Exclusive: Sustainable Travel Tips To Avoid Aiding Overtourism

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Hey there hey, solo traveling globe-trotters and Pachamama lovers! It’s your favorite Bag Lady, Meredith San Diego, delivering more sustainable traveling tips. You’re welcome! If you’re itching to pack your bags, lace up your adventure shoes, and explore the mesmerizing corners of our beautiful Earth responsibly, then this one is for you. 

Before you start planning your next solo destination, though, let’s have a chat about a not-so-fun topic; overtourism. I promise not to step up too high on this pedestal, but you know I would be doing you a disservice if I said nothing. So let’s get into it.

Overtourism is precisely what it sounds like – too many visitors flocking to the same spot, turning dreamy escapes into crowded, environmental nightmares. Whether you’ve experienced a destination like this firsthand or read about it in a travel publication, the problem is real. And far too many travelers have failed to educate themselves on the negative impacts overtourism has on the future of travel. Now is your chance to vow that that will not be you! 

To help you out, today, I’m here to share some super cool and exclusive sustainable travel tips to help you avoid aiding overtourism. We seek to be part of the solution and not to placate the continually growing list of problems, right? Right! So, fasten your seatbelts because it’s time to learn how to tread lightly on our planet while having the time of your life!

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Just say NO to Aiding Overtourism

Pro Tips To Avoid Aiding Overtourism

Popular destinations are doing what they can to combat the upswing of post-pandemic travel numbers. Folks have carpet diem’d the heck out of traveling after witnessing how quickly the privilege could disappear. Sadly, the infrastructure of some of our favorite places has not been able to sustain the influx. These popular travel spots do their best to adapt to overtourism by implementing sustainable travel taxes, restrictions on entry to specific locations, and more. 

But to help those eco-conscious solo traveling adventurers out there, I have compiled a short but informative list of sustainable travel tips to help you avoid aiding overtourism.

1. Spread The Wealth 

Why follow the crowd to those overrun hotspots when you can blaze your own trail? You are keen on adventure, afterall, right? Well, there’s a whole world out there filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. How can you be adventurous?

Think about visiting a quaint little village instead of a bustling city or exploring a serene natural park that’s not on every travel brochure you see. This way, you don’t just avoid aiding overtourism; you’re also getting a unique, often crowd-free experience!

Imagine wandering through a small, medieval town in Europe, untouched by mass tourism, where the streets whisper centuries-old tales, and locals greet you with genuine smiles. Or, picture yourself in a secluded beach cove, where the only footprints in the sand were made by your own two feet. By choosing off-the-beaten-path places like this, you spread the wealth of tourism to places that rarely see tourists. 

2. Just Say No to Seasonal Traveling 

Who said you could only have fun during the peak season? Traveling during the shoulder and off-season in some places is like discovering twenty dollars you didn’t know you had in your wallet! Plus, you’ll be saving a ton on accommodations and activities while helping bustling tourist spots breathe and recover. Doing your part to ensure these places remain beautiful for years and generations to come.

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Don’t sleep on shoulder and off-season travel opportunities to avoid aiding overtourism!

Doing away with seasonal traveling is a super simple way to avoid aiding overtourism. Experience a destination in a new light and with typically fewer bodes. Imagine the serene beauty waiting to be found in a monsoon, where the rain brings out lush greenery, offering a fresh, vibrant perspective. Or how about the cozy charm of a ski town in the summer months, where you take advantage of its hiking trails and clear, starry nights? 

Traveling during off-peak times equals enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere. It also brings with it the chance to interact more closely with locals or to participate in seasonal activities that most peak-season tourists are forced to miss. 

3. Choose to Take it Slow 

The essence of slow travel lies in immersion and connection. Instead of rushing through a checklist of attractions, give yourself time to wander without a strict agenda. Spend a day sitting at a local café, people-watching, and savoring the local cuisine. Take a cooking class, learn a bit of the local language, or join a community project. 

Slow traveling is about soaking in the beauty and culture of a place at a slower-than-normal pace. It’s one of the best sustainable travel tips around to help avoid aiding overtourism. By staying longer in one spot, you contribute to the following:

  • You spread out the economic benefits 
  • Minimizing your environmental impact 
  • Opportunities to form deeper connections with a culture
  • Experiencing what it’s like living like a local
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Slow traveling by train, road tripping, or camping are great ways to do your part in avoiding overtourism

The latter truly helps travelers understand the power of interconnectivity, by default gaining a profound adoration for the power of travel itself. Plus, you get to uncover the true essence of the place. What’s more rewarding than that?

This approach allows you to appreciate the nuances of a culture and its way of life, creating a more meaningful and enriching experience. Plus, it significantly reduces your travel footprint, aligning perfectly with the goal of sustainable tourism.

4. Green Traveling is The New Black 

Being a green traveler means making eco-friendly choices, like saying no to single plastics, recycling, and minimizing your waste whenever possible. This also means respecting local wildlife and habitats leaving them cleaner than how you found them. What other behaviors equivocate to green traveling?

Opt for eco-lodging accommodations known for their sustainability efforts, and consider using public transport, biking, or walking to get around. Every little action counts in our quest to avoid aiding overtourism and preserve our planet.

Adopting easily applicable sustainable traveling methods and these eco-friendly habits can significantly mitigate your environmental impact. Always pack your Ocean Bottle, bamboo cutlery, and canvas shopping bags to minimize plastic use. Be mindful of your water and energy consumption within your lodging space. This is true even if you’re staying in a hotel where it seems unlimited. These small actions, when multiplied by millions of travelers, can lead to significant positive changes for our planet.

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Wind Turbines are always a great sign you’re on the right track when embracing sustainable traveling methods.

5. Local is ALWAYS Better

When you travel in a way that aims to avoid aiding overtourism, you’re consciously choosing to travel sustainably. Additional ways to work toward being part of the solution vs. the problem is to support local. Choose local eateries, shop from local artisans, and opt for tours led by locals. Simple enough, right?

This way, your travel dollars help the community you’re visiting thrive. What’s more, you get a profoundly more authentic experience. When locals appreciate you, they take you under their wing and treat you like one of their own in a lot of ways. Aren’t these kinds of cultural exchanges the point?

Plus, it’s a fantastic way to avoid tourist traps, which often benefit large, non-local corporations more than the local folks. Investing in the local economy is more than bargaining for discounts on sustainable souvenirs; it’s about embracing the essence of the place you’re visiting. 

6. Voluntourism For The Win 

Ever considered mixing philanthropy with your adventures? Volunteering, or voluntourism as it’s often referred to, is a powerful way to connect with a community and make a positive impact. There are countless opportunities out there to choose from, too. Whether it’s helping to build sustainable infrastructure, teaching, or environmental conservation, your efforts should empower the community and the environment. 

Just make sure to do your due diligence and choose responsible programs that genuinely benefit the local environment and its inhabitants. Remember, the goal is to avoid aiding overtourism and support locals, not to interfere with or overshadow local practices and knowledge.

7. Alternative-Style Accommodations Are Your Friend

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Sometimes homestays or cabins are more adventurous than typical hotels or Airbnb stays.

Instead of booking accommodations on all-inclusive resorts or other giant, energy-guzzling hotels, why not try alternative accommodations? Think cozy homestays, eco-lodges, or even camping under the stars. These options not only reduce your carbon footprint but also offer more adventure and immersive experiences in nature. 

Take note of these ideas to help you avoid aiding overtourism when deciding on accommodations:

  • Eco-lodges and green hotels are designed to be energy-efficient and often use renewable energy sources.
  • Homestays offer a peek into local life, fostering deep cultural exchanges and directly benefiting host families financially.
  • Camping, when done responsibly, allows for an intimate connection with nature, reminding us of our responsibility to protect it.

These alternatives not only lessen the impact travel has on the environment but also enhance your travel experience in unique and memorable ways.

8. Advocate For Sustainability

Last but certainly not least, share your sustainable travel stories and tips with the world! Whether via social media, blogging, or simply chatting with friends and family, your experiences can inspire others to make mindful choices. The more we talk about the importance of finding ways to avoid aiding overtourism and traveling sustainably, the bigger the impact we can make.

Sharing your journey towards more sustainable travel practices can inspire others to follow suit. Your travel stories spark curiosity and encourage others to make conscious choices. Creating a ripple effect that amplifies the impact of sustainable tourism.

Frightening Facts About Overtourism 

Over-tourism has been a pressing issue in several iconic locations, leading to environmental degradation, infrastructure strain, and a diminished quality of life for residents. Places like Venice, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Maya Bay in Thailand, among others, have all reported challenges related to excessive tourist numbers in the years leading up to 2023. These destinations have faced issues such as pollution, damage to historical sites, and local discontent with the influx of visitors.

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For instance, Venice has struggled with the impact of cruise ships and the sheer volume of day-trippers, leading to measures to manage tourist numbers and preserve the city’s integrity. Similarly, Maya Bay, made famous by the movie “The Beach,” was closed to tourists for several years to allow its ecosystem to recover from the damage caused by over-tourism.

While I can’t provide specific statistics, the trend has been towards implementing more sustainable tourism practices, limiting visitor numbers in sensitive areas, and encouraging off-season travel. Many destinations have started to focus on quality over quantity, promoting longer stays and more responsible travel behavior to mitigate the effects of over-tourism.

For the most current statistics and updates on overtourism numbers, check out what the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), local tourism boards, or recent studies and reports on tourism and environmental sustainability have to say.

Get More Sustainable Travel Tips on How To Avoid Aiding Overtourism

As a global-minded citizen, my avid sustainable travel experience, passion for humanitarianism, and thirst for adventure give me an intuitive insight into traveling as a solo (BIPOC) female. It’s this kind of insight that I deliver during my Strategic Solo Traveling Consult. All of the minuscule details that go into planning a solo trip can be overwhelming. Besides, you don’t know what you don’t know about the world of travel, not to mention the massive changes in tourism happening around the world. 

Which travel apps are best suited to your solo traveling journey? I can tell you! What’s the latest travel news in and around the destination you’re headed to? I can tell you that, too! What about when the worst should happen on foreign soil? Do you know what to do? What number to dial? I’ve got you covered there, too, with a list of Global Emergency Numbers organized alphabetically and by continent. Anything I can do to make your solo traveling experience easier on you, the better!

Here’s To More Sustainable Traveling

Embarking on an adventure in today’s world means more than just ticking off destinations from your bucket list. It’s about making memories while respecting our planet and its diverse cultures. By following these exclusive sustainable travel tips, you’re not just a traveler; you’re a guardian of the Earth, paving the way for a more sustainable and inclusive way to explore. 

The beauty of travel lies in its power to transform not just the traveler but also the places and communities we visit. Let’s journey with mindfulness and compassion, ensuring our adventures leave a positive imprint on the world.

So, pack your eco-friendly gear, embrace the spirit of adventure, and let’s make a promise to travel with purpose and heart. Together, we can avoid aiding overtourism and make a world of difference, one sustainable step at a time. 

Let’s make each trip count for the planet and its people.

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Welcome to Bag Lady Meredith San Diego!

As a global citizen with more than 57 passport stamps, my adventure mandatory, serial-expat existence offers intuitive insight into globetrotting as a solo Black, female.

Whether it’s by plane, boat, moped, bus, or train, I LIVE for traveling.

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Bag Lady Meredith San Diego is always on the move! Completing her 57th country in 2022, where can you spot Meredith San Diego adventuring in 2023? Stay tuned to find out just where in the world is Meredith San Diego!