10 Tips for Sustainable Travel: How to be a Conscious Traveller

Sustainable travel doesn’t mean living in a tent and using only solar energy to cook your vegetables.

Travelling the world is one of the greatest ways to spend our time. As well as encouraging openness and tolerance, it leaves us with some of the richest experiences. Travelling across the world, however, is not great for the environment. At least, not the way that the majority of us are used to travelling. But there are a few ways that you can minimise your impact and become a green, sustainable and conscious traveller.

Sustainable travel doesn’t mean living in a tent and using only solar energy to cook your vegetables. It is more about making simple choices where you can, and just being conscious of where and how you can make certain changes.

Try and find an alternative to flying

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but reducing the number of flights that you are taking can make a big difference in reducing your carbon footprint. So make sure to check travel times for trains and buses where the journey is short. Often flying doesn’t save you much time when you take into account all the time you spend at the airport before actually taking off! Trains and buses can also be a cheaper alternative so you’ll be saving more than just the planet.

Take direct flights only

When flying long distances, try to always fly directly. Taking off and landing burns a lot more fuel than cruising so a direct flight will save you time as well as helping reduce your carbon footprint.

Avoid large resorts

Booking with large all-inclusive resorts may be tempting for the sake of ease but it may be the least sustainable option. Not only do they have very high levels of waste and water consumption, but you are less likely to go out of the resort and experience the local culture. Eating in local restaurants and buying things in the local stores helps the places stay afloat. Often small towns and villages rely on tourism as their main source of income. So try and integrate with the local way of life, it’s a lot more authentic too!

Bring a reusable bottle

When you are travelling and out and about all day, you’ll be surprised at how much water you can get through so make sure to carry a reusable bottle with you. A lot of places will fill it up for you for free so it’s a really easy way to cut down on your plastic usage whilst on holiday and saves you money

Use a shampoo and conditioner bar.

This one is also about reducing the amount of plastic that you go through. Too often we half use a shampoo bottle before just leaving it at the hotel or decant some into a smaller bottle before throwing it away at the end of the holiday and bars are completely zero waste. They are also a great way to save space in your luggage! (Side note: these can, of course, also be used at home too so it’s a tip worth knowing!)

Hang up your towel.

If you’re staying in a hotel, hang up your towel as a sign you don’t need them washed. You don’t wash your towels every day at home so you shouldn’t need it when you’re away either. It’s a simple and easy way to save water but it is something that we can easily forget to do.

Bikes, bikes, bikes.

Exploring a place by bike (or walking) is a great way to see things you never would have if you were stuck in the underground. As well as being able to cover long distances, they also give you a better feel for the place. Getting lost and seeing beyond the tourist attractions is what travelling is all about. Plus it is a great way to feel as though you have earned a little more of the delicious local cuisine!

Never (ever) buy wildlife products!

Although it can be nice to bring home a little memory from your trip, stay away from buying any wildlife souvenirs. These purchases go straight into helping support a marketplace for killing and selling rare and endangered wildlife. This black market will only continue if people continue to buy these items so it is important that we choose another souvenir.

Sustainable travel isn’t all just about cutting down on waste and saving on flying but it’s also about respecting the local communities which you visit and not disturbing the natural environment and wildlife. Travelling can open our eyes to so much but we must remember to respect the places we visit and be a conscious traveller.