Travel sustainably. Leave only footprints. Support local businesses in the country you visit.

But make sure those local businesses are kind to their animals and pay a living wage to their employees. Try not to support despotic regimes, and before you go check the country's record on press freedoms, LGBTQI+, the rights of women and looking after their rainforests…

It's a lot to remember. Choosing to travel well is hard, and a holiday shouldn't be a chore. But for many of us, it's worth a little extra effort to travel responsibly. So to help make travelling responsibly less of a hassle, we pulled together seven of the definitive country-level indices that cover the main ethical issues UK holidaymakers told us were important to them when deciding where to go on holiday*. Sustainable travel. Human rights, with a separate index for both women's rights and LGBTQI+ rights. Press freedom. Animal welfare. And wellbeing and quality of life in the country.

Holiday Extras 'Have a good holiday' index infographic

Taken together, our meta-index produces one simple list which holidaymakers can use as a ready-reckoner when picking a destination, and check before they set off that they'll really have a good trip - without having to trawl through dozens of different sources when they should be taking a break.

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Map of the countries to have a good trip

Map of countries on the Have a good trip index

Top holiday destinations to have a good trip

A picture of Sweden at sunset

1. Sweden

  • Best for: Sustainability
A picture of a wide open sandy beach in Denmark

2. Denmark

  • Good for: Quality of Life and Human Rights
A picture of the Swiss Alps

3. Switzerland

  • Best for: Quality of Life and Human Rights
A picture of the northern lights over a snowy forest in Finland

4. Finland

  • Good for: Sustainability and Press Freedom
A picture of red hut looking out on a Fjord in Norway

5. Norway

  • Best for: Press Freedom
A picture of a lakeside town in the Austrian mountains

6. Austria

  • Good for: Sustainability and Animal Welfare
A picture of Tallinn in the snow

7. Estonia

  • Good for: Sustainability and Women's Rights
A picture of windmills in the Netherlands

8. Netherlands

  • Best for: Women's Rights
A picture of Mount Cook in New Zealand

9. New Zealand

  • Good for: Human Rights
A picture of a Germany town on the river

10. Germany

  • Good for: Quality of Life

We're working with the Travel Foundation to help everyone have a good trip.

Ben Lynam, Head of Communications from the Travel Foundation said,

"The Good Trip Index from Holiday Extras is a great starting point for holidaymakers to consider some of the issues they might encounter abroad. Having a good trip means choosing your destination carefully, and you should expect local variations, such as between cities and rural areas. But this isn't about avoiding the places that scored poorly. If you are mindful of the issues, you can still have a positive impact, for instance by avoiding certain attractions, or by supporting sustainable businesses."

Michelle Clark Cowell, Associate Director Sustainability at Holiday Extras, said,

"Even though it's worth the effort to research destinations to ensure we make responsible travel choices, it can be hard when there are so many factors to consider. A holiday shouldn't be a chore though, so that's why we have created this index – the first of its kind – to help holidaymakers make informed decisions about ethical destinations and trips."

*Methodological note and disclaimer

To compile our meta-index we have used seven different pieces of original research from seven different sources. The sources are deliberately chosen to offer a variety of political perspectives.

  • "Top Countries for Sustainable Tourism", Market research provider, Euromonitor International, "March 2021
  • "Human Freedom Index", Cato Institute, 2021
  • "Best Countries for Women", CEO World, June 2021
  • "World Press Freedom Index", Reporters sans Frontiers, 2021
  • "Cost of Living Index", Numbeo, 2022
  • "Gay Travel Index", Spartacus, 2021
  • "67 best and worst countries for animal rights", Swiftest, Dec 2021

We have made reasonable efforts to check the completeness and validity of each source index. Some countries were missing from one or more source index. Where a country was missing from three or more, we omitted that country from consideration entirely. Where fewer datapoints were missing, we used the average for that dimension. Inevitably, this will create discrepancies, and regrettably disadvantage smaller and poorer countries that were overlooked by one or more of the original sources, but the alternative would be to exclude a large number of countries, primarily outside Western Europe and North America, which would be problematic in different ways.

Our index is intended primarily to inform travellers from the United Kingdom heading overseas, and therefore centres (what our research tells us) are likely to be their ethical concerns about the countries they may choose to visit. This focus is inevitably Eurocentric, and produces results that privilege, for example, Scandinavia over sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. We fully acknowledge this limitation to our approach. Other researchers may wish to choose different criteria which would be of greater value to audiences expected to have different concerns or travelling from other parts of the world.