Do you find yourself unexpectedly alone this Valentine’s Day? Celebrate your new-found solo state by booking a marvellous and sustainable travel break for relaxation and adventure or to meet someone new
Dance away your blues in Cuba
Learn to salsa and have lots of fun in Santiago de Cuba, the home of traditional Cuban music and dance. The Responsible Travel trip includes 30 hours of intensive and expert dance tuition over two weeks, and afternoon dance styling, percussion or Spanish classes as well as cultural visits. Homestay accommodation provides you with a real insight into Cuban life, and all tutors and guides are local people who are treated and paid fairly. Trips run in March, July, October and December. Find out more here .
Explore the Himalayas in style with Shakti
Treat yourself and a friend to a holiday with Shakti Himalayas, a clever venture which has breathed life back into some very remote and impoverished communities by creating walk and drive itineraries based around villagerowned houses. Choose an adventure in Kumaon, Ladakh or Sikkim and stay in lodges that have all been ‘Shaktified’ in a culturally appropriate style, so you can enjoy comfortable bedrooms and stunning roof terraces whilst knowing that the villagers are earning without compromising their traditional way of life. Find out more here.
Free yourself and others at Nihi, Sumba Island, Indonesia
Come for yoga and wellness, surfing and fishing, paddle boarding and horseback riding and to experience Sumba culture at this astonishingly sustainable island resort 400 km East of Bali, and you’ll be significantly giving back to the islanders while you yourself replenish. A joyful synergy between the island, its people and the resort is the essence of any stay here, and with the help of guests volunteer work and funding, the resort’s Sumba Foundation has so far built over 170 wells in surrounding villages, a dozen schools, libraries and medical clinics, and perhaps most significantly, reduced malaria by 85 percent. Nihi is fully committed to using naturally sustainable materials and waste, water and energy systems too. Find out more here.
Energise yourself in Iceland
Formerly an 18th century sheep farm, the wonderfully remote Deplar Farm on the Troll Peninsula uses the geothermal water source at the end of the valley to heat the water throughout the entire lodge and employs local staff, including talented Icelandic chef Garðar Kári Kárason, whose menus are inspired by produce grown or caught locally or on-site garden. Its grass-clad roof blends in nicely with the surrounding landscape of snowgraced mountains and wide green pastures, and it has just 13 authentically Icelandic styled rooms. Come for time in the spa, yoga and meditation, to stargaze in hot tubs at night or to sea-kayak, hike or fish by day. Note the hotel still uses some plastic, but have told NOW they on course to attend to this during 2018. Find out more here.
Experience local cultures for a good cause all over the world
An inspirational B Lab certified company, NYC-based Visit.org helps NGOs create local and authentic travel experiences all over the world in the name of social good and reinvests the profits in the community. Learn how to bake traditional Moroccan desserts like baklava while supporting the economic empowerment of local Moroccan women in Essaouira; participate in traditional craft workshops and help support local infrastructure in Lima; experience firsthand the famous human towers of Barcelona while supporting the preservation of Catalan culture. For heaps more ideas, from a few hours to a day to full length stays, check out the fabulous interactive map at visit.org.