Sustainable tourism revolves around the idea of reducing the negative impacts that come with travel and maximizing the benefits for communities, ecosystems, cultures, and the planet. Sustainable travel practices can lower the ecological footprint for ourselves and future generations.
Here are four tips for traveling more sustainably.
1. Pack Eco-Friendly Travel Products
Sustainable travel starts before you even set foot outside your house. While packing, opt for eco-friendly products like collapsible bags, silverware kits, and reusable water bottles.
It’s also likely you’ll need to keep your devices charged. Solar generators let you pull energy from the sun (much better for the planet). Plus, it eliminates the issue of finding a power outlet at your campsite. Many of these power stations are portable and can charge multiple devices simultaneously. Find the best solar generator and get clean, green power!
2. Ditch the Rental Car
It’s tempting to rent a vehicle while you’re traveling, but other modes of transportation are more efficient and eco-friendly.
Reduce carbon emissions by ditching the rental car and opting for cleaner transportation modes. It’s true that all modes of transport will require energy, but the type you choose makes a difference.
For instance, planes and cars are typically the least efficient. If you’re traveling to nearby destinations, reduce emissions by taking a train, bus, or cycling around town. These options all offer ways to travel sustainably while soaking in the scenery.
3. Explore Less Traveled Paths
It’s easy to fall into tourist traps and book the destination that everyone is raving about on Instagram. However, the reality is that several tourist hotspots don’t live up to the hype. You’ll find yourself in overly crowded spaces, standing in line for a picture that won’t have the impact you hoped.
Falling into this expectation vs. reality trap leads to over-tourism. You can help prevent this by exploring less traveled paths. You’ll likely receive a much more rewarding and sustainable experience this way than if you were to follow the crowd.
Some tips to make the most of your travel beyond the “Top 10” destinations:
- Explore Google Maps
- Visit smaller cities and more rural areas
- Ask locals what sites they recommend
- Ask other travelers for recommendations
4. Conserve Water & Energy
It’s easy to leave the lights on or use more water than needed while traveling. For many, this is a guilty pleasure as they’d never do this in their own homes. However, conserving energy and water while traveling is one of the best ways to travel sustainably. When tourists consume more water and energy than locals, it is difficult for destinations to keep up with the demand.
Here are some quick tips to think about when you’re traveling:
- Don’t leave the lights on all day.
- Shut down electronics like TVs when they’re not in use.
- Set the AC thermostat a few degrees higher before leaving your hotel room.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
Another great way to reduce your environmental footprint is by staying in low-impact, smaller accommodation or high-end properties that use renewable energy and water-efficient technologies.
Implementing these four tips will make a huge difference when traveling. Give them a try next time you’re vacationing to lower the ecological footprint for ourselves, our families, and future generations.
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