Explorer Travel Holidays is proud to work with Intrepid
As travellers and tourists, we need to take responsibility for advocating sustainable travel and tourism. This isn’t going to happen overnight. There isn’t a magical solution to solve the problems associated with tourism. But we can work towards better, more sustainable travel. Here are some tips for ways we can be more sustainable travellers:
- Consider the most sustainable form of transport to get to your destination
Depending where you’re going, you may have the option to fly, drive or take a train or coach. Weigh up your options. If you’re travelling in a group, it makes sense to car share whereas if you’re travelling on your own it may be greener to fly or take the train. Taking the train or bus is often the more sustainable option over flying or driving by car, but it depends on the route.
- Take direct flights where possible
Look for the shortest flight path to your destination. Take offs and landings cause most of a plane’s carbon emissions, so it’s best to take a direct flight and avoid changes or stop-overs where possible.
- Fly economy class
Flying in business class or first class means you have more space per passenger. This can result in a 5x larger carbon footprint. Take the economy seat because it better for your budget and the environment.
- Use the most sustainable form of transport when you’re at your destination
When you’ve arrived in your destination, go by foot or bike whenever possible. These are the greenest transport options. Use public transport, minibuses or car shares to get around instead of private cars when you’re going further.
- Be a slow traveller
Mitigate the negative impact of air travel by flying less often and staying for longer in destinations. Being a slow traveller has many benefits and helps you to travel more sustainable.
- Stay in locally-owned accommodation
Support local business owners by opting to stay in locally-owned accommodation. This can include guesthouses, B&Bs, couch-surfing and Airbnbs. Read the ‘about’ pages on hotel websites and check out the host’s profile on Airbnb to get a better idea of who owns and runs the accommodation. It’s more sustainable if your money contributes to the local economy, rather than being redirected out of the local economy by foreign-owned hotels and resorts.
- Check for green certifications at hotels and hostels
Look for accommodation with a commitment to sustainability initiatives. These may include solar power, energy-efficient lighting, recycling and so on. Find out whether a hotel employs local staff, source their food locally and use locally sourced building materials and decor.
“Search for eco hotels which are designed and built sustainably,” says Amruta Kshemkalyani, a sustainability professional and founder of Sustainability Tribe. “There are standards and certifications for sustainable hotels and resorts like Green Globe and Green Key.” You can look for these certifications on hotel and hostel websites.
Watch out for ‘green washing’ — unfortunately many hotels have labelled themselves green without actually putting sustainability initiatives in place.
Go wild and camp
If you’re committed to sustainable travel accommodation and love the outdoors, then camping is another great accommodation option. We have only camped at a few odd times – such as at Dancing Ledge last summer – but can definitely see the environmental benefits.
Eat in restaurants and cafes owned by locals
As with accommodation, spend your tourist dollar in restaurants and cafes run by locals. In our experience, this is a great way to meet locals who are enthusiastic about you trying their traditional food. Not to mention that home-cooking is the best, so if you can find small hole in the wall places or join sharing economy apps like Eat With where you can have dinner with a local family, you’ll most likely be eating more delicious food too. Avoid international food chains like McDonald’s where your money doesn’t enter the local economy.
Don’t be (too) afraid of eating local street food
Street food vendors are often locals cooking up their own homemade dishes. We’ve eaten some of our favourite dishes abroad from street food carts. Be careful of anywhere that looks unsanitary, as you don’t want to get food poisoning.
Buy locally grown food and shop in local markets
Eat locally grown food from local producers. Avoid imported foods and international food chains where food has had to be transported from far away causing carbon emissions. You can shop for local fruits, vegetables and other produce at local farmers markets.
Share your sustainable travel experiences
Share your responsible travel experiences with friends, family, people you meet, on social media and even in my comments section below! The more we talk about the way we travel, the more we reinforce how important it is to travel green.
And until 13th January with can off you 20% off any intrepid holiday, So if your looking of an sustainable holiday with lots of adventure and real life experience get in touch