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Sustainable Travel Tips For a More Mindful & Impactful Holiday

May 8, 2024

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Sustainable travel is mindful travel. It’s about harnessing our ability as travellers to support and benefit the destinations we travel to. Below, we’ve put together a few sustainable travel tips to think about before, during and after your holiday.

Pre-holiday.

Pick green destinations 

Choose places known for their environmental policies. Some examples include Panamá and Bhutan, two of the world’s only carbon-negative countries. But remember that even if a destination isn’t known for its sustainable initiatives, it doesn’t mean that you can’t travel mindfully. 

Pack light 

A lighter suitcase and minimal luggage makes for easier travel. Plus, less weight = less fuel. 

Fly direct (or look for destinations where you don’t fly at all)

Most airplane carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing, so if you can opt to take a nonstop flight, it’s the more eco-friendly option. Or, consider a destination closer to home. Train travel is a fun alternative. (For an especially luxe train option, Belmond offers a range of bucket-list-worthy journeys.)

Minimise your carbon footprint as much as you can, and then offset the rest 

When you’ve minimised your carbon footprint as much as possible, then you can offset your carbon. One cool company is Tomorrow’s Air. They’ve partnered with Climeworks,  a permanent carbon storage system, to help invest in new technology that sucks carbon out of the air and permanently stores it in the ground. Other options to offset your carbon include programs like planting trees. We need both tech & nature-based solutions are vital to combat the climate crisis. Sustainable Travel International has a carbon footprint calculator and vetted programmes to offset your carbon.

Learn local customs

Understand and respect the cultural norms of your destination before you go. Get an understanding of basic norms — like should you tip? — as well as a few key phrases in the local language. 

Embrace slow travel

Stay longer in fewer places to reduce travel and immerse yourself more deeply into the local culture.

During Holiday

Support local and traditionally underrepresented businesses

Book with and tour operators focused on community-based tourism as well as those owned by members of the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.

Use eco-friendly transportation

Bikes, take the train or walk (if possible!) to explore your destination. These methods also give you a more intimate look at the destination. 

Respect nature & wildlife

Follow a leave-no-trace approach in natural settings. Properly dispose of trash, or keep it with you until you can properly do so.

Post-holiday

Leave constructive reviews

Help businesses improve with your feedback. Leaving reviews also increases visibility and attracts more customers.

Share your experience

Spread the word about and advocate for sustainable travel practices. Inspire others by demonstrating mindful, intentional travel habits.

Keep learning

Remember, sustainability is a journey. It’s not about perfection, but rather paying attention. Be open, stay mindful, travel with intention and have fun (of course).

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