Byway has launched a ‘first of its kind’ multi-stop, personalised planning tool for vegan travellers journeying across Europe. Jenny Southan reports
Flight-free travel company Byway has unveiled a dynamic vegan holiday planner to help carbon conscious consumers organise plant-based holidays by train, boat and bus.
Byway’s technology creates multi-stop trips that are fully personalised yet lean towards “quality of experience instead of speed”. Accommodation recommendations and activities are listed in the itineraries, plus, all trips include a 100 per cent Covid refund guarantee if restrictions affect travel.
However, Globetrender noticed that those who want to customise their trips – or learn about where they will actually be eating – need to send a Whatsapp message to Byway via the website.
Also, in our opinion, the restaurants should be front and centre of the booking process – otherwise how do you know what you will be eating as a vegan?
And are the hotels vegan? For example, will guests find leather or wool used in the furnishings of the rooms? We reviewed the UK’s first vegan hotel, Saorsa 1875 in Scotland, here.
That said, we did notice a few details on the Tuscany trip. For example, in San Gimignano you can take part in a vegan cooking class at Agrivilla I Pini, a “vegan agrivilla” where you can also spend the night (this sounds amazing – Byway should make this more prominent). And in Amsterdam you can stay at the Conscious Hotel Westerpark, which serves “vegan-friendly” food.
Cat Jones, founder and CEO of Byway, says: “We believe that the best way to reduce carbon emissions is to make low carbon activities more enjoyable than carbon-intensive ones. Slow travel – by trains, boats, buses and bikes – allows for a thoughtful, holistic and authentic experience of a region.
“Last year, we saw a surge in requests for fully vegan holidays from our travellers as well as our team (20 per cent of us are vegan), so we’ve refined our technology and data so it can create trips that emphasise vegan highlight experiences throughout.”
Byway says the carbon impact of rail travel is 14g of CO2 per passenger mile, compared to 285g for air travel. Giving up meat for a year saves 2.7 tonnes of carbon, which is about the same as a return flight from London to San Francisco. Giving up one return flight from London to Bangkok saves 3.3 tonnes.
It says: “Taking a holistic approach to carbon reduction prevents one lifestyle change being pitted against another, and instead facilitates the ability to make multiple daily choices that add up.”
Three Byway vegan journeys
Highlands & Islands: Glasgow-Isle of Mull-Isle of Skye-Fort William