Revenge Travel. The tourism industry rejoices as countries begin to open their borders to international travel. As the world works towards an endemic life with COVID-19, eager souls make up for lost time as they book their travel plans with much zest. With this sudden surge of demand in travel after a long cocoon, are we being naive about a green recovery’?
Sustainable travel has become very popular recently as people try to mitigate the adverse impacts of tourism. Stopping travel altogether is not feasible as a way to lower carbon emissions. Rather, we can opt for more environmentally friendly travel options that suit your budget and schedule.
1) Travel by public transport
If you are city-hopping, taking the train could be an interesting way to experience a new place with significantly lower carbon emission, compared to air travel.
Trains emit between 66% to 75% less carbon. If you plan to take a trip through Europe, the Eurail Pass is a fantastic green option. The carbon emissions of an average Eurail trip is 3-4 times lesser when compared to driving a car or taking the plane.
Calculate the environmental impact of your journey with EcoPassenger, which is a practical and transparent tool to understand how your choice of transportation impacts the Earth.
Travelling just within the city? Taking the public metro or bus allows you to experience the sights and sounds of the city, allowing you to immerse fully in what it has to offer.
2) Fly in Economy Class
Apart from saving money, flying in business class simply translates to having more physical space dedicated to a traveller. By taking an economy class flight, you maximise the space available on the plane, resulting in 5 times lesser in terms of carbon footprint.
3) Be a Slow Traveller
Instead of squeezing multiple cities into your 10 day itinerary, consider slowing down by immersing yourself fully and creating a deeper depth of experience. Make the mindful decision to travel at your own pace by not rushing around.
Think about where you would love to spend most of your time and book a guesthouse for a week, for instance. This way, you can get to catch a glimpse of what it’s like to live in the community. Stroll through a market instead of catching all of the tourist landmarks, or lounge in a coffee shop to unwind yourself.
4) Support the local economy
Eat locally grown foods farmed by local producers. Rather than eating from international food chains like MacDonald’s, try shopping for locally-sourced fruits and vegetables. Farmer markets are a fun way to find out more about local culture and how to cook them! Trying out local street food is also quite memorable, as long as you are observant about the sanitary conditions!
Instead of staying at large resorts by international hotel brands, opt to stay in locally-owned accommodation. A little due diligence on your accommodation’s background can go a long way in ensuring that your money supports the local economy.
5) Eat in food establishments run by locals
Do a little research or ask your local concierge/hotel operator about their favourite restaurants. They would be so happy to share more information about it. By supporting local businesses, this funnels your tourist dollars into the local community, instead of foreign-owned businesses. Unless your tour package states otherwise, all-inclusive package holidays tend to be foreign-owned, which means that you miss out on local restaurants and local activities as well.
What are some of your favourite ways to travel slowly? We love to hear more about how you do so, so leave us your comments at @sustainablypistachio.