Bridge with a Holiday
Alex J. Coyne © Great Bridge Links
I’ve always marvelled that I could travel anywhere on the planet and be sure to find friends because I play bridge! If you’re wanting to plan a holiday and aren’t sure where to go or what you will do, perhaps a bridge vacation is just the thing. What’s better than looking at the sunset from somewhere other than your own neighborhood, while you’re playing bridge?
Here’s how you can take bridge with a holiday [or a holiday with bridge].
Bridge Tournament Destinations
Travelling to a larger bridge event, like and NABC in the USA, or other local tournaments, you can find special hotel rates and restaurant discounts. Why not pick one of these host destinations for your bridge, and more, vacation! The ACBL hosts three NABCs each year and many local regional tournaments. The WBF holds a variety of World Championships, and you can find other international events on Bridge Scanner
HF Holidays: Bridge Holidays
HF Holidays offers great bridge getaways throughout the UK — including planned future getaways between Southern Yorkshire Dales and Shropshire Hills. [Yes, that’s a real place in the UK, and you pronounce the -shire bit at the end.]
Their holidays take place on land, with walking activities, and range between 3 to 4 days. You’ll stay in cozy manors and mansions and farmhouses and your holiday will include instructions, competitions, and full board meals.
Andrew Robson Bridge Holidays
Andrew Robson Bridge Holidays offer unique, fun and friendly getaways to luxurious 4* or 5* destinations in the UK & Europe. Led by Jack Stocken, a bridge teacher with over 20 years of experience, his lessons focus on friendly Intermediate level play and learning. No bridge partner is necessary. Find ski holidays, summer holidays and more on their website!
Guaranteed Events has been offering “Great British Bridge Breaks since 1993”. This provider covers a lot of ground in their bridge holidays, and offers British, Irish, and Scottish holidays and wonderful hotels with lots of events, receptions and, well, bridge!
Authentic Adventures: With Mr Bridge
Enjoy a unique bridge holiday with Authentic Adventures and Mr Bridge! Hand-picked hotels, local culture, optional excursions, two seminars per week and daily evening bridge sessions. Hosted by the Mr Bridge team and led by a friendly host. Perfect for singles or couples and no experience necessary. There’s even a clause [from their FAQ] that allows you to ask for a partnership switch, if you aren’t getting along with whom you paired up with first.
There are many wonderful bridge cruising options but as Friends of the Earth so aptly puts it, the cruise industry’s business practices have put the environment, climate, and public health of coastal communities, passengers, crew, and coastal and marine ecosystems at risk. There’s very little oversight or regulation by governments, the ships run 24/7 burning crude fuels, dumping their waste, and disrupting marine life with their noise and collisions. As much as I have enjoyed my experience cruising in the past, these are modern times and with the knowledge we now have it would be irresponsible to promote cruising of any kind. If you’re interested in a Cruise Line Report Card please click here.
All forms of travel will have some environmental impact but individual travellers can make good choices. Here are some Eco-friendly travel tips taken from Friends of the Earth:
Green Travel Tips
You can still see the world while reducing your carbon footprint. The more you want to see, the more you should consider sustainable solutions — including how you get there and what you’re going to pack. Consider these travel tips.
- The closer you are to home, the less your carbon footprint will be.
- If you choose to travel to a different country, consider a destination where the cities are committed to protecting natural resources, heritage, and local peoples.
- If you prefer to visit a popular tourist destination, avoid peak summer months, and find activities that give back to the residents and not mega-tourism corporations.
- Use an eco-friendly booking site that allows you to calculate your carbon footprint for each night.
- Check for third-party verification that the hotel you’re looking at meets sustainability standards and isn’t just greenwashing.
- Try to find non-stop flights if you can. Takeoffs and landings are one of the most carbon-intensive parts of the flight.
- Pack as light as you can, don’t bring more than you need.
- Consider renting a hybrid or electric vehicle for a road trip.
- Bring a glass, metal, or other refillable water bottle with you to use over and over again throughout your trip.
- Do not request your hotel linens and towels be rewashed daily (unless soiled).
- Keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door for your stay. This will cut down on the cleaning agents sprayed in the room and energy used to clean the room. A lot of places will give you a discounts at the bar or restaurant if you choose not to have the maid clean you room.
- Bike, walk, or take public transportation around town if possible.
- Buy locally made products instead of those shipped or flown in from other countries. They’re much better souvenirs and support the local economy.
- Do not utilize irresponsible, exploitive animal tours — like elephant rides, dolphin swims, or walking with lion tours. Instead, find a local sanctuary to help animals in need.
- When on tours and excursions, travel with small groups to lessen the environmental impact to the habitat.
- Do not touch or step on fragile eco systems or use tours that chum the waters.