Tim van den Thillart: Redefining travel for a sustainable tomorrow with bookachoo

Nov 09, 2023


Tim, the founder of bookachoo, is a force for change in a world where the thrill and joy of travel often collide with the environmental effects of frequent travel. Staying in Granada, Spain, Tim's passion to improve the traveler experience gave rise to a ground-breaking idea that aims to completely transform the way we travel.

Tim was a financial controller for a number of non-governmental organizations. His love of languages, urban design, and public transportation design has guided his career. Tim's passion for change and sustainability found a new home when he moved from the busy city of Amsterdam to the countryside Granada area of Spain.

Tim's journey was one filled with adventure, jet-setting across airports, reveling in the diverse cultures and landscapes that each new destination offered. But in the middle of all this excitement, he started to realize that all this traveling was leaving a big carbon footprint. It was an alarming moment that made him consider the accountability of his actions.

Recognizing the importance of his travels, especially those involving NGOs, Tim aimed for a balance between the value of these journeys and the necessity for more sustainable travel.

Understanding that take-off and landing substantially contribute to the pollution of the environment, Tim committed to cutting down on short flights. Residing in Amsterdam, he opted for trains when visiting nearby cities such as Paris or London due to their lesser CO2 emissions and environmental impact. Yet, for longer trips, stopover flights became the standard until a pivotal moment arose.

Discovering high-speed train connections from Amsterdam to key airports like Brussels, Paris, and Frankfurt, Tim found a simple yet transformative solution—replace part of the longer trip with a high-speed train. This revelation was the beginning of bookachoo’s mission: to facilitate the seamless substitution of short flights with train journeys, leveraging existing infrastructure to make sustainable travel a reality.

bookachoo's commitment is to prioritize a balance between reducing CO2 emissions and ensuring travel comfort for their customers. Their logic is clear and practical: first, search for direct trains; if unavailable, explore reasonable options with train transfers. If no reasonable train connections exist, consider direct flights while avoiding polluting stopover options. In cases where direct flights aren’t available, replace a flight with a train, seeking direct flights from or to alternative airports.


Every decision at bookachoo is centered on the mission to reduce carbon emissions, a core value deeply embedded in the company's DNA. One of the pivotal moments that sparked the beginning of bookachoo occurred during Tim's travel on a high-speed train between Shanghai and Beijing, China. During his journey he saw how high-speed long distance trains were marketed as alternative options for long distance travel. At that moment, the realization hit him: trains could be the future of travel, significantly reducing the environmental impact.

Embracing rail transport as the most effective and sustainable mode of travel, bookachoo firmly believes in the vast potential of trains as a viable alternative to airplanes. Their bold ambition is to swap out one million airline tickets for train tickets over the course of the next ten years, motivated by their belief that sustainability is the key to success in this project. bookachoo hopes to highlight the potential for eco-friendly travel and spark a revolution in how people see the world.

Tim's journey serves as a testament to the positive effect of conscious travel and the importance of balancing passion and responsibility. bookachoo's dedication to sustainability is more than just a goal; it's a roadmap towards a future where environmental awareness and travel coexist. Tim and his team invite travelers to join them on this revolutionary journey as they pave the way for a more responsible and sustainable travel industry. It's not just about travelling the world; it's about doing so in a way that preserves it for generations to come.

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