Most people love to explore the world. But if we’re going to do that, then we have a responsibility to ensure that we — and future generations — can do it in the future. The mass tourism boom over the past few decades has been good for the economy and ensured that more people than ever can enjoy vacations, but there have been some downsides. It’s been pretty bad for local communities that have been overrun by tourism, and it’s pretty awful for the environment, too.
The good news is that there are ways to explore the world in an eco-friendly, sustainable way. If everyone follows the tips we’ve outlined below, then we’ll all be able to travel well into the future.
Ditch the Flights
There’s no avoiding the fact that flights are bad for the environment. One long-haul flight uses up the same amount of resources as each person on earth is “allocated” each year. And short-haul flights are just as bad, given the frequency with which we take them! So whenever possible, look at ditching the flights. In some cases, they’ll be unavoidable, but there’ll be times when it’s more than possible to travel by train or car. Trains in particular are recommended — they may take longer, but they’re fun and comfortable, and you’ll see more of the world.
Stay in Earth-Friendly Accommodation
It’s not just how we travel that influences the carbon footprint of a trip. Where we stay does, too. Those fancy hotels may be nice, but they typically use up a lot of energy. As with planes, there are alternative options that can reduce your carbon footprint without compromising the quality of your trip — in fact, in some cases, the trip will be even better. There are eco lodges that are earth-friendly and which are located in stunning environments, so keep them in mind the next time you’re planning a trip. Plus, these lodges are often located deep within nature, which will make you more inclined to make earth-boosting changes in other areas of your life, too. Our planet is worth preserving!
Visit Less-Visited Destinations
You’ll hear a lot of complaints about mass tourism. However, there’s really only a small number of destinations that have those complaints. The vast majority of destinations don’t have the problem of too many visitors; their issue is that there aren’t enough visitors. Why? Because everyone’s going to the top ten most popular destinations! You can help lighten the load on the most-visited cities and encourage tourism to be more widely dispersed by visiting those less-visited destinations. Aside from being great places to visit in their own right, you’ll also enjoy cheaper prices and fewer crowds.
Think About Every Trip
Finally, perhaps the best way to make travel more sustainable is to think about every trip you take. It’s better to take fewer, high-quality trips than take a lot of routine trips. From there, think about minimizing the carbon footprint of the trip as much as possible. It’s all about doing all that we can!