Top Tips for Sustainable Travel

by Staff

Traveling the world is a privilege that should be embraced as much as possible. Uncovering new landscapes and cultures is a wonderful way to discover the diversity of our planet and its people, and connect with like-minded souls to create memories to last a lifetime. 

However, while vacations leave a lasting impression on us, it’s important that your vacation does not leave a lasting impression on your chosen destination. Use these top tips for sustainable travel to minimize your footprint as you enjoy an unforgettable adventure exploring abroad.

Choose slow-paced itineraries

Sustainable travel doesn’t have to be as complicated as offsetting your carbon emissions – although if you can, you should. Choosing a slow-paced itinerary for your vacation naturally reduces your reliance on cars and planes because you’ll devote more time to activities on foot.

You can investigate cycling and hiking tours in one picturesque destination or opt for a coastal city break where the beach is on the doorstep. Want more diversity during your trip? Look for a location or country where diverse landscapes live in close proximity to each other, easily explored via public transport. 

Look for eco-accommodation

Another way to minimize your carbon footprint is to stay in eco-friendly accommodation. This could be a full-blown nature retreat with no electricity or hot water where wildlife sightings are frequent and rewarding. Alternatively, keep it simple and select a standard hotel with renewable energy systems and strong eco values.

Wherever you stay, do your bit to conserve water and energy, especially in hot countries prone to drought. Cut your showers short, and use windows and fans to control the room temperature rather than radiators or air-conditioning units which require significant amounts of power.

Get off the beaten path

While you’ll want to visit the most impressive attractions during your visit, don’t fall into the trap of simply following the tourist trail. Be adventurous and get off the beaten track to less crowded areas with more authentic experiences. These are often the most magical and memorable moments of a trip and help to bring money into rural communities.

By escaping the well-trodden path, you’re also helping to combat overtourism which can be catastrophic for a destination’s economic, social and environmental health as many countries are beginning to discover to their cost. 

Consider your social responsibility 

Finally, consider your social responsibility when traveling abroad. This means respecting the culture, supporting local communities and playing your part in leaving no trace of your visit. 

The easiest way to do this is to choose your activities carefully, seeking out authentic experiences and avoiding mass-marketed options which operate at the cost of the environment or community welfare. For example, in Asia and Africa forgo elephant rides in favor of worthy conservation efforts such as tours of national parks led by guides who respect the wildlife.

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