Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Vacations That Don’t Cost the Earth: Is the Eco-Lodge the Holiday of the Future?

English: Eco-Lodge Situated around Brompton La...
English: Eco-Lodge Situated around Brompton Lakes. A side elevation of a lodge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you’re a real super-saver, it’s likely that you already have many ways to save money when it comes to going on vacation. In fact, we’ve got a whole host of great money-saving travel tips right here on the site that you may be able to use. But it’s not just about a change in the way you take your holiday; there are in fact completely eco-friendly alternatives to a more traditional vacation. Looking at recent trends it looks like the next big thing in green vacationing may just be the ‘eco-lodge’. So let’s look at these in a bit more detail to help you decide if this may be the way you’d like to spend your next big vacation. 

What is an eco-lodge?

It only seems right to start at the beginning, so let’s first find out where the eco-lodge concept came from and how exactly we can define an eco-lodge. Well, the first good examples of eco-lodges came about in the early 2000s in Europe, when the European Union began to designate hotels with their ‘eco-label’. This is essentially a sign to travellers that this place is eco-friendly. Around this time was when the real boom in the popularity of green vacations really began, making its way to the USA soon thereafter. There are a number of characteristics that premises should have in order to be classified as an eco-lodge. Here are just a few examples:
  • Sustainable energy used throughout (wind and solar power, for example)
  • Sheets, towels and other fabrics made from recycled materials
  • Air exchange system
  • Re-usable dishes and cutlery
  • Organic soaps and other household chemicals
  • If vehicles are provided, they are generally ‘green’ (bicycles or hybrids, for example)

The benefits of a green vacation

For the keen money-saver, it can sometimes be a difficult change to go from a thrifty lifestyle back home to a more decadent one during a holiday break. By choosing a holiday at an eco-lodge or similar green vacation property, you can enjoy all of the traditional benefits that such a trip brings – relaxation, getting a break from the everyday, spending time with loved ones – without the burden of worrying about electricity use and other unsustainable expenditure. Even better, staying at an eco-lodge can in many cases be more affordable than staying in comparable accommodation without these green features. Of course, if you want to go all out in 5-star style and stay eco-friendly, the price tag may well increase – but there are other ways of getting access to a quality eco-property, as we’ll discover.

Investing in your own green property

You might think that owning an eco-lodge or similar of your very own is nothing but a pipe dream, but it’s actually becoming quite achievable via schemes such as time-share properties. These aren’t just for ski resorts and sunny beaches anymore! By exploring the many time-share properties that are available on the market, you can in fact find a number of them which are eco-conscious and have the features that would fall into the category of an eco-lodge. If you’re interested into locating a time-share property that you can either turn into a sustainable haven – or one that already has these features – be sure to check out the many online resources on time-share properties. Of course, the best part of all of this is that, because you’re sharing the cost with a number of other people, you can enjoy all of the benefits of a 5-star eco-lodge at a price that won’t break the bank – or cost the earth.

Examples of popular eco-lodges

If you’re not quite ready to own an eco-property of your own, there are plenty of green hotels out there for you to explore and test the waters of. And because the concept has become such a phenomenon, your choices are now literally global. Examples include the Pole Pole in Tanzania, the Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve in South Africa, and the unique Concordia Eco-Tents in the Virgin Islands. These are just a handful of examples that we’d recommend you look into in more detail – but there really is a world of eco-lodges that you can look into. Who knows – you might just discover a life-long passion for sustainable accommodation, and maybe even snag one of your own one day. Happy trails!


  1. I would love to have an eco-lodge for good. That would be an awesome idea.

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