HOW TO TRAVEL SUSTAINABLY – AND WHY YOU SHOULD
As countries start to open up again as restrictions ease post-Coronavirus, you many be starting to think about getting that Wanderlust fix you’ve been dreaming about for these long few months. In Australia, intrastate travel is now unrestricted so many are rushing to book a trip as soon as they can.
This is a great opportunity to create the new ‘normal’ that you want to live by. A clean slate almost to live a life that you are more fulfilled by. Now that you’ve started to transform your home in to a more planet friendly and human-kind friendly environment, you may be wondering how you can bring these new practises in to the way you travel. So, we want to show you how to travel sustainably, so that you can be a little bit friendlier to the planet when you travel in the future.
The impact that tourism has had on many countries is massively damaging. Many destinations which once had thriving communities have seen people pushed out from their homes in order to make way for huge, corporate owned hotels and local businesses crushed by American-owned restaurants and coffee shops taking their customers.
Areas of beauty have also been destroyed by the sheer footfall of tourists visiting popular and well published areas. One example is Maya Bay, on Ko Phi Phi Leh island in Thailand. You would recognise it from the movie The Beach with Leo DiCaprio (*ahhh sighs) which has been closed indefinitely to tourists. Thanks to pollution from litter, boats and sun cream caused by the island receiving almost 5,000 tourists and 200 boats a day, it is estimated that more than 80% of the coral around Maya Bay has been destroyed.
Travelling sustainably doesn’t mean that you need to stop flying (although flying is very bad for the environment but we’ll leave that chat for a later time), or leave the life you know and take to the road for 6 months but a few simple changes you can make to your mindset and your actions can make a huge difference. Here’s how:
MAKE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS MORE SUSTAINABLE
Think about where you are visiting. Obviously, the distance you are travelling will impact the environment but it’s good to check how eco-friendly the actual city you are visiting is. One for our favourites, Ljubljana in Slovenia, has been voted one of the greenest in Europe.
Stay in one place for longer. If you can, base yourself in one city or area for long enough to soak up the culture, meet the locals and get a sense of your surroundings.
Book homestays or local apartments to stay in instead of big hotels. Spend time getting to know your hosts if you have the time, ask them for recommendations, take up offers of dinners and be more flexible with your travel plans.
Travel by road or train to your destination to save on carbon emmisions. Choose a location that you can explore by foot or by bike.
Take the road less travelled. Visit destinations and attractions that are a little bit less known, don’t just follow the guidebook’s recommendations or go to that cliff top on everyone’s Instagram. Avoid the crowded areas so that you’re not contributing to damage of the flora and fauna.
Seek out local guides to show you the area, rather than big tour companies. Tip generously.
Ignore the guidebook and contribute to the local economy by shopping and eating in smaller, locally owned businesses. By support locals, instead of global corporations, you will be enabling the community to thrive and survive for years to come.
Pack smart! The most important thing is to pack light, especially if staying in homestays which won’t have a porter service. Try to think about which toxic products, like sunscreen, you are taking with you.
Share your stories with your friends and family afterwards. Pass on contacts of what you enjoyed, encourage others to do the same
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