How to have a flying free holiday and reconnect with nature

Women lying in flowers
Women lying in flowers
By Lucy Wagstaffe
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We investigate why no-fly holidays in the countryside are good for the planet and your mental health.


With a view to raise awareness of the damaging impact of carbon emissions produced from flying, the UK are planning to introduce a tax to offset emissions. This ‘carbon charge’ added to flight ticket prices would fund eco-friendly projects, like planting trees to reduce CO2 levels in our atmosphere. This scheme would hopefully encourage air passengers to fly less frequently and to be aware of the effect of transport emissions on the planet. 

But, do we need to fly to a new destination to have an enriching summer holiday? Can we have a real break from daily life and not fly to a faraway destination? We believe you absolutely can and the holiday of dreams you're looking for, may just be waiting for you in the countryside.

The mental health charity Mind state that, “spending time in green spaces or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing”, so how can you have flying free holiday that provides you with all the benefits of being around nature in the countryside?


What are the no-fly alternatives?

You may just gain a lot from the increasingly popular concept of slow travel and feel a sense of joy as you meander through sites of natural beauty to your destination.

You could always sail the seas on a ferry to nearby countries like France, Ireland and Holland if the idea of a staycation doesn’t float your boat... To get to those tranquil spots where you can immerse yourself in nature why not rent a camper van with Yescapa if you’re not a car owner. Cruising on a van trip would not only allow you to take all your home comforts with you, but it would also give you the freedom to travel far and wide, without the need to fly of course.

A camper van

The famous Interrail Pass gives you the liberty to travel to 31 different European countries, all of which are home to natural beauty.  What to do once you arrive at the station? Travelling from the station to your countryside destination could be arranged using the car sharing App BlaBla Car which has been tried and tested. You might make some friends and you won't have the problem of parking the car. Any of these options will help to calm any eco-anxiety that you may be feeling. 

What to do

Reconnect with nature

A study has proven that any form of immersion in the natural world heightens your overall well-being and stimulates you to have a more positive interaction with the wider human community. In light of this, many are praising the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing. No, this does not mean taking a bath in between the trees. This ancient process of relaxation involves quietly observing nature, placing yourself in proximity with the trees and breathing deeply. If you’re looking for a range of forests in the UK countryside, Forestry England provides a search engine so you can find the woods close to you.

A woodland

Reconnecting with nature can also be done through activities like outdoor yoga, walking, wild swimming, cycling, wild swimming, I could go on.

What to take

Rent a fancy bell tent

Not staying in a cottage or eco-lodge? Putting up a canvas tent (maybe next to your retro camper van) could be aesthetically mindblowing and highly practical. Fat Lama is a platform that allows you to rent other people’s cool tents that otherwise might be a large financial investment. 

A bell tent

Be prepared for the outdoor picnics

Take your own bamboo plates and cutlery for those picnics underneath the shade of a willow tree next to a trickling stream. That’s a nice Romantic novel image isn’t it? But a bin filled with throwaway plastic forks and plates is not so much.

Take food away with you

Taking food away is a great way to prepare for your potentially isolated trip to the countryside. So why not wrap your food in cling film? Well, according to BeeBee ‘more than 1.2 billion metres, equating to 745,000 miles of cling film is used by households across Britain every year’. Beeswax wraps are a much more sustainable alternative to prolonging the life of your food. 

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