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Taking a dip in ice water in Latvia.

Travel Partner: Byway


Byway offers joyful journeys by train, bus, boat and bike. Their trips help travellers love their journey as much as the destinations they visit, and all are 100% flight free. 

Sustainable Journeys are working with Byway to rail-enable travel between the UK and a range of destinations, so that you can embark on your next Sustainable Journey and make it a flight-free experience.

Their objective is to help people savour the experience of travelling slowly through a region, with none of the hassle of planning and booking it all themselves. Byway are ABTA protected, arrange travel and accommodation and are at their customer’s side via WhatsApp throughout. They take holidaymakers away from the crowds, hosting them overnight with locally-owned accommodations or on sleeper trains and boats where they can travel while dreaming, awakening to a whole new landscape. 

The company was founded in 2020 by Cat Jones, who’s never owned a car and whose annual family holiday is by train and bike, whatever the weather. As a start-up coach and investor with degrees in Sustainable Development and Physics, she jumped at the opportunity to make environmentally friendly travel more accessible. 

“Byway really started when I was on my annual holiday with my family. Each year, we go on a multi-stop journey and make it as sustainable as possible, travelling by train, boat and bike. The trips are always wonderful – we slow down to appreciate lesser-known locations, bypass touristy hotspots and feel like we’re discovering the world on our terms. But wow, were they a pain to organise and book! Plus when we got back, friends would ask for the route so they could take the same holiday without having to do the research and planning. As we’ve become more aware of the impact of air travel on the climate, the environmental need for simpler flight-free travel has become urgent, and as the pandemic hit I knew the time had come for slower travel to take centre stage. So I founded Byway to make sustainable, multi-stop trips easy, and to help more people discover the joys of slow travel.” – Cat Jones

The carbon impact of rail travel is 14g of CO2 per passenger mile, compared to 285g for air: you could get the train from London to Edinburgh and back five times and your carbon footprint would still be lower than if you flew there. Giving up meat for a year saves 2.7 tonnes of carbon, but giving up one return flight from London to Bangkok saves 3.3 tonnes.

Their mission is to make flight-free travel mainstream, and their technology creates dynamic flight-free travel itineraries based on customer preferences and live availability of train/ferry/buses and accommodation. It’s the first technology of its kind, and it optimises for enjoyment, rather than speed. Instead of getting you from A to B to C as quickly as possible, we build slower trips full of rich experiences. Our travel planning tech builds a trip full of stops, experiences and journeys you’ll love. 

Byway also optimise for positive impact – for the environment, and for local communities. They’re not just thinking about how to avoid flying – but considering the impact of every aspect of our trips. This means prioritising destinations that are looking to increase tourism, rather than those already heaving with tourists.

When people truly love their journeys, and take slow travel holidays because they want to, not because they ought to, flight-free travel will become mainstream – and leisure travel will be sustainable at last. That’s Byway’s mission, and their 97% five-star Trustpilot reviews demonstrate that passion.

How the partnership works

Our slow travel partner Byway specialises in journeys by train, bus, boat, and bike. To get you from the UK to the start of your Sustainable Journey with us, and or back home again we will connect you with Byway, who will arrange the appropriate travel and accommodation to ensure a hassle-free experience getting you to and from your Journey with us with all the support you need. Related to specific journeys, we will provide you with links which will take you to a Byway ‘blueprint’ for you to provide the dates and details to get a plan and price for your travel to and from your Journey with us. It is important to remember that Byway is not part of Sustainable Journeys so any booking you make with Byway is subject to a separate agreement between you and Byway, which is your own responsibility and by clicking the link provided, and leaving Sustainable Journeys’ website you accept this fact.