As the world has begun opening back up again, many of us are itching to finally take that trip we’ve been planning in our heads since March of 2020.
With a million different destinations out there for your choosing, wouldn’t it be even more satisfying if you could plan a dream vacation and give our good old beautiful green earth a bit of a break? The good news is that you already know we have some suggestions.
Let’s start with our personal favorite sustainable travel option and the one that requires the least amount of actual travel, which in turn means it’s the most eco-friendly option you could choose…
1. The Infamous Staycation
Whether you live in a city, reside close to a cozy little town, are lucky enough to live by the beach, or are tucked away in the mountains — planning a staycation is never a bad idea. Think about all of the things you say you’ll do but “never have time for.” You could spend an evening checking out “That tapas place with great wine” a few towns over, or maybe you’ll book a couple of nights in that cute boutique hotel on the beach and spend your afternoons doing yoga and ending your days by lounging by the pool.
Dare we say it…. maybe you’ll decide to totally check out from the “real world” for a couple of days at home doing absolutely nothing and loving every moment of it. The best part? You couldn’t possibly find a better travel guide than yourself in a place you know and love best.
2. Book A Scenic Train Ride
We honestly think that trains too often get a bad rap. Not only are they the most sustainable travel option (they emit the lowest number of harmful pollutions), but they also offer the rare opportunity of slowing down and taking in the world around us. On the way to your destination, you can read a book, take time to plan out your next few days, and if you’re lucky, have a front-row seat to some pretty beautiful landscapes as you make your way to the next stop.
3. Choose An Eco-Friendlier Hotel Option
As the desire to travel “green” has grown over the past few years, it’s become even easier to make a more informed decision when trying to travel more sustainably. Things like where the company gets their water from, what kind of energy they use, and how well they support the community and locals around them all tie into whether they are actually “green.”
Luckily you don’t have to be an expert to make a better decision; sites like Book Different have made it super easy to find eco-friendly accommodations wherever you’re traveling.
4. Take Public Transportation
We know, we know, public transportation can be a lot to take in sometimes. Naturally, our minds quickly go to the hot, sticky subway ride but honestly, it’s one of the most authentic and easiest ways to visit a city. Forget sitting in traffic and overpaying for a cab; you can quickly get from A to B by hopping on the closest line of public transportation.
Be it a bus, train, or subway ride. There is no better way to quickly feel like a local than doing as the locals do. Maybe you’ll even meet someone who will share their favorite local “must-experience” with you.
5. Support Local Businesses
This one might not seem so obvious, but unfortunately, far too often, the money made from tourism doesn’t go directly back into the community. Instead, buying local can have a massive positive impact on the local economy and the people who thrive off of it.
The best part is that supporting local businesses couldn’t be any easier than doing a little bit of extra research. It’s as simple as making a point to check out the local food trucks or the small neighborhood brewery. We promise you’ll feel good, and you’ll probably even discover some pretty cool hidden gems off the beaten path.
6. Look For Airlines That Use Renewable Biofuels
So what exactly are biofuels? That was our first question as well. Biofuels are liquid fuels derived from natural materials like trees, crops, or grass. Ideally, all fuels would be replaced with something we could produce naturally.
It’s no secret that flying has quickly started to become shameful when planning eco-friendly travel. However, with biofuel, over time, airlines could become much more of a sustainable travel option.
American Airlines, Jetblue, Lufthansa, and KLM are a few airlines that are currently investing in or trying to begin using alternative fuels.
7. Reduce Your Plastic And Remember That Reusable Water Bottle You HAD To Have
This one is probably the most simple and yet often forgotten way of decreasing your carbon footprint.
We all buy into the latest reusable water bottles but forget to bring them when it truly matters.
Instead of buying a plastic water bottle every time you check into a hotel or head out to explore a new spot, make the point to bring your water bottle. This tip will also most definitely save you money.
For many of us, having the ability to travel to and discover new and beautiful places is what keeps our wheels turning.
We’re lucky to have so many options that make travel more accessible than ever. We hope that by providing some useful, sustainable travel options, we can also do our part in doing more good than harm.