Travel With A ConscienceTicket to Ride & Sustainable Tourism

Lucy Theobald

2 months ago in News

For the past 14 years, Ticket to Ride has expanded to new locations, introduced new sports and embarked upon countless new adventures. Underpinning this expansion is an ethos of sustainable tourism and environmental consciousness. 

We are fortunate enough to operate in many beautiful parts of the world and feel a strong sense of responsibility to respect and protect these places. So often, development can be incongruous with local surroundings, but we pride ourselves on engaging with and investing in each community we visit. Whilst our network of friends and riders has continued to grow, so have our relationships with local people, businesses, backpackers and charities. 

Ticket to Ride endeavour to have a positive global footprint and continue to share our love for adventure, travel and giving back. Have a read below to find out what we get up to and how you can be a part of our journey!



They Share – We Share

The exciting opening of our new Surf House has brought with it many opportunities to work with and support a community and economy. We employ wonderful Sri Lankan staff and serve delicious traditional meals, made with locally sourced ingredients. 

Being surfers, a large portion of our time is spent enjoying Sri Lanka’s beautiful coastline. We hold regular beach cleans with our guests and staff to help combat plastic pollution. Beach cleanups are a simple and tangible way to make a difference, whilst also acting as a sombre reminder of how much more work is needed to save our seas. We have introduced these cleanups in all of our trip locations. 

Ticket to Ride supports Animal SOS, a charity based in Ahangama that rescues and rehabilitates street animals. They have an on-site veterinary clinic, provide vaccinations and offer adoption schemes. 

At the Surf House, we stock locally made, natural sunblock, as well as rash vests made from recycled materials. We are starting an exciting partnership with Tide and Seek, whose swimwear is made with Repreve fabric, a material created using 100% recycled plastic bottles. 


Surfing, It’s A Question Of Balance

Those who embark upon our South Africa Surf Adventures will have a wholly immersive experience. You will ride the best waves, embrace a rich and vibrant culture, encounter wildlife at its most pure and engage in meaningful community and sustainability projects.

Waves For Change

Ticket to Ride has been involved with Waves for Change since the very start. This is an amazing charity who provides surf therapy sessions and mental health services to vulnerable and differently-abled young people from under-resourced communities. Whilst in Cape Town, the group help out with a beach session and meet W4C staff and surfers. Our operations manager and head surf coach Chris Bond recently worked with W4C to train Liberia’s first qualified surf coaches. 

We encourage all London dwellers to help us fundraise by joining the annual Waves For Change stand-up paddle down the River Thames. The money from last year’s event helped more women participate in W4C’s surf therapy programmes.


Some People Have Faced Bigger Challenges Than Overhead Sets 

When not busy shredding the world-class waves at Jeffreys Bay, the Ticket to Ride crew will undergo a beach clean to support the JBay Recycling Project and volunteer at Tharros Child & Youth Care Centre. This facility was set up by Taise Sampson in 2016 to provide care and a home for children under threat. Tharros offer therapeutic programmes and social work services to help reunite children safely with their families or find foster care. If joining us on the trip expect to get stuck in, helping with painting, maintenance jobs and playing games with the kids at the centre. 

Catering For The Community

Our stop in Chintsa on the east coast is always a rejuvenating experience. The area’s natural beauty is second to none and it’s easy to lose yourself in the jungle-like flora. When in town, it’s a privilege to assist Temie and her big-hearted team at The Chintsa Community Soup Kitchen prep and serve food for the great kids from the township. These women work tirelessly to provide daily meals, care and bathing facilities. (Just be sure to bring some energy as in and around cooking you’ll be expected to piggyback 5 kids at once!)  

Our home when surfing South Africa’s Wild Coast is Coffee Shack Backpackers, who run a wonderful non-profit organisation called Sustainable Coffee Bay. They aim to enrich and improve the lives of the community through environmental initiatives and education. We love visiting Ikhaya Labantwana, a rural Montessori Pre-School set up by Sustainable Coffee Bay, who provides nutritious meals and holistic educational experiences for up to 60 children.


Doing Our Best To Keep It Snowing

The pistes are our playground during the winter months and over the years we’ve run epic ski and snowboard adventures in France, Japan, Canada and New Zealand. Meribel is our current alpine home and we are proud to offer environmentally conscious accommodation in our chalets and Mountain Lodge

Our chefs use as much fair trade, seasonal and locally sourced produce as possible, and all waste is composted or recycled. We book shared airport transfers for guests and to save water, change towels on request as opposed to daily. To discourage the purchasing of single-use plastic bottles, we have water carafes in the bedrooms and water refill stations in communal areas. Our bathrooms are also stocked with refillable toiletry bottles. 

Check out Katie’s article ‘How to be an Eco-Friendly Skier or Snowboarder’ for further info on how you too can show some love to the mountains! 


Clean Waves And A Clean Conscience

Indonesia’s potential for adventure is limitless… More than 17,000 tropical islands with countless shorelines of pumping surf, it’s become a core destination for Ticket to Ride over the past seven years. 

Ranked as the ninth-fasted growing tourism sector in the world, foreign travel is essential for Indonesia’s economy. This is both a blessing and a challenge as the country’s infrastructure has at times struggled to cope, notably waste disposal poses a significant problem. We are keen to do our part to combat plastic pollution on the islands so equip all riders with a Ticket to Ride water bottle on arrival. As it is not advised to drink tap water, we carry large jerry cans of drinkable water which are used to refill our bottles and discourage purchasing single-use plastic. 

Take 3 For The Sea is a global movement to make plastic pollution a thing of the past. We have embraced this philosophy on our trips and encourage everyone to take 3 pieces of litter (or more!) with them when leaving a location, be it ambling along the sand post-surf or hiking a volcano at sunrise. 



Charity Begins At Home  

Our UK operations centre around the Ticket to Ride Surf School in Perranporth, Cornwall. Surfers Against Sewage is a prominent marine conservation charity whose values are aligned closely with ours. We are passionate about protecting the world’s oceans and beaches and our staff enjoy volunteering at SAS events. 

The Wave Project is a surf therapy charity whose efforts help improve the mental and emotional wellbeing of young people. A number of our staff volunteer as surf mentors. If you’re keen to get involved too then register online here



Waves For The Future

Ticket to Ride aims to inspire adventure with a conscience. Our surf, snow and cycle trips provide unique opportunities for personal growth and an appreciation for the natural world. Responsible travel is essential if we want future generations to enjoy the oceans and mountains like we do. Help us spread some stoke for sustainable tourism!