Where the Grass Is Always Greener: Green Path Transfers

  • Yolanda Clatworthy
  • 14 October 2011

How many of you out there face the same dilemma I do? I love travelling but hate time spent in airports, customs, security and just generally getting to and from airports and stations? Recently I had to deal with that a lot when I was in Europe on the Ultimate Triptrotting Summer Experience.

Taxi on Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece

There can be so much stress wrapped up in the simple act of catching a taxi. Book ahead with Green Path Transfers and you have peace of mind, in part because your travel is 100% carbon offset. This taxi waits near the Greek Parliament in Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Salonica84

Triptrotting is all about connecting travellers with locals and then providing both with authentic experiences and opportunities to make new friends. I was the lucky gal chosen from among 300 others as the Ultimate Triptrotter and spent several weeks in Europe putting the Triptrotting network of travellers and hosts to the test.

Well, my Ultimate Triptrotting Adventures featured a lot of hopping from city to city, which meant a lot of time spent on planes and in airports. And I mean a lot of time: the start of my journey featured a period in which, thanks to Mother Nature (snow is nice, but not when it traps you in New Zealand), I barely set foot outside of an airport for five days.

Luckily for me, the WHL Group, with a little help from The Travel Word, stepped in and offered me the use of their innovative service known as Green Path Transfers, a global network of local eco-friendly airport transfer partners and ground transportation operators that transformed airport-city travel into something I anticipated rather than dreaded.

Yolanda Clatworthy and Salih with baklava in Istanbul, Turkey

With ground transportation no longer a worry, in Istanbul, Yolanda met up with Salih, her Urban Adventures guide eager to share his love of his city and knowledge about Turkish life, including his his favourite Baklava cafe. Photo courtesy of Triptrotting

Much More Than a Transfer

Green Path Transfers was so much more than an airport transfer to me. As a traveller on a budget, I am used to taking the cheapest option to get into the city. This usually means one of three things:

1) scamming a friend into picking me up and hoping that they’ll still be there even if my flight is delayed
2) waiting around for a shuttle that will eventually take me to some inconvenient part of the city, or
3) scouring the airport for some form of public transportation, which then loops around and around suburbs for ages before ending up anywhere remotely close to civilization.

‘Splurging’ means getting a taxi, and it is only done as a last resort in the wee hours of the morning or when no other public transportation is available. Even that is usually not all that pleasant of an experience, as I can’t help wondering if the cab is actually a real cab, and if the driver is taking advantage of my clear unfamiliarity with the city by driving me around in circles.

A Taste of Something Different

Green Path Transfers was different: a global network of door-to-door ground transportation operators that provide a friendly face and reliable service at competitive costs, all while being green (using low-emissions vehicles and/or 100% carbon offsets).

The Parthenon of the Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Is the journey the way there or the destination? It's both, especially when the transport is simplified by Green Path Transfers and the goal is Athens, Greece, site of the world-famous Parthenon, sitting atop the Acropolis. Photo courtesy of Triptrotting

I was amazed at the ease with which I could get from the airport to my Triptrotting hosts! There was unfailingly someone at the airport to greet me, grab my bags and offer up both big smiles and lots of tips for ways to enjoy their cities. The drivers took great pride not only in their jobs, their cities and in maintaining high standards of service, but, as an added bonus, in knowing that they were doing right by the planet.

Especially to those of us concerned about how much carbon gets pumped into the atmosphere as a result of flights, Green Path Transfers promises some peace of mind. After all, Green Path Transfers is not just ‘green’ in name only. It aims to work with operators who use vehicles that are hybrids, run off biofuel, or whatever it takes to ensure reduced carbon emissions. As a further guarantee that the transfer is completely carbon neutral, Green Path Transfers offsets on any unavoidable emissions.

Now that I have had the good fortune of Green Path Transfer in Istanbul and in Athens, I can never go back to my old ways of long hours hauling luggage around on outdated and sketchy public transportation. Here’s to Green Path Transfers, where the grass truly is greener on the other side!

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cities, Greece, opinion, personal experience, responsible transport, responsible travel news, Turkey,

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