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About us
Responsible travel

See the world.
Make it better.

See the world.
Make it better.

Travel responsibly—on every single tour

Whether you go to Sicily solo or on a family trip to Kenya, when you travel with us, you’ll make a positive impact on the places you visit, and the people and animals you meet along the way. That’s because our three core Responsible Travel commitments—protecting the environment, supporting local communities, and promoting animal welfare—are at the heart of every tour we offer. Here’s how we bring those commitments to life on tour, and beyond.

Protecting the environment

With future generations in mind, we’ve adopted sustainable practices, in our offices and on the road with you, to reduce our carbon footprint. In 2021, we introduced Hello Zero, a plan to become carbon negative every year going forward, and to offset our carbon emissions dating all the way back to EF’s founding in 1965. On tour, we’ll get you out in nature and learning about traditional land use, conservation efforts, the protection of iconic sites, and more.

Photo: Planting a tree on our Costa Rica: Rainforests, Volcanoes & Wildlife tour

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Traditional weaving by villagers of the Sacred Valley, Peru

Supporting local communities

For us, traveling has always been about more than seeing places at their surface level. It’s about lifting up local economies, creating social opportunities, and preserving global cultures. Ways we do this on tour include dining at independently owned restaurants, partnering with organizations that preserve cultural heritage, and supporting businesses that employ local artisans and other staff members.

Photo: A textile cooperative, run by Quechuan women, that you’ll visit on our A Week in Peru: Lima, Cuzco & Machu Picchu tour

Promoting animal welfare

We’re firm believers that experiencing a destination should never come at an animal’s expense. In 2018, we formed a first-of-its-kind partnership with World Animal Protection, an international nonprofit animal-rights organization, to ensure that none of our tour experiences exploit animals or threaten their well-being. We’re committed to preserving the health, safety, and dignity of all animals, from giant Asian elephants to tiny sea turtle hatchlings.

Photo: An elephant sanctuary you’ll visit on our Thailand Adventure: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & the Islands tour

The EF Impact Report

In 2021, we introduced the EF Impact Report to share ways in which our Responsible Travel initiatives are effecting change around the globe and shaping our travelers’ on-tour experience. Want to know more about what we’re up to? Keep an eye on EF Impact for updates about what we do, and why it all matters.

View the full report

A few tours where culture and nature meet

Costa Rica: Rainforests, Volcanoes & Wildlife
9 days | 12 days with Manuel Antonio & San José extension

4.6 star rating

View tour
See all tours

EF’s Responsible Supplier Guidelines

Learn about the legal, ethical, environmental, and professional standards that shape how we operate.

Read our guidelines

Dive deeper into Responsible Travel

Explore our core commitments, watch our Responsible Travel webinar, and more.

Protecting the environment →
Head back to About Us

More ways to make a difference

How can I support local communities?
  • Eat at locally owned restaurants, where the food is more likely to be locally sourced. (Check out our travel guides for ideas about where to go.)
  • Support local businesses to ensure money is invested back into the community.
  • Be aware of monetary norms (think: tipping and negotiating) in your destination.
  • Talk to your Tour Director about when it’s appropriate to take photos, and ask people for permission before you take their picture.
  • You’ll learn a lot while on tour, but take some time to read up on your destinations before you go. A few words in the local language can go a long way. (Check out a Tour Director's tips for experiencing Italy like a local.)
  • Wear culturally appropriate clothing and be respectful when visiting religious sites.
  • Consider giving gifts or donations directly to reputable NGOs, charities, or schools, where they’ll make the most impact.
  • Approach cultural differences with empathy and an open mind.
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What can I do to protect wildlife?
  • Avoid buying any exploitive wildlife products.
  • Taking a dip in the ocean? Slather on sunscreen that’s reef-safe.
  • Let it be—there’s no need to remove anything from its natural environment or leave any litter.
  • Take the philosophies of World Animal Protection to heart.
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What can I do to be more environmentally conscious?
  • Travel with a reusable water bottle.
  • Consider using a water filter if tap water isn't drinkable in your destination.
  • Reduce waste by avoiding single-use plastics as much as possible.
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle. Go digital when you can, and recycle any necessary paper documents. Can’t find any recycling options while out and about on tour? Bring recyclables back to your hotel.
  • Take public transportation, especially trains and rideshares, when traveling on your own. Better yet—walk if you can.
  • Reuse hotel towels and turn the lights off when you leave your room.
  • Pack your own toiletries and grooming products.
  • Bring your own headphones to use with your whisper headset and on the plane.
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