Define the term: Alternative Travel
Let’s start at the beginning: for us, an alternative travel is a different way of traveling where we use unconventional means to move, to accomodate, to feed, to visit, etc. Two french speakers travelers also defined it by these words:
An alternative travel is what we have to learn from traveling when we know how to use public transport, sleep in hotel rooms and eat at the restaurant. This is what you discover when you stop using a regional travel guide. These are the alternatives to the tourism industry to satisfy our main and essential needs while traveling.
- Annick-Marie from “Globestoppeuse”
An alternative travel is a return to simplicity, authenticity, adventure and self-discovery. The superficial aspect of the mass effect of a tourism industry is being abandoned in favor of a more responsible, more economical and more authentic trip.
- Emmanuelle from “Pouce ton Sac”
And since there is not one type of traveler on the roads, you can imagine that there is no one way to make an alternative travel!…
Our vision of an alternative travel
In our vision of an alternative travel, we have identified four characteristics that make our way of traveling less conventional. We can say that it’s:
Say like that, it looks nice… But in reality, how does our definition apply?
Unlike a classic trip, where you run after your plane, train, bus or taxi; we enjoy every moment spent on the road and especially the diversity of landscapes that we would not see by plane!
When we spend a night in a hotel room, our carbon footprint is higher: pollution related to heating / air conditioning individual, cleaning sheets and towels between each customer, daily household chemicals used to fully clean a room, waste single-use products that are rarely used (soaps, etc.)…
We avoid as much as possible supermarkets, which do not benefit to anyone: neither the producers, who are being abused by all the intermediaries, nor the consumers who pay for products of poor quality and over-packaged. Moreover, we always do our shopping with reusable bags, to avoid overconsumption of plastic!
A classic trip is often planned because limited in time (from a few days to a few weeks). This leaves little room for unforeseen events – whether pleasant (meetings, events, etc.) or unpleasant (adverse weather, late transport, illness etc)
When we think about it, we quickly realize that all these characteristics are linked together: taking our time, we are heading towards a more ecological and economic mode of travel, and we could more easily meet locals… Or is it because of the countless beautiful encounters made on the road that we became slower, more economical and more ecological in our way of traveling?
You have now understood that an alternative travel is indeed different from a “classic” trip, with its notion of minimalism and simplicity: no imperatives to respect, no itinerary all drawn, no imposed limits. With the alternative travel, we become the own actors of our trip: we are writing the main lines!
* Post written according to our personal experience *