Traveling is a wonderful way to explore new countries, experience different cultures, and create memories that last a lifetime. However, the environmental impact of tourism cannot be ignored.
As more people become concerned about sustainability, they are exploring new ways to lower their carbon footprint when traveling. One 2022 survey found that 81% of people want to reduce their environmental impact when traveling.
To preserve our planet for future generations, adopting sustainable practices while traveling is crucial. The good news is that sustainable travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Making conscious choices allows you to embark on a budget-friendly adventure that aligns with your eco-conscious values.
Choose Greener Ways to Travel
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to travel is the traveling itself. We all know that flying and even driving are bad for the environment. But they aren’t the only ways to travel. Using public transport like buses, trams, and trains (even better if they are electric) is a fantastic alternative that will cut the carbon footprint of your trip enormously.
Then, don’t forget transport when you arrive at your destination. Walking short journeys is the best option. You may be able to hire a bike, and shared public transportation like buses is better than hiring cars or cabs.
If You Fly, Consider Emissions
Sometimes, flying is the only option, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still reduce the emissions of your trip. Focus on walking when you arrive, and make sure you use Google Flights to find your tickets. Google Flights allows for sorting by emissions impact, giving you all the information you need to make the right choices.
Choose Eco-Friendly Accommodation
When it comes to sustainability, not all accommodation is equal. Even within the same accommodation type, different brands and settings have vastly different practices and environmental policies. If you are staying in a hotel, look at their environmental policies, but also consider things like lodges and camping, and try to avoid big brands and chains.
Avoid Fast Fashion When Holiday Shopping
When we go holiday shopping, many of us are guilty of trying to buy a lot as cheaply as possible, sometimes even leaving clothes behind once they’ve served their purpose. This is terrible for the environment. Instead, only buy what you need, and try to shop second hand, or for high-quality things that will last for many vacations to come.
Support Local Businesses
Big brands and chains are often costly, especially near tourist hotspots. They can also be the least green. Instead, support local businesses by eating at smaller restaurants and shopping at markets and local boutiques.
Eat Locally Sourced Food
When you eat out, try to find places that offer freshly caught fish, homegrown ingredients, and local delicacies. This is often cheaper, and a great way to experience new flavors and meals. It also means that your food has a much lower carbon footprint.
Avoid Single-Use Plastics
At home, most of us are getting much better at avoiding single-use plastics. In some countries, single use plastics are even banned. We carry water bottles, use reusable straws, and always have a reusable tote in our back or pocket. When we travel, it’s too easy for convenience to come first. Suddenly we’re buying bottles of water and accepting whatever bags we’re offered. Pack your reusable bottles and totes from home, say no to straws, and avoid other disposables when possible.
Explore Nature Responsibly and Leave No Trace
Exploring the great outdoors is a great way to see more of your destination while enjoying the sunshine, saving money, and exercising. When you are out exploring, be respectful and responsible, always following leave no travel guidelines.
Sustainable and affordable travel is not an oxymoron. Making conscious choices allows you to embark on budget-friendly adventures while reducing your environmental impact. Every decision you make contributes to a more sustainable future, from choosing greener transportation options to supporting local and sustainable practices in accommodation, dining, and activities. So, pack your bags, embrace eco-friendly travel, and create memories that last a lifetime and help preserve the planet.
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