Green Travel Tips!

Need to plan a work trip for GoCardless? We’ve got loads of great ideas to help you reduce the environmental impact of your travel!

What’s the best way to travel to my destination?

It depends on the length of your trip. For journeys of under six hours it’s generally best to travel by train. Rail travel has one of the lowest carbon emissions per passenger. For the Eurostar it’s just 6g CO2e per km travelled! 

Compare that to an economy seat on a short haul flight at 156g and you’re onto a winner even if you take a taxi to the station! If you need to travel at a weekend, check with your manager to see if you can arrange a day off in lieu.

What about flying?

We know it’s not always possible to get where you need to go by train. If you have to fly, choose a direct route on a newer aircraft and opt for vegetarian or vegan options for in-flight food. For longer flights, we would love you to choose to help reduce emissions by booking an economy seat. For a London-LA trip, choosing economy instead of business class could save around 5 tonnes of carbon! This is equivalent to the entire annual emissions of a French citizen. GoCardless will donate to environmental projects for every tonne we save! Corporate Traveller can find flights with lower emissions, so make sure to mention it to your booking consultant.

What should I pack?

Travelling light will help you to reduce emissions too. Plan a capsule wardrobe with a few key items that can be repurposed and easily spot-washed. Light layers are a great way to maximise wearing opportunities and minimise weight. Travelling with hand-luggage only also makes check in and arrival quicker, and minimises the risk of losing your luggage.

Choosing solid toiletries will help you to avoid excess weight and hassle of travelling with liquid toiletries. Most brands are made with natural ingredients so will also help to reduce pollution at your destination. Cut off a chunk of solid shampoo bar, soap and a deodorant bar and pop them in a tub. Toothpaste and mouthwash are both available as tablets so you can count out the right amount for your trip and avoid taking an entire tube of toothpaste! Time to say goodbye to those annoyingly small hotel body wash and shampoo bottles.


A refillable water bottle, coffee cup, and a tote bag are green travel essentials. These will all help reduce the burden on local waste disposal and recycling systems. Use the Refill app to find places to fill up your bottle. Many cities have a network of drinking water fountains for free refills while you’re out and about.

Expert Tip: If you forget your refillable bottle, buy a local mineral water in a glass bottle when you arrive, then rinse and refill it during your stay.

Where to stay

Choose accommodation with green credentials. Remember to ask your agent when you’re booking. IHG Responsible Business, Hilton Travel with Purpose, Marriott Serve360 and Accor Planet 21 are all recommended by Corporate Traveller.

The Green Traveller has written a great article called How to tell if a hotel is green which will help if you’re booking independently.

While you’re away

Help the local economy by finding local businesses and products to try out. Eating local vegetarian or vegan food is a great way to enjoy your trip and help minimise your impact. Use the Happy Cow app or website to find somewhere nearby. 

For local travel, use public transport or try a bike or scooter hire scheme. Plan in advance and download any relevant apps using wi-fi before you set off. If you’re booking a taxi or car, ask for an electric vehicle. If you’re hiring a car, choose a small electric car to save energy.

Opt-out of daily room cleaning and new towels. Choose to have shorter showers. Reduce heating or air-conditioning. Find out about local recycling schemes and use them.

Is there anything else I can do to minimise waste and lower the carbon emissions?

Make sure to ask for the most sustainable travel and accommodation options when you’re making your booking through Corporate Traveller. Remember that the best way to avoid travel emissions is to avoid travelling! Don’t be afraid to ask your colleague if it’s really necessary to meet in-person. Video conferencing has a much lower carbon impact than international travel!