Dear travel gals, I know you’ve already dusted off those frequent flyer miles and are putting them to good use jetsetting across the globe…but, because it’s 2022 and climate change is a stark reality, I’m sure you’re wondering how to travel sustainably.
While there’s no way to get around the fact that hopping on a plane and traveling thousands of miles isn’t the greatest way to support our dear Mother Earth, there are a myriad of things you can do to make your travels more sustainable. And, no, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort, travel essentials, or that one remote country that’ll take you three planes to get to.
How To Travel Sustainably
1. Choose your transport wisely
First and foremost, even though flying will probably be a must, not all flights are created equal. There are a few ways you can reduce your environmental impact when picking out airline tickets, according to Momondo. They recommend the following:
- Choose a nonstop flight when possible (which, why wouldn’t you?).
- Choose a fuel-efficient airline – do some research, but generally newer planes are a safer bet.
- Pick a smaller plane if possible.
- Pack light!
- If you can, consider taking a train.
2. Be sustainable at your destination
Sustainability doesn’t stop at baggage claim. Make sure you’re adopting sustainable practices wherever you’re traveling to. Things like taking public transit instead of renting a car, taxi, or Uber can make a big difference. Plus, there’s nothing like navigating public transportation to make you feel like a local!
When possible, choose to support the local economy by buying souvenirs from local businesses. Forego the global McDonald’s comfort food and find a restaurant that’s been in a family for generations. Walk everywhere you can (the best way to get to know a city, IMO). Be respectful of the local practices, culture, and environment. Take some time before you leave to research best practices and you might even find some local sustainability tips.
3. Pack sustainably
Last but certainly not least, pack sustainable travel essentials. Things like water bottles, reusable toiletry bottles, biodegradable toiletries, and reusable shopping bags will help minimize your eco-impact wherever you go. Here are some of our best picks: