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Eco-friendly Travel Tips for your Next Road Trip

Shutterstock Photo License - By Bogdan Sonjachnyj
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Are you considering becoming an eco-tourist? You are in good company. The global eco-tourism market is expected to be worth $333.8 billion by 2027.

However, you are going to need to know how to go about becoming an eco-tourist if you want to do it properly. You need to be an informed traveler, so you can cut your carbon footprint as much as possible.

So, you are ready to get on a road trip and let go for a little while but you want to make sure you travel green? This is completely understandable considering the growing demand for more eco-friendly options in all industries. The automotive market has been at the forefront of this change and move towards a sustainable future. Many automotive companies are making promises to sell all-electric vehicle options for all by 2025. This is just one example of the radical changes that have been happening. 

However, many of us are not at the point where we can afford a new car, let alone a fully electric car. Plus, there is a strong argument for keeping the car you have for as long as possible rather than frequently trading it for something. Ultimately when it comes to traveling one of your top goals should be reducing your carbon footprint and minimizing your impact on the places you visit. With that said, let’s jump into a few eco-friendly travel tips for your next road trip.

Your Eco-friendly Travel Checklist

Planning a road trip is important as you will want to ensure that you have the essentials in case of an emergency of some kind. You should ensure that you have a lower carbon footprint on your road trip. This requires some planning and a little discipline to the best success.

  • Take Bicycles

If you are going on a slightly longer road trip and stopping at a few key destinations close to amenities, you should consider taking your bicycles with you. By doing this you can reduce gas usage and limit the emissions of your travel.

  • Pack Light

Keep in mind how long you will be on your trip, when you will be able to wash clothes, and where you will be exploring. The terrain and season will also help you determine what clothes, shoes, and other accessories you will need. A light bag means that it is easy for you to move around and easy for the car. Heavier loads will increase your gas usage so a good way to limit guzzling up fuel is to keep it light. Pack essentials and one or two extras.

  • Choose Eco-friendly Destinations

While planning your trip, you have the option to book lodging at eco-friendly hotels, guesthouses, and self-catering chalets to name a few. Many of these places will have alternative options for getting around while you are there and share eco-friendly activities such as a picnic on the beach with an organic spread of delicious local food.

  • Check Tires & Oil

You want your car to run smoothly, limiting potential issues and draining your fuel. Make sure that your tires are at the right pressure and you have oil & water in your car. Having all these properly maintained will assist in keeping the gas usage down so as to limit the emissions during the trip.

  • Use Back Roads

A fun addition to your road trip could be the use of back roads. Driving at higher speeds increases your fuel consumption. One way of lowering the gas usage is to take back roads, they have lower speed limits and give you an interesting view of the landscape as you go from town to town.

  • Choose Food Wisely

Grabbing any old snack from the gas station is not the best way of going about getting a decent meal in, nor is it a great way to keep it eco-friendly. There is a multitude of organic and green options for road trip snacks. Making snacks at home is also a cost-effective way to have a healthy treat. You can also research restaurants and take out in the area to get a sense of what the best offering would be for an eco-positive person such as yourself.

  • Eliminate Plastic Bottles

Though it may seem obvious it is still worth pointing out that plastic bottles must go. They cause more harm than good, because the plastic from these bottles ends up in waterways more often than not and they are generally manufactured in less than ideal circumstances. Get yourself a reliable, well-made reusable bottle that will hold the temperature of the liquid as well. Water goes off so keeping it at stable temperatures is advised.

  • Avoid the AC

You might be traveling when it is hot or cold and need to use the AC to regulate the temperature. When possible though try to keep it to a minimum as the AC system actually uses gas while it is on. In order to lessen emissions, it is advisable to limit the amount of time the AC is on during the trip.

Final Thoughts

Aside from keeping it green for your road trip, there are other things to take into consideration and plan for in advance. Know the route you are traveling and take a paper map just in case you cannot use GPS for whatever reason.

Make sure you also have a spare tire and all the tools needed to change that tire. Take a jerry can for fuel if you find yourself on the side of the road without gas or water. For personal health, it is also a good idea to take a first aid kit for minor injuries along the way. In terms of protection for the car, it is important to keep your car insurance up to date and all car warranty policies in order before driving off. 

Car insurance will take care of you in the event of an accident, fire, and theft while a car warranty will provide coverage for mechanical parts and labor should a mechanical breakdown occur. Keeping you from unexpected bills that may be out of the range of your savings. It is all about being prepared.

Keep it friendly, keep it green!

Freelance journalist - owner of Agreenhand.com.

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