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As Christmas rolls around at the end of a bizarre year, it’s a great time to reflect on what has, for most of us, been a year of reflection. At Not In The Guidebooks, travel restrictions and lockdowns have meant we’ve had plenty of time to consider how we can have a positive impact on the world around us.

Back in spring, during the first lockdown, locals witnessed first-hand the effects of a sudden stop to tourism. In Venice, the canals cleared and wildlife returned as cruise ships stopped looming into the harbours. In the northern Indian state of Punjab, locals could see the Himalayas gleaming on the horizon for the first time in decades, as air pollution levels dropped dramatically.

canal and gondola in venice

Clearly, a lack of travel benefited the planet for a short period of time, highlighting the importance of the travel industry changing for the better, and making sure that when we travel, we do it in the right way.

The team at Not In The Guidebooks has come up with a wonderful way for you to reduce your impact on the environment this Christmas, and help those close to you travel in a responsible way.

A Holiday Driven by Consumerism

Christmas is, unfortunately, a time of the year that produces a huge amount of waste, whether that’s from consumers or businesses.

We chuck away 30% more waste as a country around the festive period when compared to any other time of the year. When you consider the amount of food and drink consumed and the amount of gifts we wrap, send, and potentially throw away after a relatively short period of time (admit it, we’ve all been there) it adds up to a massive load of rubbish piling its way into landfill.

In fact, each year, the UK spends around £700 million on unwanted presents, with 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging finding itself thrown out.

landfill site

Both businesses and individuals need to start looking at alternatives that reduce the waste that we produce. So, this year, why not treat a loved one to a unique experience, something they’ll remember for years to come, and something to look forward to after a year of travel frustration?

That’s where our Not In The Guidebooks Christmas vouchers come in.

Christmas Gift Voucher Selection

The Mayfair Chocolate Tour

England, London

View Experience

Shropshire Hot Tub Retreat

England, Shropshire

View Experience

Not In The Guidebooks Christmas Vouchers

This year, we’re offering you the opportunity to buy something truly special for the people close to you. Whether it’s a stunning trip to North Wales, where you can reset on a beautiful yoga retreat, a once in a lifetime tour of Iceland, or thrilling river rafting experience in Scotland, our Christmas vouchers offer something for everyone.

Choose from our range of popular experiences, or buy a monetary gift voucher that can be used on any experience, in any country, from India to Italy, Cambodia to Costa Rica.

The first great benefit of these gifts? No waste.

With a NITGB experience, there’s no wasted packaging, or an unwanted bit of clutter that’ll collect dust before finding itself in the bin.

They’re a wonderful way of helping the people you care for look forward to the year ahead. 2020 has been a particularly frustrating year for travel lovers, with plans of a lifetime being put on hold and even small escapes to the country being hard to come by.

Help someone start 2021 with something to genuinely excite them, by inspiring them with an incredible experience, whether it’s cooking with a local in the beautiful city of Florence, or a romantic escape to wild Cornwall.

walking along the Cornwall coast

We mentioned at the start of this article that a lack of travel brought about benefits for the planet, so this is a good moment to point out just how our Christmas vouchers benefit the environment, beyond simply reducing waste at Christmas.

When travel is done badly, by driving huge bus tours, overcrowding sights, steaming cruise ships into small towns, that really hurts the planet. Here at Not In The Guidebooks, we are strong believers that travel done the right way, visiting offbeat attractions, sticking to small groups, using hosts and guides who really care about their home and the environment they live in, can have huge benefits for the planet.

You can read more about the most eco-friendly ways to travel here.

By ensuring your money goes to the local hosts and guides who want to protect where they live, you are directly benefiting the local economy and helping it cope with any strain on resources it may face thanks to mass tourism.

You are directly helping businesses that follow environmental practices and limit their impact on the local ecosystem, all whilst sending a loved one an authentic, offbeat, responsible experience.

Beats socks doesn’t it?