Sustainable Travel Tips

With ecology on everyone's mind, it is always a good idea to reduce your carbon footprint wherever possible. From eating a little less red meat to paying attention to your gas usage, numerous ways exist to improve your impact on the planet. Those who travel frequently will be pleased to learn that it can be easy to adjust travel habits to be more ecologically conscious. Sustainable travel has been making the rounds in the tourism community, and many believe that it is possible to be environmentally aware as you travel to reduce your impact on the planet, especially in other countries. Consider some of these sustainable travel tips, and see what a difference you can make on your next trip.


Sustainable Travel Tips - akyra Hotels

Tips to Sustainable Travel:

1. Visit Places Free From Overtourism

It can be easy to want to dive into a tried and true spot when you plan on travelling. Numerous cities all over the world stand as a nexus for tourism. Places like Barcelona, Venice, Bali, Amsterdam and Thailand all stand out, but why not visit somewhere that receives less attention? Instead of heading to Venice, visit Slovenia's rolling hills for a unique little Tuscany experience. Visit the stunning province of Phang Nga instead of taking the trip to Bali. When you avoid over-tourism, you contribute to preserving beauty in another, less-travelled country and locale. There are countless options to explore, each of which can provide something new and unique.


2. Plan for Sustainable Transportation

Once you reach your destination, you will want to think about how to get from place to place. It's always easy to rent a car and get to where you need to go, but think about sustainability as a long-term goal. What if you could rent a bicycle? What if you can take public transportation systems instead to save on gas and emissions? The closer you stay to a system of travel, the more you stand to save financially and in terms of your carbon output. You can learn more about the culture and the local sights when familiar with the local landscape. Planning according to how you want to travel and where you want to travel can be one of the best ways for you to move forward.


3. Travel by Season

Choosing when you can be just as important as choosing where you travel. Many places will be busier than others in specific seasons. European cities are typically packed for the summer, and year-round destinations, like the Caribbean, will be particularly busy during winters in the northern hemisphere. Travelling off-season can be especially attractive because you will be helping the country during a slower time of the year. Visiting during shoulder seasons can be just as beneficial for the same reason. Ultimately you are helping the locale without missing out on the travel experience itself. Research specific cities and countries, and learn more about optimal travel times.


4. Choose Ethical Accommodation

This is an especially vital part of the travel experience. Many travellers do not realise that some of the biggest problems of negative environmental impact come from the tourism industry itself. This can This one is a biggie. Did you know that some of the biggest culprits in terms of the environmental impact of the tourism industry are hotels? Toiletry bottles get thrown away, hotel rooms blast the unneeded air conditioning, food waste starts to stack up; and with such issues so prevalent, it can be easy to contribute to the impact, even if you don't mean to. Try to stay at a locally owned boutique hotel, hostel or guest house whenever it is possible.


5. Be Careful with AirBnB Options

AirBnB is often listed as a favourite for ecological travel. This makes sense as a good choice for sustainable travel because it is often run by local residents, but the fact is that the situation may be a little bit more complicated. Sometimes renters may have been kicked out so that their home could be turned into an AirBnB. Sometimes others were denied housing in the first place so that it could be set up for foreign travellers. This happens in many different places, particularly in hubs for tourists. Always research a specific location before you book your stay, as you can improve your footprint as a result.


6. Avoid Cruise Ships

One of the most important aspects of following through with sustainable travel is avoiding cruise trips. Cruise trips are often specifically established as a gimmick experience, and almost no locals benefit from cruise ship tourism. Cruise ships are also extremely harmful to the environment. They are notorious for polluting the oceans and the air space, and a significant portion of plastic found in the ocean comes from cruise ships. In addition to wasting resources and polluting the planet's water, cruise ships do not do much to draw attention to the specific culture of local areas. Always avoid travelling this way when possible.


7. Pack Sustainably

Always think about how you want to pack before travelling. Travelling light is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and immerse yourself in the local environment. The more people fly with simple carry-on luggage, the less fuel the plane needs to take off and carry the extra weight. Packing light also makes it easier for you to travel with public transportation. Make sure that you pack appropriately for what you need. Try to grab reusable bags, containers, bottles and straws to reduce your carbon footprint. This also allows you to be versatile and add only the essentials according to different climates.


8. Avoid Travelling for Volunteer Work

Though helping people should never be discouraged, it is always a good idea to do some research before engaging in volunteer work where you travel. Many people do not realise that volunteering can often do more harm than good. Volunteers in foreign areas often do not have a lot of training. Locals spend time and resources training them to do the job, which takes away from the actual work. This will sometimes exacerbate a problem rather than immediately help it. If you think you want to engage in this type of tourism, it is critical to know that you are providing skills you already have to help the area.


9. Shop Local as Often as Possible

One of the best parts of sustainable travel is diving into the local culture. This means avoiding some of the more tacky tourist souvenirs and seeing what the local crafts offer. Not only are these more meaningful to the trip and your experience, but you are also supporting local businesses and encouraging their trade. There are countless places you can visit to find souvenirs and meaningful purchases. Places like roadside stands, independent shops, and pop-up art festivals can all be invaluable. Be sure to visit local restaurants as well, as this can be an even more excellent way to get a feel for the local flavour.


10. Leave No Trace

This is one of those universal rules you can take anywhere you go. Do not leave any trace of your presence. It does not matter whether you plan hiking into the wilderness or just walking down another city's streets. Leave no sign that you were there to preserve the space. This is one of the most vital green tourism practices because it means preventing litter and avoiding damage to the local environment. Do not remove any objects from buildings; always be respectful of local customs and practices. Take as many photos as you would like, but always avoid making more problems for the area.


11. Minimise Waste as a Whole

As a part of leaving no trace, try to avoid leaving behind waste products too. This point also ties in with what you pack with you. You will create much less waste as you travel light. Avoid bringing little things, such as Polaroid photos, pamphlets and business cards. Try to avoid tourist maps too. Sometimes, even if you do not have the intention of littering with these items, you may end up losing them, contributing to local pollution. If you feel especially ambitious, you can be on the lookout for local recycling points. This can allow you to reduce and reprocess your waste to help local industries.


12. Avoid Animal Experiences

It can be difficult to know what to watch out for, but do your best to avoid partaking in animal tourism. From major services like animal riding tours to minor ones like petting zoos, it is always a good idea to be informed before partaking in the experience. It is not uncommon for people to exploit, abuse and generally harm animals to provide an experience for tourists. Because of the focus on the environment through sustainable tourism, it is also a good idea to pay attention to the local wildlife and their treatment. Sometimes animal byproducts may have been harvested inhumanely, specifically as a tourist attraction, so it never hurts to do your research first.


13. Practice Personal Conservation

For many ecologically conscious travellers, this means extending the practices performed at home to the destination. If you already try to limit your water and gas use, perfect, if not, it can be a good idea to pay particular attention to it abroad. When you visit, you want to establish as little drain on the local resources as possible. This means sometimes taking shorter showers and using less water when you brush your teeth. Do not leave any electricity on that you are not actively using, and always plan for your day-to-day needs to reduce your carbon footprint even further.


14. Follow Marked Trails

Hiking in a foreign countryside can be one of the most exciting experiences you can enjoy. You get a deeper appreciation not only for the local flora and fauna, but for the majesty of the planet. However, exercising extreme caution is vital. Until you become more experienced in the local environment, you need to follow marked trails as often as possible. These exist to warn you about dangers you may run into and dangers you may pose to the environment. Try not to contact any of the local flora or fauna if possible, and stay safe to avoid needing medical attention or resources.


15. Learn Some of the Language

Take the time to learn a bit of the language to enrich your experience. This is a particularly powerful way to feel a little bit more at home wherever you travel. Learning the most common phrases or greetings can be enough to change how the locals greet you and spend time with you. It is also an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local experience. Learning some of the languages encourages sustainable travel because you honour the region you are visiting and the people who live there. You might be pleasantly surprised by some of your interactions. These tips are only as good as the traveller's dedication to them. Doing your best to be as mindful as possible will result in the most unique and ecologically conscious travel experience possible. If you are interested in visiting Thailand sometime soon, you can look forward to staying at Akyra Hotels & Resorts. This group is particularly proud to be the first in the country to be entirely free of single-use plastics. Sustainable travel is an ever-evolving practice, and collaborating with others dedicated to that practice can help the planet on a much larger scale. Do your part today.


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