Eco travel trends for seniors

Sustainability is on everyone’s minds these days, and that’s making an impact on how we do just about everything – from drinking out of straws to planning our holidays. 

In fact, the environmental impact of our travels is one of the top 10 considerations for seniors, according to our recent Grey Nomads Report.

The good news is, you don’t have to put away your passport and forget about the trips you’ve been dreaming of. With these eco travel trends, you can enjoy your escapades and minimise your environmental footprint while you’re at it. 

Green accommodations and eco-friendly stays 

Accommodation providers may offer more environmentally friendly stays in a number of ways. That could be by using local and organic food in their restaurants, offering electric car charging stations, limiting water usage, installing eco-friendly heating and cooling systems, and so much more. 

Typically, providers will clearly advertise these commitments. They might even call themselves an ‘eco-lodge’ or another similar name. You can also check hotel listing pages to view if a property has any green practices. 

Sustainable transportation choices 

Transportation is a real driver of greenhouse gas emissions. Air and space transport contributed to 35% of tourism-related emissions in New Zealand in 2020. Since the return of travel post-COVID, greenhouse gas emissions from air transport have increased further, returning to pre-COVID levels, so it’s certainly an area of focus for eco-friendly travellers. 

It can be hard to avoid flying when you live in New Zealand, but if you’re taking a plane, you can always consider paying an extra charge to offset your emissions

When you arrive at your destination, consider if you need a private vehicle, or if you could manage with public transport. Ferries, buses, and trains are all alternative options to taking a private vehicle everywhere. This can also be a great option if you’re travelling on a budget, with 45% of us considering this a top tip to save when travelling.

And if you do need a car of your own, you may consider opting for electric or hybrid to reduce your petrol consumption. 

Eco-friendly tours and experiences 

When you plan your activities and pick your tours, look for those that have eco-friendly practices, or even experiences that are more environmentally minded. 

For example, a walking or biking tour requires no emissions to show you around. A visit to a wildlife sanctuary can put your tourist money in the hands of an organisation that will use it for conservation. You can also research tour companies who make a point of incorporating environmental aspects in everything they do. 

Supporting conservation efforts 

Supporting local conservation should never be limited to just your own backyard. Look up conservation efforts and events before you visit your destination and see if there’s any way you can get involved. 

Perhaps there’s a beach clean-up day while you’re visiting a beautiful tropical location that you could join, or a market that donates proceeds to local conservation efforts. 

Reducing over-tourism through off-season travel 

Another simple tip is to change the time of year you travel, if possible. 

Over-tourism is when too many people visit a place at once, putting stress on the local environment. Just think of how busy the Tongariro Crossing is these days, and how packed those trails can get. 

By travelling in the shoulder seasons (avoiding major holidays, peak summer, and school holidays), you can reduce the strain on the local environment during their busiest periods. 

You’ll also join the 63% of us who save on airfare by finding discounted flights or tickets during off-peak periods.

Living sustainably everywhere  

If you’re living sustainably at home, you’re probably already doing a lot of the fantastic things a person can do – just don’t forget to pack those habits alongside your passport. These include: 

  • Carrying a drink bottle, reusable shopping bags, a metal straw etc
  • Conserve water and keep showers short
  • Shop second hand or locally
  • Hire rather than buying new
  • Pack light

When it comes to planning the perfect trip, don’t forget the everyday essentials! 

Seniors Term Life Insurance can allow you to rest easy knowing that you have a level of protection in place for what you may consider important now and in the future. 

This is general information only. Please consider the Policy Document available from to ensure the product suits your needs. This information is provided by New Zealand Seniors, a trading name of Greenstone Financial Services NZ Limited NZBN 9429047013582, who have partnered with Pinnacle Life Limited (Pinnacle Life) NZBN 9429030397248, the insurer of this product. Terms and conditions apply.