8 ways to ace the holidays

Published December 2nd, 2019

Here we are at the pointy end of the year where things get a little crazy. There are loose ends to tie up as you race to the finish line, fun to be had and people to thank. Maybe the end of the year marks an end of an era? New beginnings on the horizon?

Whatever is coming next, wherever you’re going and no matter what you’re celebrating—it can’t hurt being a good human while you’re at it?

Maybe you’re thinking, “Hey UTrav, you’re not my life coach, stay in your lane!” Yes, we’re in the travel business, but we’re people too, and there’s nothing wrong with a timely reminder of how we can all do a little better for the greater good…

1. Gift green

What’s better than socks and jocks? Here’s our Good-For-The-Planet Christmas gift guide:

- The Moon Cup! (Disclaimer: perhaps for someone you know really well...sure to be a conversation starter)
- Who Gives a Crap. Everyone needs it. Toilet Paper is the ultimate statement gift
- Bamboo toothbrushes
- Reusable cutlery set including a metal straw
- Shampoo & conditioner bars (no plastics packaging!)
- Garden seeds for herbs and vegetables
- Reusable coffee cup

Or, gift the gift of experience and grab a Universal Traveller Gift Card and help that special mate or family member get closer to that dream holiday.



A post shared by Feel Good Toilet Paper (@whogivesacraptp) on


2. Travel better 

- If you’re travelling these holidays, think about where you can walk or cycle part of the way instead
- Always carry a reusable water bottle
- Buy local handmade souvenirs only
- If you’re taking any tours or day trips, make sure the operators are doing the right thing by the environment and their employees

3. Volunteer

Want a change of scenery and want to do something different? Why not plan a trip around a volunteer program. There are some incredible destinations around the globe where you can really get to know the locals and lend a helping hand. Keen to find out more about volunteering overseas? Get in touch!



A post shared by Totally Travel (@totallytravel) on


4. Switch off

Try spending a day without social media. Consciously put your phone down and take some mental memories instead. It’s easy—close your eyes and take a mental photograph—capturing the moment in your mind.

5. The small things

Going to the beach this summer? Do a ‘Take 3 For The Sea’ and pick up three pieces of rubbish before you leave. And spread the word...



A post shared by Take 3 (@take3forthesea) on


6. Take the path less travelled

It’s no surprise tourist hotspots get overrun, and ultimately damaged.  ‘Overtourism’ can lead to all sorts of problems—pricing locals out of the area and damaging natural wonders. Why not go somewhere less overrun these (or next) holidays? Think Ljubljana over Barcelona, or the Faroe Islands over Iceland, and Jordan over Morocco.



A post shared by Jed Buencillo ✈️ (@jedventures) on


7. Pay it forward

Need some good karma in your life? Something small could make a big difference to someone else’s day. Take, for example, next time you buy a coffee (in your reusable coffee cup of course!) why not pay for the person behind you too?
Or, if that’s too creepy for you.

Tell your friends and family to donate to a charity on your behalf instead of getting you a gift this Christmas? Find a charity or Not-For-Profit that best aligns with your values and send a link around to your people. Love the ocean? Check out the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

8. Enjoy nature

Ever gone forest bathing? (it doesn’t necessarily involve your swimsuit). The Japanese have been touting the health benefits of a simple walk in nature for centuries. Go for a walk under the dappled trees and feel nature give your spirit a big ol’ bath.



A post shared by Dr. Angie Mueller, DPT (@corerecoverypt) on


Peace out. Happy travels. Stay safe out there.


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Universal Traveller

We’re here to Go Beyond. That means we 'Go Beyond' the over-populated tourist sites and instead uncover local experiences, because that’s what makes the best stories.