If you’re passionate about being environmentally responsible, it’s likely important to you to continue with your efforts to be green no matter where you are–even on vacation. The good news is there are some simple ways to be good to the earth as you travel. So, if you’re worried about how you’ll be able to keep up your green efforts from anywhere, let these tips guide you as you prepare for your next vacation.
Choose a Destination That Puts the Environment First
If you haven’t yet chosen a place to visit, think about going to an area that is known for being eco-friendly. For example, some of the top green countries include Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, and Germany. There are also some developing countries that have been ranked highly for being green, such as Zambia, Ethiopia, Brazil, and Costa Rica. If you’re still not sure where to travel, look for areas that have lots of parks, a few good farmers markets, excellent public transportation, and a pedestrian-friendly feel.
Consider Green Hotels
These days, it’s not hard to find a few eco-friendly hotels in most cities. Of course, some hotels simply say they’re green but don’t do much to prove it, so consider asking your likeminded friends where they stay when they travel. You can also call around to hotels to find out what they do to be considered green. For example, find out if they compost, feature eco-friendly bathroom fixtures, use locally-sourced food in their restaurant, and have recycling cans on the property or even in the rooms. Once you choose a hotel, you can do your part by using electricity and water sparingly. You can also turn down housekeeping services unless necessary, reuse your towels and sheets, and bring your own toiletries instead of using the miniature shampoos and soaps.
Choose Your Transportation Wisely
If the destination you have in mind is close, the eco-friendliest way to get there is to take the bus. This might come as a surprise, but it has the smallest carbon footprint compared to most other modes of transportation. The next best option is to drive an electric car, though a hybrid or at least fuel-efficient vehicle is also good for green travel. Of course, sometimes there’s no avoiding getting on a plane, whether you have to go cross country or out of the country entirely. When travel by plane is necessary, try to choose a nonstop flight, not one that has one or more layovers. Also, keep in mind that the more people who can travel at once, the better. This is why flying on a large plane packed with passengers is considered greener than flying with a few other people on a small airplane or private jet.
As you make your travel plans, keep in mind that you should have the proper insurance just in case. After all, any insurance you have in your area might not cover you when you travel out of the country. If you want to avoid having to suddenly leave due to an emergency not covered by your insurance plan, consider buying travel insurance before your trip. This can cover expenses related to your health, luggage, travel fees, and more.