Sustainable traveling methods that are easy to adopt do exist. They’re gaining momentum in popularity, actually, as sustainable tourism reaches a fever pitch in mainstream media. Knowing which methods are easily adaptable, yet, may need some due diligence. Travel preferences vary, it’s true, but so do the sustainable traveling possibilities.
The success of the sustainable travel movement in recent years has been delightful to witness. Suspected to be a direct result of the pandemic and the tangible examples of how the world heals itself in the absence of man. But further still, how precious the privilege to travel as a tourist is.
When the world shut down to tourism, my heart sank. On one hand, I felt fortunate to have traveled as extensively as I had leading up to the pandemic. But was heartbroken for those that might now no longer have the chance to do the same. As the world slowly welcomes back tourism, now’s the perfect time to reiterate the importance of sustainable traveling.
The future of travel is sustainable
If the pandemic taught us anything, I hope it’s the importance of interconnectedness. How valuable a global education through traveling can be when it comes to diplomacy. And more importantly how alike we all are vs different. It’s these elements that serve as the foundation for why sustainable travel is vital to the livelihood of tourism. More than that, it’s the only future for the industry.
Now I know that many of us do better than try when it comes to adopting sustainable traveling methods. But there’s also a large number of travelers that try it until it inconveniences them, then throw in the towel. But there’s a means of finding a balance, though, between comfort and sacrifice. Because let’s face it, sacrificing some of our comforts is exactly what’s needed.
Get involved in the fight for Mother Earth and join the sustainable travel movement. Try adopting the five sustainable traveling method recommendations below on a more regular basis.
5 sustainable traveling methods
It’s worth noting that there are more than five methods of sustainable travel. But for the sake of argument, let’s begin with those that are easiest to adopt.
- Overland: Traveling overland vs flying is an easy method to adopt to begin reducing your personal traveling impact. That includes anything that isn’t a plane or boat. Border or customs clearances may differ when crossing international borderlines overland. But most buses and train companies these days come equipped with free wifi and restrooms.
- Book eco-lodgings: Do your best to book eco-lodges, guesthouses, or experience stays vs luxury or all-inclusive stays. Using eco-certification systems like the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) reserving eco-friendly lodging is simple. Look for the GSTC logo, a burgundy footprint, on the accommodation’s website or ask them about their certification standings directly.
- Strategic Travel: Fly to a region of the world and then choose to travel overland for the rest of your visit. Doing so can bring to light incredible off-the-beaten-path destinations and save money on luggage fees in the interim.
- Slow traveling: What you should know about slow traveling is that it’s the best. That’s because slow traveling when done correctly supports local communities. Slow travelers often reserve long-term stays, shop at local grocers, and support local businesses. A sustainable traveling trifecta of sorts.
- Voluntourism: Travel with purpose by volunteering in environmental and social programs. Where and how we spend our money in this industry matters. Supporting often non-profit organizations with environmental or humanitarian focuses provides a different layer of fulfillment when globetrotting.
Additional sustainable travel tips
Here are a handful of additional sustainable travel tips to adapt to your current travel style:
- While traveling try your best to reduce individual waste. Buy items that are necessary vs what you think you might want but never actually use. And strive to avoid using single-use items entirely, especially plastics.
- Prioritizing visiting countries or cities with an emphasis on sustainable tourism efforts. Examples of these locations include Slovenia, Spain, and Palau. Bhutan is another great example considering the country has implemented a ‘tourist tax’ of $250 per day to be paid upon entry.
- Elect to visit popular tourist destinations during the off-season in an effort to offset over-tourism. Snag photos with fewer bodies around while enjoying lower prices on almost everything from lodging to day tours. Might run into challenges with the weather with this option, but not a bad trade-off, depending.
- Another suggestion, elect to travel to destinations in serious need. Exotic places that have suffered from natural disasters such as Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Thailand as examples. Joining organizations that offer relief efforts are always in need of volunteers.
That’s a ton of what I hope is helpful information. Let’s recap, shall we?
How to adopt sustainable traveling methods
It’s time that we all do our part to support sustainable tourism efforts. The sustainable traveling methods and tips provided in this article are easily applicable. Some of them can be downright adventure-full to experience. And it’s the adventure of traveling that we mostly seek, right?
The future of traveling is sustainable and the future is now. Sacrificing a tiny bit of comfort for the greater good is something we can all stand behind. Remember, we have the buying power to shape the world. Where and how we apply that power within tourism can make the difference for future touristic generations.
Discover resourceful ways to get involved should the ideas provided not be what you’re looking for. But the first step is to try to adopt a more sustainable traveling attitude. All it takes is that one positive sustainable traveling experience to make someone a disciple. In the meantime, download these eco-friendly apps to further your individual awareness of how easy sustainable travel can be.
Ready to start traveling more sustainably?
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What destination will you consider applying these sustainable traveling methods in?
Share it with me in the comments.