World Nomads Champions Sustainable Travel Ahead of Earth Day

Global giving program began in aftermath of 2004 southeast Asian tsunami; has funded more than 250 projects.


Photo © Getty Images / The Good Brigade
  • 1.3 million customers have raised AUD$3.7 million (approx. US$2.5 million), funding 261 global development projects through World Nomads Footprints Network
  • Projects include species survival in Panama and clean water in Zimbabwe
  • 85% of World Nomads’ site visitors surveyed say traveling responsibly is important

Media Release, New York, NY – World Nomads is committed to sustainable and responsible travel and helping its global travelers reduce their environmental footprint and contribute to better travel practices, a key principle behind World Nomads’ Footprints Network.

When the Southeast Asian tsunami hit in 2004, the team at World Nomads created a program that put its ethos into action, founding The Footprints Network in 2005. Footprints enables customers to make a micro-donation to a community development project when they purchase travel insurance.

“We’ve been doing this for almost two decades,” said Christina Tunnah, general manager of marketing and brands, World Nomads. “It’s really a part of what we do and who we are,” she said. “We look for charities that make a difference to communities and the environment. It's about innovation and commitment, over a fairly long time.”

Working with reputable charity partners, World Nomads continues to support projects around the world that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

World Nomads covers all administration costs so that 100% of all micro-donations go towards the projects customers nominate. To date, The Footprints Network has enabled 1.9 million customers to raise AUD$3.7 million (approx. US$2.5 million) to fund 261 global development projects.

The program supports vital projects including fighting the impacts of climate change on turtles in Panama, helping to conserve the Mekong ecosystem in Cambodia and providing communities in Zimbabwe with clean water.

“We recently conducted a survey of visitors to our website and an impressive 85% said that traveling responsibly is important to them,” Ms Tunnah said.

“Our Footprints Network program makes it easy for our customers to help communities around the world and have a lasting impact on the people and places they visit simply by making a small donation. We also believe that taking out travel insurance is essential to responsible travel behavior. If you are sick or injured while traveling in another country, and end up needing hospital treatment, you should ensure you can pay for that treatment and not burden that country’s health system. That’s the right thing to do.

“A lot of our adventure travelers visit countries where the medical systems are already stretched. It’s incumbent upon travelers to ensure they are covered and can pay,” Ms Tunnah said.

World Nomads offers responsible travel tips

  1. Consider when and how you travel. A low-season visit can help offset over-tourism and over-crowding and spread tourism dollars throughout the year. Fly nonstop where possible and consider staying longer in one destination instead of flight-hopping, which is friendlier for the planet and allows travelers to go deeper into a destination.
  2. Buy travel insurance that includes emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation coverage. This avoids putting a strain on local medical resources, especially in rural areas. Travel insurance coverage can also help avoid under-resourced areas being stuck with unpaid medical bills.
  3. Travel with a responsible tour operator and/or stay in environmentally responsible accommodation. Look for B-Corp, Leave No Trace or LEED certifications, or for locally owned accommodation that will keep revenue in the community. And remember to tip hotel cleaners; even a few dollars can have a significant impact on low-wage earners.
  4. Use public transport where possible. Take the metro instead of ride share from the airport; enjoy the scenery from trains; consider a cycling holiday.
  5. Pack a reusable water bottle and shopping bags.
  6. Try eco-friendly toiletries like shampoo bars, menstrual cups and always use reef-friendly sunscreen.
  7. Consider offsetting carbon emissions on flights, or micro-donating to responsible charities.
  8. Eat at restaurants serving locally grown food, and avoid food made with vulnerable or endangered species (shark fin soup, turtle, Civet coffee).
  9. Shop responsibly – don’t buy anything made from endangered animals like turtle shells. Look for locally made and fair-trade goods.
  10. Give over-touristed destinations a break. See out lesser-known State and National parks.

Free downloadable responsible travel guide

For more insights on how to travel responsibly, World Nomads also has developed a free downloadable consumer guide that offers articles written by leading travel and environmental writers.

It contains:

  • packing and planning tips
  • guidance for seeking out the most sustainable transportation choices
  • low-impact travel ideas
  • suggestions on how to have the most immersive travel experience.

The free guide is available to download here:

Additional responsible travel content can be found at

Media Contact


Mandy Morrissey


Phone: +1 510 775 0780

Australia/New Zealand:

Michelle Innis


Phone: +61 414 999 693


Graham Lynch


Phone: +353 86 831 784

About World Nomads

World Nomads is a fast-growing, global travel insurance company. We provide inspirational stories, safety tips and specialized travel insurance for adventurous and independent travelers. Our online travel insurance offers cover to travelers from more than 100 countries and allows you to buy and claim online, 24/7, even while already traveling.

Our travel insurance focuses on what we believe is important to travelers: emergency medical and evacuation costs, baggage, trip cancellation, trip delay and trip interruption costs. We also offer cover for more than 150 adventure sports and activities, plus tech and gear. Our policies are underwritten by a suite of specialist travel insurers that provide 24/7 emergency assistance, customer service and claims support, making us a top choice for many of the world's leading adventure, independent and youth travel brands.

World Nomads is a part of the nib Group which provides health and medical insurance to more than 1.5 million Australian and New Zealand residents. We also provide health insurance to more than 170,000 international students and workers in Australia and are Australia’s third-largest travel insurer and global distributor of travel insurance through our business nib Travel. Nib Group became carbon neutral in 2022 and the company is committed to driving further change by setting targets for achieving net zero by 2040. The company holds the Climate Active carbon neutral certification.