Earth Day is coming up this week, and although most of us must remain quarantined at home instead of out in the big wide world, we can still daydream about ways to enjoy our planet once the situation has come to pass. Travel is one of the richest ways to appreciate the Earth and all its wondrous diversity. However, if it’s important to keep in mind how we’re affecting the world as we traverse it, which is why we’ve come up with some sustainable travel tips to guide you on your next journey.
As you daydream about your future plans, we invite you to consider a few simple ways to modify your way of traveling. Not only do these help the environment and economy of the local destination, they’re also extremely likely to cause another side effect. What is it, you ask? More enjoyment and enriched experiences. Read on at your own risk.
Want to experience the city like a true local? For your future trips, book a Prontopia local assistant to help you get around and see the authentic pockets of the city.
When it comes to planning a trip, it’s tempting to try to squeeze in as much as possible to really maximize your vacation time. However, this can lead you to feeling rushed and even stressed. Traipsing from monument to monument and city to city is not only exhausting, but it contributes to overtourism and doesn’t allow you to truly immerse yourself in the culture. Instead consider traveling to just one location or extending your stay in your destination so that you can actually settle in and get a feel for the place. Don’t overload your itinerary. Instead highlight a few things you really want to do or see and leave plenty of white space for spontaneity and relaxation.
It’s no secret that our transportation methods have a huge impact on the environment and global emissions. Recently the flight shaming movement has caused many to take a step back and consider new ways to see the world. If you’re able to, try to travel by train to get your final destination. It may take a bit longer, but you get to take the scenic route and watch the world go by. Also, when you reach your final destination, choose to navigate the city by foot or via public transportation. You’ll get more exercise and a real taste for daily life in the city. Need a hand figuring out how to get around? One of our Prontopia Local Assistants can walk you to your final destination and help you understand how to use the public transport system.
Read next: Where to Find Eco Friendly Hotels
Shopping at the local farmer’s market, specialty boutiques, and mom and pop shops help you absorb the cultural flavor of your destination. It’s also better for the environment, local economy, and helps to uphold the cultural variety. Local shops and food stores tend to source materials nearby, which means less energy is expended in the process.
Venture off the beaten tourist path and book your tour experiences with smaller operators. This will help them stay afloat and you often get a more personalized, passionate experience. Everybody wins.
It sounds like such a simple tip, but it’s really important. Plastic is harmful for both the ecosystem and human health. You can do your part by bringing your own refillable water bottle with you, having your own reusable bags on hand when you do souvenir shopping or get groceries. Any time plastic is involved, see if you can substitute it or eliminate the need entirely. If you're interested in learning more, check out our article about zero waste travel.
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash
Prontopia is an online service that provides friendly, in-person help from pre-vetted local assistants in city centers in Italy, Spain and the U.S.