Europe has a lot to offer tourists and travelers alike, from cultural cities to stunning hikes. If you’re environmentally conscious, you might be wondering if traveling the world is really compatible with helping to protect the planet. Luckily, there are plenty of small ways you can keep your environmental impact to a minimum while traveling, so you’d better get planning your adventure! Before traveling to Europe, make sure that you have renewed your European health card, as this will help to ensure that you are covered in the event of a medical emergency. Here are our top tips for sustainable travel in Europe.
Wherever possible, opt for the local tram, bus or metro system to get to where you need to go. Most European cities have a fairly simple and reliable public transport system, so don’t be put off of trying it. It’s always worth downloading a handy travel app before you go to a new place, like CityMapper or MétrO, just in case you do get lost. From all-day tickets to digital passes, there are plenty of affordable ways to travel so you can help cut fuel emissions and stick to your traveler budget.
Used Marked Hiking Trails
One of the most exciting parts of exploring a new country is seeing the local scenery. There’s no shortage of stunning hikes in Europe, from Scotland’s West Highland Way to the 105 mile-long route Tour du Mont Blanc, which will take you around the base of the highest mountain in the European Union. Whenever you’re hiking, it’s essential to stick to marked paths, not only for your safety but also to make sure that you’re not causing damage to the flora and fauna around you.
Buy Local Food
What better way to immerse yourself in the local culture of your destination than by sampling the local delicacies? Most European countries have their own unique dishes and treats, whether its crème brûlée in France or gelato in Italy, make sure you try these locally instead of buying from mass produced supermarkets or, even worse, the airport on the way home! A great way to try local produce in Europe is to visit the farmers markets, which will usually take place on a Saturday morning. Buying local and seasonal food cuts fuel emissions, as well as reduces pressure on the world’s forests and environments.
Find an Eco Tour
The chances are that while you’re on holiday, you’ll want to try something you’d never normally do at home. It doesn’t matter if it’s snorkelling off the coast of Portugal or hitting the slopes in the Alps, make sure you choose a company that promises to conduct its tours sustainably and in the most environmentally friendly way as possible. Staying respectful and avoiding touching coral reefs, wildlife or disturbing habitats will help to preserve the natural environment you so desperately want to see. If you really want to make your travel sustainable, why not volunteer to give something back, by taking part in a beach clean-up or helping out at a wildlife reserve?