With more and more people choosing to explore the world, it’s essential that we do so responsibly. Sustainable travel is a growing trend and one which can help us to protect the natural beauty of the planet while still indulging in our wanderlust. But exactly does that look like and how can you ensure that you’re minimizing your own impact on the world as you go?
In this blog post, we’re going to explore ten simple tips to help you travel the world while leaving a light footprint. Let’s take a look.
The Best Way to Travel the World Sustainably
Whether you’re drawn to the mountain vistas of Austria, the rolling hills of Scotland, or the vineyards of Australia, exploring the world is an incredible gift. Traveling sustainably can reduce your carbon footprint and ensure that generations to come have the opportunity to experience their own exciting adventures abroad. But how can you ensure that you do this responsibly?
Beginning with trips closer to home allows you to learn green practices while minimizing longer-distance travel impacts. Whenever possible, opt for trains and buses instead of flying; we may trade quickness of arrival for a slower but infinitely more rewarding journey! If you’re able to, and you’re traveling somewhere like across the USA or mainland Europe, drive!
Getting your own RV or van to explore and trying to minimize the amount of travel you’re doing, as well as creating your own resources and using less energy can make a big difference.
By bringing in simple measures, travelers around the world can lessen their environmental impact while exploring priceless attractions and forging lasting memories. Here are ten to stick to.
1. Pack Light
So for starters, it’s important to recognize that every kilogram you carry has an environmental impact, so make sure you only pack what you really need. This applies whether you’re driving, getting public transport, or taking a flight. Reducing your load will also save on fuel costs and make your journey much easier too.
2. Research Eco-Friendly Accommodations
There are plenty of sustainable hotels, hostels, and homestays available around the world. Do some research before booking accommodation to ensure that they have green practices in place such as energy-saving policies or a commitment to reducing water use. Plus, if you can get yourself a van or RV to travel in, you already have your accommodation included, making your trip much more sustainable already.
3. Use Renewable Energy
Traveling with a solar panel is an increasingly popular way to stay powered up on the go. A reliable source of renewable energy, a 100W solar panel allows travelers to access power for their electronic devices without the need for traditional sources such as generators or outlets. Besides being green and sustainable, using a solar panel during your travels is highly convenient, no matter how far or near your destination is from home.
With minimal setup and maintenance required, you’re ready to start charging and powering whatever you need. Whether you’re out camping in nature or just need a little extra charge for your phone at the beach, having a solar panel makes it all possible!
4. Embrace Public Transport
Taking buses, trains, and boats instead of planes not only reduces your carbon footprint but also helps you experience the local culture in ways flying just can’t match! Plus you’ll save money too. Of course, if you’re taking yourself around in your RV, this helps too. But if you want to get around a city that you’re exploring, walking and getting public transport will always be best.
5. Choose Green Tours
When it comes to seeing a certain place better, look for tours that respect local communities and cultures as well as promote conservation efforts rather than those who exploit them for profit or entertainment purposes. It’s always important to do your research here.
6. Say NO to Plastic
Single-use plastics are one of the biggest threats facing our environment today so whenever possible avoid using disposable plastic items like straws or bags when traveling abroad. Carry reusable items like bottles or containers instead. If you are traveling by van, you should have this with you anyway. Next, just focus on packing up things you might need into your backpack when you leave the RV to explore.
7. Reduce Food Waste
Eating out is part of any traveler’s experience but be mindful of how much food you order – ordering too much creates waste which harms the environment (not to mention your wallet!). It’s the same for food within your accommodation or van. Think about what you really need and try not to waste anything. Packing more long-life food is always a good idea here.
8. Respect Wildlife
Many animals have become accustomed to being fed by humans which can disrupt their diets and lead to unhealthy behaviors such as begging or fighting with other animals for food scraps; don’t feed wild animals no matter how cute they may be! If you are camping, also try to stay in designated areas or ensure that you’re not disturbing the natural habitat when choosing somewhere to park up for the night.
9. Minimize Water Usage
We all know how important it is to conserve water but it can be easy to forget when traveling – remember to turn off taps when brushing your teeth or showering if there’s no water-saving system in place at your accommodation! If you’re in the van, then this is likely to be easier for you. Just remember to only use the water you really need.
10. Support Small Sustainable Businesses
When you’re looking to spend money on your travel, think local. Independent restaurants and shops often employ locals in their area who might otherwise struggle to find work so try to shop locally whenever possible to encourage sustainable tourism initiatives within communities. And finally, supporting businesses that use recycled materials not only helps keep waste out of landfills but also encourages others to embrace sustainability initiatives too.