someone.


1. Unforgettable memories


The toys are outgrown, and the clothes go out of style, but the memories created during an experiential trip are forever. What better way to celebrate your loved one than an experiential gift that will create memories, lessons, and friendships they’ll treasure forever?


2. Reduce waste/clutter


You won’t have to worry about whether or not they’re going to like the blouse or just force a smile as they gently tuck the gift receipt in a safe place. Or if it doesn’t get returned or exchanged, it ends up in the closet as clutter. Giving travel is giving the gift of experiences that create memories and connection—leaving space for the most important things.


3. Expansive potential


Travel has immense potential for positive impact. Engaging with folks from other cultures has the power to open minds and hearts. Sharing meals, laughs, and stories— Travel ignites creativity, human connection, and a sense of awe. Truly, travel is a gift that keeps giving, long after the trip has ended.


4. Ripple effect of sustainable travel


Tourism leakage is one of the prevailing issues in the tourism industry. It means that in unsustainable travel practices, a large percentage (95%😨) of each tourism dollar spent, does not actually remain in the economy of the destination. This damages the community, its relationship with travelers, and the environment.


Travel, when planned intentionally can provide benefits to both the destination community as well as the travelers. So you can rest assured that the investment in your travel gift will not only be enjoyed by your loved one, but it will also brighten the days of small business owners in the local community— and provide them with tangible positive impacts.


5. Some R&R


Everyone can use a little more R&R. Modern society's lack of work-life balance is unsustainable. Vacations give you the chance to escape your normal routine (and the stressors that come with it) for a while. Some studies show that travel also improves a person’s perceived well-being and satisfaction. With a satisfying, connective travel experience, one can return home with renewed energy and excitement for life.


Give the gift of relaxation and recreation with a sustainable travel experience and witness the enthusiastic (and contagious) zest they return home with.


Responsible tour ideas for every traveler


So, giving travel sounds like just the ticket, but in literally a world of options, what travel experience should you get for your loved one? First, whatever travel gift you choose to give, you going to want to ensure that it’s responsibly made.


While there’s really something for everyone on Conscious Travel Collective’s small-group trips, I’ve broken them down based on what personality types are going to absolutely love them.


✨ Oaxaca

Take in Oaxaca on this tasty 8-day itinerary into the city, and surrounding pueblos. Sample the many dishes in this paradise (and try your hand at making them with cooking classes taught by a local Oaxaqueña),


An orange wall of a store and painted mural of skirted women carrying fruits


Who is this tour perfect for? The fearless foodie in your life. This trip will satisfy the one who loves to experience culture through art and cuisine. While pretty much all CTC trips have a culinary element to them, the gastronomy in Oaxaca is world-renowned and wonderfully diverse. Your gift recipient will become entranced by a kaleidoscope of textiles (and learn to weave them!), dine taste a variety of mercado treats, and wash it all down with mezcal, sampled straight from the source.




✨ Vermont

This once-a-year trip is responsibly designed and intentionally curated to incorporate the breathtaking transition of the autumn season in a light-hearted tour of the stunning Northwest Kingdom—led by the coolest of local Vermonters.



overview of a Vermont town and lake. The leaves are changing color


Who is this tour perfect for? For whimsical wanderer among your loved ones. This trip is perfect for the one who delights in wood stove-warm-and-sweater-weather cozy vibes, with artsy-quirky connections shared over local-and-sustainably sourced meals— perfectly paired with Vermont craft beers.


✨ Peru

Take in the expanse of the night sky in the Sacred Valley of the Inca, sans light pollution🤩. Meet the amazing local population of several villages along the striking Andes mountain ranges, observe the juxtaposition of Inca and Spanish colonial architecture in the bustling city of Cusco and partake in its active nightlife.

couple wearing poncho standing on mountain overlooking Machu Picchu in Peru

Who is this tour perfect for? For your favorite spiritual explorer, this trip perfectly combines Sacred Valley experiences with local Andean artisans, (moderate, but magical) treks to Macchu Picchu, and delectable Peruvian dishes shared at the tables of welcoming locals. Ample time for relaxation and reflection, with the most stunning backdrop.


Customize your travel gift


If none of the ready-made experiences above jump out at you, it’s all good. Conscious Travel Collective also offers custom trip planning. How sweet is that?! This means you get to collaborate with the CTC team for your loved one’s dream trip, and you get a done-for-you itinerary in the destination you choose, planned in alignment with CTC’s sustainable values.


This is perfect for:

✔ Tailoring the experience to your loved one’s interests (think: more cooking classes, or more outdoor activities)

✔ Timing your trip for your recipient’s schedule

✔ Picking out those must-see/must-do itinerary items

✔ Maximizing the positive impacts of your gift




I know, giving “travel” as a gift involves a lot of… logistics. And while it would be super generous to gift your loved one an all-inclusive trip like CTC’s, definitely discuss it first...

There are many reasons why springing a surprise trip could backfire on you, but that’s a blog for another day.


Want to give travel without giving a whole trip? Check out these sustainable gift ideas for the minimalist traveler.