Saskia Griep stimulates responsible travel through the glasses of an anthropologist

Purpose Lab likes to shine a light people and organizations that inspire to travel consciously. If it is a mission in life, combining a way to make money with doing the right thing or using your talent: you will find inspiring people with unique stories all around the world and in your own country too, of course.

Saskia Griep

Travel entrepreneur Saskia Griep is in the spotlight this time. The founder of Better Places sees traveling through the glasses of a cultural anthropologist. She started her company with the intention of bringing two worlds together: travelers that are looking for a unique travel experience and local experts that offer a lot of these experiences. Saskia embraces the traveling with plastic problem with her company by putting it on the map through co-creation in collaboration with travelers and media.

Interview with Purpose Lab

Purpose Lab interviewed this inspiring lady about traveling with a positive impact.


What drives you in your work as travel entrepreneur?

Through traveling I want to make the world a better place, not only for the traveler but also for the local communities: Better Places to live in, Better Places to visit. Better Places is proof that by means of sustainable entrepreneurship you can set up a successful business where people enjoy working.

What is your most precious travel memory and why?

This is very difficult to choose as I have so many precious memories. I think my most memorable travel experiences always involve unexpected events and personal meetings. Memories include for example a spontaneous bike ride at the Kivu lake in Rwanda, but also the trip to Jordan I recently made with my children. Our stay in the desert was very special.

How do you see the ecological, economical and/or sociological impact of traveling?

Flying has a negative impact on the environment and therefore it’s better to make longer trips less frequently. We will not stop flying, but we can deal with it more consciously and ensure our negative impact is as small as possible. Thereby we want all those involved to benefit from tourism. Better Places therefore introduces travel with a positive impact. Our local travel experts create travel itineraries that positively contribute to local communities and nature, while at the same time provide a great experience for the traveller.

What is the highlight of your career so far on the area of conscious travel?

Figures have never been my motivation, but I am very proud that since our start in April 2014, more than 14.000 travellers have booked their trip through Better Places. I am even more proud of the fact that our average rating on Trustpilot is a 9.5. When reading the reviews, we can see that travellers really appreciate our focus on personal contact and the care of people and nature. Finally, I consider it a major achievement that Better Places is the first Dutch tour operator with an international B Corp certification.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

We will we start offering more trips in Europe. This is a huge challenge where we would like to work with as many different parties as possible. The idea is to offer full-fledged 2-week trips within Europe, with a focus on pre- and post-season. We will also focus on designing itineraries where the train journey is part of the trip. We will internationally roll out Better Places’ concept. In the German market we are already quite successful with our sister company It’s now also time to let our English site grow. This year we will continue to map our positive impact. Transparency is extremely important to us and together with our local travel experts around the world we would like to stay a frontrunner in creating positive impact.

And last, but not least, what personal advice on a conscious life would you like to share?

What many people don’t know is that you can save a ton of CO2 emissions by choosing your flight correctly when going on holiday. A direct flight without layovers can sometimes save half the CO2 emissions, and it’s also much more comfortable to fly directly.

More info?

Want to follow Saskia on her mission of making traveling more conscious the norm? Follow her personally on LinkedIn or the organization Better Places on Facebook.You can read more on the approach on traveling with a positive impact on the website of Better Places.