Two-Wheels, Four-Wheels, Rail or Air?… The Eco Travel Way

Eco Travel

23 Jun, 2022


How you eco travel on holiday and why diversifying your methods can benefit your trip.

Borders are re-open; restrictions have eased, and all that pent up energy accumulated whilst riding out lockdowns has now bubbled into an itching to get out again and explore.

When holidaying, movement is an intrinsic part of the process. We move from our point of origin to our ultimate destination, and we continue moving constantly throughout our trip.

When planning for your next long-haul vacation or mini long weekend getaway, how much does the kind of transport you intend to use factor into your decision making? If your first instinct answer is ‘not that much’ then you may want to consider the below points as they may make a noteworthy difference in your overall decisions.

First of all, you have to get to where you’re going.

With the comforts of contemporary life, many opt to just jump on a plane and fly to their desired location. Although the more time convenient option, air travel and the footprints of air travel does have an impact on one’s immediate experience and wider environmental effects.

The global aviation industry produces around 2.1% of all human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Although cargo and product movement are factored into this equation, so too is human product movement born out of the tourism industry and commercial airline sub-sects.

There are many CO2 calculators easily available online demonstrating just how much collective footprint your individual journey generates and providing comparison with other methods of travel to offer you the opportunity to choose.

A one-way direct flight from Munich to Berlin generates 62.6 kilograms of Co2 output. Comparatively, this is not very much and even less than what driving the same 462-kilometre distance generates. However, it is still four times more than what the same route via national rail generates.

Travelling by train also allows one to see more of the landscape and notice and learn about places and things you would otherwise not have been exposed to if cruising atop at altitude.

If your holiday destination is on the same continent as your home, perhaps ditch the lines waiting for security and baggage claim and consider getting on the leisurely railways instead.

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Now you’ve arrived at where you will be based for a while, yet you still have to move around to see all the spots on your trip list. How are you going to get to these places?

Depending on where you are -and the options are endless- so too are choices about vehicles.

If you find yourself travelling far and wide, perhaps somewhere with long highways hugging the coast like on the Pacific Highway in Australia, or perhaps in the sprawling spaces surrounding mountain escapes along the Trans European Trail in Northern Europe then you might want to consider using a motorbike.

Riding a motorbike is an immersive experience like no other. Even if you’ve never ridden a motorbike before, what better way to learn a novel skill than whilst carefree on holiday.

Motorbikes are some of the most fuel efficient and low-cost options for travel methods out there. Nimble and slender, motorbikes fuel efficiency is unparallel. Due to being smaller in statute than the average car, whilst on a motorbike you are likely to pay less for parking, filter through and avoid traffic jams all whilst contributing to easing traffic congestion.

There are of course two sides to the coin with some studies arguing although more fuel-efficient, petrol motorbikes are still relatively heavy polluters and emitters of carbon monoxide.

However, manufacturers are hearing consumers concerns and developments in eco-friendly transport now definitely includes electric motorcycles. Electric motorcycles have already been reported to be 18 times more energy efficient than a 4×4 SUV and are 6 times more energy efficient than rail transport options.

Even renting a motorcycle for your trip results in less depreciation of the conveyance itself and thus promotes a longer shelf-life for the next round of vacationers.

  • If you’ve never tried an electric motorcycle before, the Energica EGO+/RS is considered the best overall. If you’re on a budget, you may want to consider the Sondors Metacycle for all your cruising needs.
  • If you find yourself in an urban metropolitan city or aren’t diverging too far away from one, consider even more stripped-down travel methods such as electric scooters or a good old fashioned push bike.

These options are great for quick dashes and are good value for money; there’s no better way to see Amsterdam than riding a bike alongside the various canals.

For both electric scooters as well as electric motorcycles, electric charging stations in every country are slowly becoming as ubiquitous as general petrol stations. A quick Google for nearby electric charging stations can minimise inconvenience.

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If you’re planning to avoid society altogether and bunker down in the wilderness, you may also want to consider a campervan.

Minimal fuss and cost efficient, a campervan will see you having to rely less on public transportation and conserves spending that you would otherwise expend on accommodation, transport, meals, and the like.

Most campervans are fully self-contained and conservative with energy consumption and waste; usually equipped with gas cooking stations and toilet cartridges that are easy to empty.


Of course, the size and convenience of a car sometimes is the best fit. However, given the shift towards hybridised vehicles, consider opting in for either a PHEV or MHEV.

The difference? PHEV’s – plug-in hybrid electric vehicle – when fully charged can be powered solely by battery. Whereas MHEV – mild hybrid electric vehicle – mixes electric power and typical fuel.

Which is best for you and your plans, depends on the circumstances of your situation. If travelling close distances in an urban setting, a PHEV can get you around without issue. If travelling further distances, a MHEV operates more pragmatically with less charging fuss.

Usually when out on the road for a holiday, particularly if family is in tow, a larger vehicle would be the most practical option to haul personal effects, use of storage as well as space for comfort.

range rover

In these scenarios, the Range Rover Evoque MHEV boasts good quality, luxurious driving experience and design enabling the engine to turn off when braking, stationary or coasting and re-starting as needed.

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is another competitive option; an incredibly versatile SUV which also functions in a manner designed to curtail fuel consumption. Without lacking power necessary for all those off-road adventures, the Sport’s MHEV system still confidently delivers Co2 emissions from as low as 144 grams per kilometre.

Much to Think About Before Deciding

With so many options now available, it would serve well to think a bit more critically about what kind of transport you will use whilst on your next holiday. Choosing a method that may not be your usual mode may just very well prove to be what makes this next upcoming trip the most memorable yet.

Some prompts to help get you thinking for your travel planning:

  • Where will you be travelling to?
  • What is the landscape like?
  • How close is the nearest town or city to where you will go?
  • And when in doubt…. How do the locals get around?


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  1. Jenny

    I’ll go to England this summer with my family, they usually do everything by car but maybe I can actually convince them to use more public transport/bikes for once! It would be super nice

  2. Markus

    I’ll definitely share this article with my dad he’s a huge motorcycle fan, this would be interesting

  3. Gina

    Super interesting article, and super informative with the exact facts

    • Komoneed

      We’d say that’s also realistic!… We are talking about true alternatives… Are they the best options? Probably not, but possible!

  4. Bode

    I can totally see the appeal of flying, but have you ever considered traveling by hot air balloon? 🎈🌍

  5. Brittany

    I believe mixing up travel methods is key for eco-conscious holidays. What do you think?

    • Sincere

      I disagree. Taking flights adds a huge carbon footprint, so sticking to greener modes like cycling or public transport is best. Traveling sustainably means making sacrifices, not just mixing it up. Lets prioritize the planet over convenience.

  6. Marlee Conrad

    Is it really worth the hassle to switch between eco travel methods? 🚲🚗🚂🛫 Lets discuss!

    • Nathaniel

      Switching between eco travel methods may seem like a hassle, but the planets future is at stake. Every small effort counts towards a greener world. Lets prioritize sustainability over convenience. Its time to take responsibility and make a change for the better. Lets discuss!

  7. Maxine Mitchell

    I think PHEVs are the way to go for eco travel! Whats your take? 🚗🌿

  8. Ayleen

    PHEV or MHEV? Lets dive into the debate and stir up some controversy!

    • Jaime Massey

      Why waste time debating PHEV vs MHEV when we could be focusing on more important issues? Lets move on to discussions that actually matter and have a real impact. Time to prioritize substance over controversy.

  9. Morgan Roberts

    Why not combine all modes of eco travel for the ultimate adventure? 🌿🚲🚗🚆🛩️

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