Top 10 Tips for Green Travel
Confused about what you can do to go green while globetrotting? Here’s our top ten tips for sustainable travel. It’s all about conserving precious resources, reducing the impact of your trip, and benefitting the community you visit.
1) Fly non-stop: Waffling between saving a little money and splurging on a non-stop flight? Treat yourself to the better option and help Mother Earth too. Non-stop flights reduce your emissions by up to 50%.
2) Green hotels: There are many shades of green in the hotel industry, so it’s important to find a hotel directory you trust. To be included in Travelocity’s Green Directory, hotels must be certified by one of the top organizations (LEED, EnergyStar) whose criteria closely aligns with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.
3) Bring your own water bottle: If you’re traveling domestically or to a country with safe drinking water, pack a light-weight metal thermos. Plastic water bottles don’t break down in landfills.
4) Rent the right car: Rent a hybrid or compact car for your trip. While you might pay a premium for this option, you’re sure to save on gas and cut your emissions.
5) Think local: Visit a local handicrafts market for souvenirs, dine at locally owned restaurants, and volunteer in the area. Not only do these goods and services have small footprints, you’re benefitting your host community.
6) Leave no trace: Whether you’re camping in a national park or visiting a cosmopolitan city, make sure your trash ends up in the right place. And use recycling and composting facilities where available.
7) Conserve resources: Don’t be lax on vacation. Turn off the lights, the TV, and the air conditioner when you leave your hotel room. Take short showers. Take part in the hotel’s efforts to reduce linen washing. And leave the little bottles of toiletries behind if you don’t use them.
8) Set your home to vacation mode: Turn all electrical appliances to their vacation or energy-saving mode. Turn off all lights or put one key light on a timer. Suspend your newspaper delivery until your return. And unplug non-necessary appliances.
9) Walk or take public transit: Experience your destination like a local–and burn some calories too! Pack a backpack and good walking shoes and do your best to reduce car travel in your destination.
10) Offset your carbon impact: Flying one-way from New York to London emits an average of 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions. That’s like leaving your hair dryer on for 14 weeks! Use a carbon calculator and offset your flight, hotel stay, car rental, and more.
But don’t take it from me–listen to the Eco-Bunnies!
My name: Alison Presley
Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.
How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!
What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.
Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.