A reader recently emailed asking us about where to find the best green travel guide. Julie wanted information about green travel including hotel and green vacation suggestions but specifically wanted the information in a book format (not online.)
We haven’t done many book or travel guide reviews on this site, but I sent her some ideas and wanted to share with you what I sent to her along with some further research I’ve done. Also, if you have suggestions for books let us know and we will pass them along to her.
Green Travel Guides
These green travel guides focus only on responsible and sustainable travel. They are not destination specific in the sense of normal guide books.
Perhaps the most widely known is the Fodor’s Green Travel Guide. This book, subtitled, the World’s Best Eco-Lodges and Earth-Friendly Hotels can be purchased from Amazon for about $15. I’ve looked through this book and it has some general green travel tips but seems to focus more on places to stay.
Of the many reviews I’ve read, people seem to love Lonely Planet’s Code Green: Experiences of a Lifetime. This book acts not only as a guidebook, but because of its pictures it seconds as a coffee table book.
The Green Travel Sourcebook: A Guide for the Physically Active, the Intellectually Curious, or the Socially Aware is another guidebook that’s available. It was published in 1992.
Special Places to Stay Green Places to Stay: From Beach Huts to Eco-Chic Hotels, All Over the World is similar to the Fodor’s Green Travel Guide.
One of the most promising looking green travel guides is one written by a lecturer for Sustainable Product Design and Sustainable Futures at University College for the Creative Arts, Farnham (UK). It’s titled the Eco-Travel Guide. This guide lists over 200 green vacations and was just released in 2008.
Green Travel Books
These books are about green travel in certain ways, but are slightly different than the guides listed above.
The Ethical Travel Guide: Your Passport to Exciting Alternative Holidays contains places to visit as well as sustainable tourism case studies.
For those looking to volunteer, the 10th edition of Volunteer Vacations Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others was released in 2009 and gets top reviews.
Another popular, but slightly dated (2001), book about volunteering is How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas.
A third book about volunteering abroad is Volunteer: A Traveler’s Guide to Making a Difference Around the World from Lonely Planet.
And if you’re into architectural design you might like Best Designed Ecological Hotels.
Green Travel Guides as Part of other Guidebooks
In our Lonely Planet Argentina there was a section about sustainable travel and being more eco-conscious in general. There were also specific activities listed in a green travel directory — called the “GreenDex” — at the end of the guide. I’m not sure if this is in all newer LP guidebooks or just in our guide – but I’ve noticed that more and more travel guides are listing green travel activities and eco lodges.
Paper Free Guide Books
The most responsible alternative to a green travel guide is to do your research online and print off only exactly what you need. If you’re just getting started check out our 25 Days to Green Travel Series and especially 12 Paper Free Guidebooks.
Are there other green travel guides or books related to a green travel experience (like volunteering, ethical travel, etc.) that you would recommend? We’d love to hear your suggestions.