My Top Tips for Sustainable Travel

Let’s be honest, we are all getting more and more concerned about the deteriorating state of our beautiful planet (or at least most of us are!).  As someone who loves to travel, this is a bit of a dilemma since travel in itself – particularly air travel – is not particularly environmentally friendly… and the hotel industry is widely accepted to be one of the least environmentally sustainable business sectors out there! Which is why I decided to write down some of my tips for trying to be more sustainable whilst travelling, whether that is for work, on holiday or backpacking round the world…

My tips for travelling more sustainably:

  • Check out how sustainable your tour operator is – do they have any environmental initiatives (such as carbon offsetting, recycling services, supporting local communities, etc)?
  • Take a re-usable water bottle with you and re-fill it rather than buying bottled water – those bottles end up in landfill more often than not.
  • Buy local produce (including souvenirs!) where possible as this cuts down on pollution caused by transporting goods from one place to another. It also supports the local economy.
  • Use shared, public transport where possible to cut down on vehicle emissions. Or, even better, walk or cycle.
  • Travel on large, modern planes where possible as they are much more fuel efficient. And try to fly direct as a lot of fuel is used during take-off and landing.
  • Think about doing homestays – they are more environmentally sustainable than hotel stays and local people benefit rather than large corporations.
  • If you stay in a hotel, don’t just use your towels once… re-use them for several days (ie hang them up after use as this indicates they don’t need changing). If everyone did this it would significantly cut down on the amount of washing which would save lots of electricity and reduce the use of harmful detergents.
  • Try to avoid using single use plastics such as drinking cups, straws, etc whenever possible.
Try to avoid using plastic cups…
  • Don’t buy gifts made from shells, animal parts/products or anything that may cause harm to the local environment.
  • Don’t visit attractions which exploit wild animals (you know the sort of attraction I’m talking about!) – if people stop visiting these places they will be forced out of business… it’s all about supply and demand!
  • Don’t get to close to the wildlife – animals will get used to being around human beings, which is not a good thing!
  • Always recycle whatever you can where there are facilities available.
  • Don’t buy inflatables just to use on holiday and then dump them – they will just end up in landfill.
  • Don’t waste water and electricity – they may be in short supply in some of the destinations you visit. Don’t leave taps running or lights on when you’re not using them.
  • Donate to local charities in your destination – try and give something back to the local community.
  • Think about taking a volunteering break where you provide assistance to a small community.
Sculpture made of plastic… and some shocking facts to go with it!

So these are my top tips for making travel more sustainable… as you can see, many of these things are fairly basic and take very little effort. We only have one planet – we need to look after it!

Do you have any more tips to add to my list? Let me know in the comments…

Happy (sustainable) travelling!


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32 thoughts on “My Top Tips for Sustainable Travel

  1. I’ve honestly never really thought about SUSTAINABLE travel before but it’s an interesting concept that I need to pay more attention to when I do finally begin to travel again (post baby)!

    1. Unfortunately travel is fairly environmentally damaging so I do try and minimise the impact as much as I can…
      Kate x

  2. This is a great post to introduce the ideas of reducing travel related waste. It would be amazing if we all did our part to contribute to a zero waste lifestyle.

  3. These are great tips! We try to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible when we travel. We are working on organizing a trip for 13 to Orlando for Disney this summer. We just booked a big 6-bedroom house to stay in rather than a hotel for that part of the trip. Then the second half my husband and I will be staying in Orlando for a convention and the hotel offers a green option meaning they won’t come service the room so we always opt for that when possible.

    1. Thank you – I try to be as sustainable as possible too… Your trip sounds great – I didn’t know you could opt out of room service, that’s such a good idea!
      Kate x

  4. This is the great tips and the last picture is awesome, I like it! I’m sure we will need such tips like these on our future travels!

  5. Great post Kate. Its so important to try and travel with as little impact on the world a possible. Not easy but if we all do as much as we can it will make a difference.

    1. Thank you! Absolutely – and some of these things are pretty simple but if we all did them, they would make a difference…
      Kate x

  6. These are such great suggestions, and they are all so easy to incorporate into traveling. It’s so important to start being more aware of our actions with regards to sustainability.

  7. These are really great tips! I can’t think of any to add off the top of my head. I totally second the idea of supporting local artisans wherever you go, though. It’s something I always try to do when I travel.

    1. Thank you! Me too – I love buying local crafts wherever I go! It means that every time I look at them I’m reminded of my trip…
      Kate x

    1. Thank you! Unfortunately many people think the environment is someone else’s responsibility, when in fact it’s a shared responsibility!
      Kate x

  8. I love all of these tips! I don’t really like travelling but I know a few people who are travelling at the moment that I could show this too 🙂 We really all need to commit more to saving this planet :3

  9. The one thing I could really do is use the reusable water bottles. Although that means finding good places for clean water while you are on your journey. And depending on where that is, it might not be so easy.

    1. You can now get water bottles that filter the water as well, which are really handy for when you are in places where clean drinking water is in short supply…
      Kate x

  10. I don’t travel very often but I think your tips are amazing and not so difficult to apply for everyone! I’ll already am very mindful about the waste I create but I’ll also try to implement your other tips!

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