Co-op Holidays launches flight-free vacations

The organisation is working with Byway, a flight-free travel platform

Co-op Holidays, the in-house tour operator for Your Co-op Travel, has partnered with Byway, a flight-free travel platform, to offer holidaymakers customisable travel packages by train, ferry and bus.

Your Co-op Travel is part of the Midcounties Co-operative, and the collaboration “marks the next step” in the organisation’s goal “to provide the widest possible choice of holiday package options for its members and customers, including for environmentally conscious travellers”.

“Right now, flying is seen as the norm for holiday,” says Byway. ”This isn’t good news for the planet, considering flying is one of the most damaging things we can do as individuals. The way we think about travel needs a big shake-up.

Byway, the first 100% flight-free travel platform, highlights that rail travel accounts for just 14g of CO2 per passenger mile, compared with air travel’s 285g. “Reducing the tourism industry’s reliance on flights is the most impactful thing we can do to make travel more sustainable”. 

Through the collaboration, Co-op Holiday’s flight-free options will “help holidaymakers discover lesser-known spots, travelling away from traditional tourist trails,” says the organisation, with travellers able to explore a variety of European destinations.

“At Co-op Holidays, our co-operative ethos underpins everything we do,” said Natalie Quiney, content and ecommerce manager at Co-op Holidays. “We’re deeply committed to providing our members and customers with experiences that not only enrich their lives but also contribute positively to the world around us.

“Our partnership with Byway is a reflection of this, and we hope it inspires customers and members to make sustainable and responsible travel choices while enjoying holidays which are off the beaten track.”

Paul Conroy, head of partnerships at Byway, said the partnership “is a great opportunity for us to continue our mission of making flight-free travel mainstream and providing a sustainable holiday alternative for even more travellers”.

He added: “This collaboration not only helps travellers discover the joy of flight-free journeys but also supports our shared vision of a more sustainable travel future. By providing seamless and personalised overland itineraries, we hope to make flight-free travel both accessible and appealing to all.”

Co-op Holidays currently invests in reforestation projects via climate platform Ecologi, with over 19,900 trees planted with Ecologi’s reforestation projects across the globe since 2022.

It also makes a donation from every holiday booking to Go Beyond, which gives children and young people facing serious challenges breaks that last a lifetime. To date, Co-op Holidays’ bookings and Your Co-op Travel have raised over £128,000 for the charity, enabling them to welcome 125 vulnerable children on holiday.