Easy Ways to Be A More Sustainable Traveler
Shop and eat local when you can! This photo was taken on one of our trips on the Amalfi Coast at a market in Vietri sul Mare.
Even if you’re a warrior recycler, composter, and generally eco-conscious person at home, you may adopt a completely different lifestyle when traveling. It’s possible you simply forget or find it too difficult, and that’s ok! Travel prep can be stressful, especially when packing for new destinations and managing the many ways we prepare for trips. Responsible tourism is likely far from your mind. Also, life on the go carries a new set of challenges. When traveling it’s easy to rely on single-use plastics and poor disposal channels. When you’re on vacation enjoying yourself, its likely that the environment is far from your mind!
We now know too much about the impact human waste and behavior have on the planet. As travelers, we have to respect not only the places where we travel but also the people who live there beyond our short stays. It’s important to remember that our behavior impacts their lives once we’ve moved on, as well as the preservation of the places we love to visit. Traveling sustainably is also more in line with a slow, conscious travel philosophy. On all Delectable Destinations trips, we strive to connect thoughtfully with locals and become, even if briefly, parts of their community. We also enjoy the (literal) fruits of the fresh produce we taste and cook with on our trips. It’s important to consider how we can also keep the earth healthy so we can continue enjoying such flavorful, nutritious food. Without this, our culinary destinations would be quite bland! Our travel should leave as little of an environmental footprint as possible.
Read on for tips and tools to be a more sustainable traveler.
Avoid big resorts and opt for eco-friendly destinations. This photo was taken at the only organic and biodynamic vineyard on the Amalfi Coast – Le Vigne de Raito
Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle ~ When packing, you likely have a list of essentials: passport, meds, comfy shoes. It’s time to add your reusable bottle to the list! You can now find reusable containers that are lighter weight and made with travelers in mind. Many of these work for hot and cold beverages, so you can use them for coffee and tea on the go, as well! Click here for some great examples.
Research Luggage Limits So you Can Plan Smart ~ Different airlines and countries may have different weight limits for luggage with varying charges. If you’re attempting to bring along some essentials, such as a water bottle or straws, you’ll want to make sure you leave space and weight for these among your essentials. Take time to research the packing limitations for any flights you may have on your itinerary. That way you won’t risk having to leave behind your reusable bottle or anything else that’s helping you travel more sustainably.
Recycle Consciously ~ Let’s face it, travel can be exhausting. It’s easy to mindlessly toss our items the first place we see fit. Try to become more conscious of this while on the go. If you notice a trash can but have something recyclable to toss, resist the urge to do so until you find the proper receptacle. We know, you’re on vacation! But these little bits of your time and thought can add up to big changes over time. As an added benefit, you’ll model more thoughtful behavior to fellow travelers, which may just have a domino effect.
Travel with Reusables & Avoid Hotel Toiletries ~ There are many ways to reduce your use of single-use plastics and other products. Of course, this is sometimes unavoidable, especially when eating in airports on the go. One easy, lightweight reusable is having your own straw. There are now many lightweight aluminum straws you can toss in a purse or backpack. If you like sipping iced coffee or other beverages, this is an easy hack. Hotel toiletry packs are also incredibly wasteful. Buy your own reusable containers to fill with whatever toiletries you need.
Swap Hand Wipes for Antibacterial Gel ~ Travel often means getting dirty. Especially if you’re eating, you want to make sure you don’t get sick. It may sound simplistic, but hygiene on the road is extra important – no one wants their vacation stunted because of a bug! Instead of single-use hand wipes, opt for a nice hand sanitizing gel.
Eat Like a Local ~ Eat what’s in season and fresh where you are! For some travelers, eating abroad can feel overwhelming, while others easily embrace new flavors and tastes. It’s worth searching for local markets that are truly local and carry products that are likely to be of local origin and sustainably farmed. Local restaurants will likely source from smaller, more sustainable farms, as well.
Travel as directly and SLOWLY as possible ~ Finding the best deals on flights often comes at a cost: carbon emissions. Fly direct when possible! It will help reduce your carbon footprint. Flying and generally traveling less within your trip also helps. Fewer flights, car trips, boat rides, and other modes of transport means a smaller carbon footprint. When possible, travel by foot or bicycle! An added benefit of this is yours! By taking things more slowly, you’ll experience a place in a more authentic fashion and will have a chance to better soak up its uniqueness.
We understand that traveling well can feel overwhelming. Join us on one of our Delectable Destinations trips, where we eat local and engage authentically with the communities we visit.
Carol Ketelson is the owner and operator of Delectable Destinations LLC. Dedicated to planning, co-ordinating and curating customized group tours to hand-picked destinations. As an experienced travel planner, Carol’s customized itineraries, specialized tours and off-the-beaten-path experiences create memorable journeys for her small groups of singles, couples, and solo travelers, seeking exceptional trips into the culture and cuisine of destinations around the world. Spring and Fall bookings invite travelers to taste delectable local cuisine, culturally rich traditions and mesmerizing sights. For over 10 years, Carol’s tours have captured the true essence of Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Sicily, Spain, Ireland and India.
Delectable Destinations…Delivering your dream trip. For more information & 2020 trips log onto: www.delectabledestinations.com