Responsible Travel

At Vacations To Go Travel, ‘responsible tourism’ isn’t just a marketing catch phrase or a box we tick. It’s at the heart of everything we do, from how we design our tours, to who we employ, to where we grow our business.

Our Mission: Change the Way People See the World

Every tour has a story to tell. Not just the story of the city, but the story of the people who call it home. That’s why, on our tours, you won’t just see the sites from behind a bus window. We’re about stepping into the community, and understanding how we, as guests, can better connect with a place and its people. We’re about tasting, touching and smelling the city, about hearing the tales straight from the people who live there. And about seeing the world in a whole new way.

Many of our tours, by definition, travel through a variety of different environments and cultures. We try to cause as little negative impact as possible during our journeys and where possible to act in such a way to benefit the local communities and environment.


We understand that CO2 emissions from air travel are a contributory factor (2-3% globally) in global climate change and their impact should be taken very seriously, especially as air travel is on the increase. Here are a few ways in which you can reduce the effect your air travel has on the world's climate.

  • Reduce the number of domestic/business flights you make each year or replace them entirely with other forms of public transport
  • Where flights are included, take one longer holiday each year rather than several shorter ones.
  • Use train or bus journeys instead of internal flights where this is an option during the tour itself.
  • Consider carbon offsetting your flight – please read below for our opinion on Carbon Offsets.
  • Use public transport for your journey to the airport as this not only reduces carbon emissions but also reduces vehicle congestion in and around airports.

Carbon Offsets: In theory carbon offsetting sounds like a great idea, and can be when done properly. However, we believe it should not be seen as a substitute for personally reducing your carbon emissions, using methods such as those outline in the Energy section below. All too often carbon offsetting is used as an "easy way" to be seen to be fixing the problem by shifting the pressure and responsibility onto developing countries when actually the problem is caused by the rich industrial countries. So if you don't try to reduce your own carbon footprint first, is it ethical to expect the developing countries to take on your burden, whether by forcing good practices on developing countries or securing large areas of land in developing counties for the planting of trees? On could easily say "why not plant them in your own back garden". We therefore strongly believe that carbon offsetting should only be used as a part of a wider carbon friendly lifestyle.

Vacations To Go Travel: We use only local guides and operators.

Whether you are on holiday you can take many steps to conserve energy and reduce your personal carbon footprint. A few simple measures can go a long way and will also help to set a good example at home and abroad.

Whilst on holiday:

  • Turn off the air conditioning or heating in your hotel room when you go out.
  • Try to minimize the amount of air conditioning you use as this will better help you acclimatize to hot countries. Your body will learn very quickly to cope well with heat if you give it a chance.
  • Turn the lights out and the TV off when you leave your hotel room.
  • Try to walk or hire a bike rather than use taxis, trains and buses, as this will also allow you to better appreciate your surrounding and give you more chance to interact with local people.
  • Ask for your room towels to be washed every other day, rather than every day.

Vacations To Go Travel: We operate a fully integrated recycling policy in our Cairo office, including paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, and print cartridges/toners. We also have in place a number of energy saving measures, including low energy light bulbs, double glazed windows, and thermostatically controlled heating.

Even when travelling abroad in what we consider to be a simple fashion, we produce a large amount of daily waste. We make every effort to ensure that all of this waste is disposed of responsibly. Your appropriate tour manager will explain our standard procedures for carrying this out.

  • Food waste: All biodegradable rubbish should be buried, paper items should be burnt, containers should be reused, returned or given away.
  • Toilet stops: Toilet facilities should be used wherever possible. When they are not available, all toilet waste should be properly buried. Toilet paper should be burnt and then buried. Care should be taken to choose spots away from water supplies, food crops and paths.
  • Shopping: Sturdy shopping bags or your daypacks should be used whenever possible to reduce the waste of plastic bags.
  • Packaging: As little packaging as possible should be brought on our trips, instead removed and disposed of before departure.
  • Smokers: Smokers should take care to dispose of their cigarette buts etc. carefully. We operate a no-smoking policy on all of our tours when on a private means of transport.

Vacations To Go Travel: we have adopted a policy of not producing brochures, glossy or otherwise, to sell our tours. This reduces the amount of paper and chemical inks that we would otherwise waste.

In many developing countries water is considered a precious resource that should never be wasted. It is also often the case that outside major cities the purity of tap water can be unreliable.

  • We encourage the economic use of environmentally friendly washing detergents to minimize water pollution.
  • You should always check before using local water supplies such as pumps or wells and should avoid washing at these locations unless local people encourage you to do so.

Behavior and Local Customs

These are often very different to what you are used to living with and adhering to. On some of our tours they change as the tour progresses. You should always respect local religions, beliefs and customs. Your tour manager will brief you on changes to accepted and recommended dress and behavior as your tour progresses. Some examples include:

  • Avoid eating or touching food and water with your left hand in Muslim societies.
  • Ensure that you cover up appropriately when entering holy places. Some countries such as Iran have strict rules on dress, especially for women, which should be respected. It can be easy to unintentionally cause offence through your dress so it is best to always dress conservatively. Ask your tour guide for advice if you are unsure.
  • Avoid public displays of intimacy.
  • Respect the privacy of local people. Ask permission or advice before entering private dwellings or workplaces.
  • Try and learn some basic words and phrases in the local language. Your effort will invariably be enthusiastically appreciated.
  • Nearly all of us want to come back with some memorable photographs. You should always ask permission before taking photographs of people, holy places or rituals. Try to avoid using a flash when photographing paintings or textiles as this can cause damage to pigments.
  • Women should have a scarf if their tours including a visit to a mosque such as Egypt, Iran and Turkey

Local Laws

As part of our booking conditions you are expected to respect and obey the law of the country or countries in which you are travelling.

  • Drugs or firearms are not allowed on any of our tours.
  • Alcohol is not permitted on some of our tours, as specified by your pre-departure information or your tour guide.

Local Economies

Our presence as a tour operator bringing tourists into foreign destinations has a significant impact on these locations. We have a great opportunity, and responsibility, to make sure that the money that we, and our clients, spend, goes to those who can benefit most from it. To this end we:

  • Use local operatives and organizations as much as possible in the day to day running of our tours.
  • Encourage our clients to use the services of local people and organizations during their tour (eg. washing clothes).
  • Understand the important place that bargaining holds in local cultures and economies. We do discourage aggressive bargaining as what may seem a small amount to us that is fun to obtain through bargaining often makes a big difference to the vendor. However, not bargaining at all can also have detrimental effects on the local economy as the extra money you pay invariably does not go to the local producer.
  • Respect the fact that tipping is an integral part of a local economy and advise our clients accordingly.
  • When shopping for food, we aim to buy as much as possible from local vendors and markets, and to try to ensure that we are buying local produce.

As part of our code of practice we support various local organizations, NGO's and charities. The booking of any of our tours will include a donation of at least US$2 to one or more of the following:


Baheya Hospital

At Vacations To Go Travel, we support Baheya breast cancer hospital

Baheya is named after Mrs. Baheya Wahby a lady from a prominent Egyptian family who passed away losing her battle with cancer. While receiving treatment her family noticed the amount of suffering women from low income families go through; being unable to afford the treatment. They then decided to convert her house into a hospital specialized in early detection and treatment for women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Misr El Kheir Foundation (MEK)

At Vacations To Go Travel, we support Misr El Kheir Foundation in its Human Development’s projects

Misr El Kheir Foundation (MEK) is a non-profit development institution established in 2007 with the objective of developing the Egyptian individual in a comprehensive manner. Five key areas have been selected for human development namely: Health, Education, Scientific Research, Social Solidarity and Aspects of Life. Our vision is: to become a pioneering sustainable development organization to be heeded internationally; our mission is to contribute to the development of individuals and to serve them in the hope of eliminating unemployment, illiteracy, poverty, and disease.