Tips for sustainable travel

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to be more conscious in many ways. Here’s how to make your next holiday as socially responsible and environmentally friendly as possible.

Tourism is a huge part of many countries’ economies, but it often comes at great cost to local communities and the environment. The goal of sustainable tourism is to reverse this and focus instead on practices that have a much-needed positive impact. But in order to succeed, each traveller has to do their part.

Here’s how you can contribute…

Plan long vacations instead of short stays

It can be tempting to pack as many destinations as possible into one holiday, especially when abroad, but the more trips you take, the more pressure you place on yourself, hotels and the environment (every flight and car trip releases harmful carbon emissions). Rather slow down and savour one or two locations. The longer you stay in a place, the better you’ll get to a know it. Think quality, not quantity.

Stay close to home (and get off the beaten track)

Vacationing on your doorstep has many benefits, including cheaper travel and more independence. Resist the urge to visit popular tourist spots only and rather spend your time and money exploring lesser known areas – this will reduce the burden on busy centres and spread tourism benefits to other local communities.

Use efficient modes of transport

How you get to and from your destination is important. Walk, cycle, catch a bus, drive (a small car!) and choose trains over planes, if possible.

Conserve resources

No matter where you are, it’s good practice to conserve water and electricity whenever possible. Set your hotel’s aircon to a few degrees higher – or don’t use it at all – and tell housekeeping it’s not necessary to change your towels and linen daily. Avoid plastic waste by taking your own water bottle (with built-in filter, if you prefer) on holiday.

Choose small apartment over big hotel 

Large hotels consume vast amounts of water and electricity, so if you’re serious about sustainable travel, book small or stay in a guesthouse or holiday apartment. Campsites and farmhouses are also great options.

Travel off season and shop local

If possible, travel off season to avoid crowds and “overtourism” (which occurs when popular destinations are strained). You may get better rates then too. Support local shops and restaurants, neighbourhood markets and independent retailers, and seek out souvenirs made here.

Source:; and

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