Pre pandemic, 1.5 billion tourists traveled internationally each year. As tourism starts to recover, we expect the number of tourists will reach pre 2020 numbers and continue to grow.
As more of us take international trips, we need to be more conscious of our environment and impact we have as a tourist.
Want to learn more about eco-friendly travel? How can you minimize your impact on your destination?
Use our handy guide full of sustainable travel ideas to become a more conscious traveler.
Minimize Your Luggage
When we travel, it can be tempting to take outfits for every possible occasion. Unfortunately, the heavier our suitcases, the heavier the plane and the more carbon emissions it produces.
Try to cut down your luggage to things that are a necessity. After all, there’s nothing worse than lugging around a super heavy suitcase with you. Not to mention the extortionate fees the airline will charge you if your luggage is over their weight limit.
For Eco-friendly Travel Eat Local
Eating is a big part of the travel experience. Trying new dishes, flavors, and ingredients. Make the most of this.
You may opt to buy home comforts when you’re on holiday, but more sustainable travel involves eating local ingredients.
If you can, buy food from local markets, eat at local food stalls and restaurants. That way, you’ll support the local economy, and your food won’t have traveled thousands of miles to end up on your plate.
Try More Vegetarian Options
One of the most environmentally friendly choices we can make is to eat less meat. Try vegetarian dishes and think more consciously about your meat consumption.
You never know; you may try something new that’s delicious that becomes a new favorite! Be open to trying new things. That’s what travel is about, after all.
Don’t Leave Your Trash
We shouldn’t have to tell you this one, but whenever you go in the world, don’t trash.
Leaving trash, particularly plastic trash, can be harmful to local ecosystems, enter water supplies, and even kill animals.
If you are somewhere in nature, take your trash with you and wait to dispose of it when you get the opportunity. Make sure to follow local rules on recycling and disposing of your trash.
You also shouldn’t leave belongings behind in hotels and accommodation. Leaving your hosts to dispose of your unwanted things is irresponsible.
For example, if you leave unwanted electronic goods behind, there can be repercussions for the local environment. The impacts of e-waste are an increasing problem.
Use Reef Safe Sunscreen
While we’re on the subject of trash, remember the products you wear on your skin can also cause damage to the local environment and delicate ecosystems.
One of our most recommended eco travel tips is to buy reef-safe sunscreen. Unfortunately, the chemicals in generic sunscreen can damage coral and lead to bleaching.
Use reef-safe sunscreen, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge you’re doing your bit to protect your skin and the planet.
Visit Less Commercial Places
In the last few years, there has been a proliferation of over-tourism. This is damaging natural wonders and places of beauty. Places such as Venice can’t sustain the number of tourists that visit each year.
Eco-friendly vacations are to less mainstream places if you book through a tour operator, book with a responsible one that considers the local environment of the destination.
Some destinations are touted for being environmentally responsible. How do they do this? They may cap the number of tourists they allow to enter or actively run projects to protect the environment.
Seek out those destinations and don’t follow the crowd. Do you really want the same Instagram picture as millions of other people?
Use a Water Bottle With A Filter
By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. We can all play our part in stopping this!
Using single-use plastic bottles and straws is detrimental to the environment, especially the ocean.
If you are worried about drinking the water at your destination, invest in a reusable water bottle with a filter. That way, you’ll drink safe water and protect the environment. Win-win!
Take Public Transport
Consider whether you really need to rent a car in your destination. For example, if you are visiting a city, it will be more hassle than it’s worth to rent a car.
See if you can use public transport in your destination as much as possible. It may be a challenge to navigate public transport in a new country, but that’s all part of the fun!
You can also explore your destination on foot or rent a bike. So you’ll get to see much more and be part of the eco travel movement at the same time.
Support Local Businesses
Spend your dollars locally when you travel. If you spend your money with big, faceless corporations, it’s likely your money will contribute to environmental destruction.
You can buy handicrafts from local artisans, stay at locally owned lodgings, and take tours with local guides. Chances are, if you shop local, you will get much higher quality than if you choose mainstream chains. Don’t forget your reusable bags when you go shopping!
Remember not to buy souvenirs made from endangered animals.
Start Using These Sustainable Travel Tips
None of us are perfect, and we can’t all be sustainable all the time. But, we can try our best! If we all make some effort to be more eco-friendly when we travel, it will all add up to make a big difference.
Eco-friendly travel doesn’t need to be hard, and who knows, if you’re more aware of your surroundings and looking after them, you may have an even better adventure.
Find this article useful? Check out some of our other lifestyle tips.