The world has finally opened up to travel again. And that’s great!
But as folks around the globe look to shake off two years of lethargy, there’s an even greater need to be more environmentally conscious and kind to Mother Earth.
Not sure how to make your trips green, sustainable and eco-friendly?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with solutions and recommendations for sustainable travel, regardless of whether you’re headed to a beach, the city or the mountains.
For beachside escapes
To pack: If you already have swimwear, great! But if you need to buy some, ensure that you get attire that’s made from recycled plastic. It’s more sustainable than regular nylon. Also, while sunscreen is essential, see that your sunblock’s organic and doesn’t contain chemicals that are harmful to marine life.
Regardless of the type of sun protection, though, do also pack hats and wraps. These will reduce the need to slather on too much lotion.
To prep: Not every beach destination is the same, and some have become so commercial that they’ve added to the environmental stress of areas. Nevertheless, there are a vast number of ethical, eco-friendly and less-crowded seaside locations you could consider visiting. The key is to research, research and research.
Once there: Excess sand and saltwater mean beach attire will need to be laundered. But you can reduce your carbon footprint by opting to hand wash clothes yourself. Also, remember to pick up trash and stay off the sand dunes! The latter is often overlooked by travellers. Yet dunes, which protect against coastal erosion, are extremely fragile and can get easily damaged when walked or played on.
Stay options: No matter where you head, though, always opt for eco-friendly accommodation. Prana Resort Nandana in Koh Samui, that’s launched a number of conservation initiatives in recent years, is a particularly great pick if you’re choosing to visit a sun-kissed Thai beach. It also boasts the splendid Amezcua Spa.
For urban getaways
To pack: The No. 1 rule for city travel is to pack light! Yes, an urban break may mean lots of exploring of museums, restaurants and the like. But you don’t need a different outfit for everything. Instead, pack versatile clothes that can be mixed and matched easily. Ensure, too, that you’ve got a water bottle and tote bags in your luggage. They’ll come in handy when you’re moving about.
To prep: Like with beach vacations, it pays to think about the kind of holiday you want. This will help you make important decisions about where to go and what to do upon arrival. Incidentally, QVI Tripsavr offers great deals on pre-booked activities. So making decisions beforehand can save you a pretty penny.
Once there: Remember those totes? Well, now’s the time to use them in place of plastic bags for purchased items. Your water bottle, meanwhile, will guarantee you’re hydrated without having to buy bottled water. Separately, if you’re getting souvenirs, try to be as sustainability-focused as possible by supporting local businesses.
Stay options: There is a limitless choice of bustling city destinations. But for the ultimate experience, why not pick a modern metropolis that’s also steeped in history and culture, like Antalya, Turkey? The city, which ranks as one of the world’s fastest-growing eco-tourism hubs, is truly stunning, and there are a host of sustainable accommodations on offer. One standout is the socially- and environmentally conscious Doğan Hotel, that’s smack-bang in the middle of the historic old town of Kaleiçi.
For highland retreats
To pack: The generally cooler climes of the highlands make packing light a tough ask. Still, there’s no need to overstuff your bags. Instead, think about clothes you’re likely to wear multiple times, then pack those. You could also wear your heavier clothes on the plane. When considering toiletries and grooming essentials, meanwhile, always opt for eco-friendly all-in-one solutions.
To prep: Hundreds of millions of tourists flocking to highland locations each year can put a strain on the natural environment. This doesn’t mean you should rule out peaks and hills from your travel plans, though. But do consider visiting in the off-season. You’ll still get the same thrill but with fewer people around.
Once there: Many highland locations are accessible to cars and buses. However, once there, try to move about in soft mode i.e. without the aid of motorised transport. Bikes and/or electric scooters are normally available for rent. And of course, there’s always the option of just walking and hiking everywhere.
Stay options: Like with seaside and urban getaways, choices are aplenty. But countries that are bastions of eco-consciousness should be at the top of your list. Norway, often regarded as one of the world’s most sustainable countries, could be a good pick. Check out especially, Gala Fjellgrend in the Peer Gynt Ski Region, which boasts rustic log cabins as well as access to stunning slopes and up to 30km of trails.
Wherever you choose to go and whatever you choose to do, keep your mind focused on doing right by our planet, and you’ll be a-okay. And have fun!