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How to keep your pledge

Tips on staying grounded for twelve months

28 Oct 2020 2 min read

Image shows three friends on a beach looking out to sea
Scotland holiday. Image credit: Jayme Elkins-With Many Roots

Twelve months without flying can be pretty tough if you’re usually on a plane every few weeks or months.

Enthusiasm for the Flight Free Challenge can wane especially as the autumn and winter months approach. That's when those adverts for city getaways or cheap flights might be more tempting than ever.

Here are some tips to help you not to break your pledge, from one of our pledgers, Sophia Cheng:

1. Pledge with a buddy

Remember the old adage, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” Pledging with a buddy can help temper the flight sales emails and the social media targeting directed at you.

2. Stay local and curious

Don't take your local area for granted – exchange what we might think of as “new” experiences elsewhere for “deeper” ones close to home. During lockdown we were forced to hone down our worlds, and new travel experiences were replaced with repeat walks in familiar green spaces. We can still learn a lot from having a more thorough knowledge of our local wood or National Park.

Image shows a wide view of the Lake District mountains. The grass is green with purple and red shrubs. Deep valleys are visible and the sun is shining in spots around the hills. You can see Sophia sitting on a rock.
Sophia in the Lake District. Image credit: Jayme Elkins-With Many Roots

3. Go under your own steam

Take a leaf out of the travellers of old who walked everywhere – or could you opt to cycle instead? This doesn’t just reduce your emissions, it is great for your physical and mental health as well. Get inspired by the wealth of travel walking literature, including the work of Rebecca Solnit and Robert MacFarlane.

4. Swap out the photo op for something close by

I love this Swiss idea showing that we often miss picturesque spots much closer to home: find your local spots with the closeBY website.

5. Feel good about your emissions reduction

How many flights would you take in a typical year? Work out the carbon footprint of those journeys using Flight Emission Map and celebrate the carbon savings. Add a tally to your calendar of how much you're saving as you move through the year.

A tiny stone statue of buddha in an autumn park is covered in moss.
Can you get much more local? A discovery on a local walk. Image credit: Sophia Cheng

6. Be intentional about who influences you

Tackle your flight FOMO head on by following slow-travellers on your instagram feed, or #vanlife on Facebook. Read the inspiring travel stories and testimonials on our website to show that you’re not missing out. Unsubscribe from all those airline newsletters and join the subculture of people keeping their feet on the ground.

7. Make plans

Book your leave in advance and plan your holidays seasonally. Put a map on the wall with your plans drawn on it as a visual reminder of what you have to look forward to.