Sustainable travel decision aid

Deciding whether to travel

What do I want to achieve?

  • Why am I attending this event and how will it benefit my work, the University, or society more broadly?
  • What specific benefits will in-person attendance provide?

What are the benefits of not travelling?

What are the alternatives?

Alternatives to flights

Trains and ferries are a feasible alternative for many destinations, especially in the UK and Europe. They are often more suitable for working and go directly to city centres. Within the UK, travel times are often similar to flying once you account for travel to the airport, passing through security, etc. Seat61 is useful for planning train journeys worldwide.

Options to consider:

  • Using sleeper trains.
  • Combining with meetings in intermediate cities to break journey eg. London, Paris.
  • Using travel as dedicated time for a suitable piece of work eg. others have used them for ‘writing retreats’ [Plan Your Writing Retreat on Amtrak] and pre-conference meetings [All aboard the CET conference train].
  • Budget in grants for technology to support remote working eg. laptops, dongles, Bluetooth headsets.

Maximising the value of travel

Can I combine this trip with other meetings, fieldwork, or visits to another institution which would otherwise require additional travel?

What are my specific objectives for networking?

  • What relationships do I want to create/build?
  • What difference will they make to my work?
  • Can I contact key individuals beforehand to arrange introductions or 1:1 meetings?