Becoming a Responsible Tourist: 9 Sustainable Travel Practices

A travel itinerary often consists of nature locations surrounded by mountains or seascapes. Despite most sought-after destinations being in natural environments, sustainability seldom comes to mind during trips to such places. When you explore different locations, you take more than experiences; you also bring home something from the area or leave your carbon footprint behind.

Famous tourist destinations are popular for a reason, and it would be sad to see them close and cease operations for rehabilitation projects. As part of your love for adventure, you also must be a responsible traveler for future generations to enjoy the sights you have witnessed. Here’s how you can start traveling sustainably.

Choose a City With an Efficient Transportation System

Instead of riding a car during tours, you can opt to use a city’s public transportation and get to save money on rentals and gas. A car is one of the leading producers of carbon emissions that are sorely damaging to the ozone layer. By choosing eco-friendly modes of travel, you can get to know the places you’re exploring better.

Stay in Sustainably-run Accommodations

Selecting the hotel or inn, you’re going to stay at also contributes to achieving an utterly sustainable journey. When deciding on which accommodations to check in to, you can do some research and see which ones run on clean energy and promote green practices like plastic ban and proper waste management.

Bring Your Own Essentials

It’s essential to pack less during your adventures, so you can move freely, but rather than buying single-use products throughout your trip, it’s better to bring your necessities than contribute to more waste. For example, instead of buying bottled water, you can take a canteen with you and refill it in the place you’re staying.

Travel Light

Lugging around huge suitcases or heavy backpacks when you’re touring can take the fun out of the whole experience. Besides benefiting you by allowing you to move around more comfortably, traveling light also does wonders for the environment. Bringing fewer items decreases the weight the aircraft has to manage—if you’re going by air—thus, reducing the fuel it burns, making way for lower carbon emissions.

Treat Hotel Facilities as You Would Your Home

When you’re at home, it’s typical to perform energy and water-saving practices to minimize your bills as much as possible. One reason for going on a vacation is so that you can treat yourself to a luxurious holiday. Still, when you’re striving to become a sustainable traveler, you must continue home practices even in the most extravagant hotels. Keeping lights off in the rooms you’re currently not using and turning off appliances are some of the simple things you can do to conserve energy.

Use Coral-safe Sunscreen

person applying sunscreen

Apart from modifying your travel habits, changing the products you use is also a necessary part of becoming an environmentally friendly traveler. For instance, if you’re thinking of celebrating your special day on a chartered birthday boat and plan to visit diving points, you should lather your body with reef-friendly sunscreen. To know if your product is safe for corals, it should be oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens, and nano-particles-free.

Buy Ala Carte Meals

Food waste largely contributes to landfills that produce harmful gases. It’s alright to enjoy delicious meals during your excursions; however, you must only fill your plate with food you’re confident you can finish. Buffets are popular choices amongst travelers because of the abundant culinary flavors they can select from, but this makes up a significant portion of daily waste. Aside from searching for hotels that operate on clean energy, you can also include one that offers ala carte meals as one of the deciding factors on your list.

Abide by Local Waste Management Policies

Different places come with varying rules on how they handle the waste. Some impose strict recycling regulations, while others do not bother at all. Whether you’re staying at a hotel or an Airbnb, it’s best to ask the management how to properly dispose of your waste so you will not unconsciously violate any environmental rules. But if there aren’t any, you should take it upon yourself to properly throw your trash.

Avoid Animal Tourism

Becoming an advocate for eco-friendly travel practices and respecting animals go hand in hand. When you visit some famous spots around the world, you’ll most likely see exotic animals. Some countries use their wildlife to boost their tourism, and sadly they are willing to subject animals to various forms of cruelty. To save animals, you can do your part by refraining from patronizing wildlife tourism, primarily acts where you have to pay to see wild animals perform tricks.

You can appreciate the places you visit better by actively protecting them using eco-friendly traveling practices. By becoming a sustainable and responsible travel enthusiast, you can help maintain a place’s condition and keep it in great shape for future travelers to see.

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