• Sharon Walker

13 Ways to Be More Sustainable While Traveling / Going on Holiday

In previous article we gave you 10 tips to be more sustainable at your work.

In this article we will explain 13 great ways to be more sustainable while traveling or going on a vacation.

1. Try a staycation

Instead of planning a vacation, plan a staycation.

The idea is not to travel far away with all the associated cost, gas guzzling jets, expensive hotels, etc, etc.

The idea is to stay closer to home. A vacation doesn't have to be exotic.

It needs to b e a break from boring work and chores. You can travel 50 miles, or even 100 miles from where you live and I'll bet you'll find something or even a lot of things that will make it really worthwhile.

You'll save a ton of money, you won't be responsible for tons of carbon emissions, and you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself at the same time.

Statistics tell us that on major break weekend, such as Labor Day weekend, at least 35 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home. You don't have to be one of them.

Try it!

2. Use digital sources

If you do travel further away, then you can reduce your ecological footprint considerably in many ways.

Instead of getting glossy brochures and maps of the area you plan to visit, find all the information on the Internet and print it off from there.

You don't really need color, so print in black and white for greater savings. You don't really need pictures, so don't print them.

You get the idea... You can almost certainly get all the information you need from travel websites instead of buying expensive guide books.

3. Reduce your luggage

Travel light. Most people pack twice as much as they actually need.

Once you have packed your case, remove half of it and see if you can get by with that. You will probably find that you can.

You can most likely save by not having extra baggage charges, or if you are traveling by car, the lighter load will save fuel. Lighter is better all


4. Consider a solar charger

Purchase a solar charger for your phone, iPod, camera, etc.

Unless you plan going to the Arctic in winter, there will most likely be plenty of light where you are going and enough to power a solar charger.

You will save on electricity (OK, not yours, but saving is saving, after all), save on carbon emissions and feel good about being green!

5. Stay with friends & family

Try to plan vacation trips so that you can stay with friends and family if possible.

You will save on hotel bills and enjoy seeing old friends and family again.

Of course, they will probably expect to reciprocate the visit, but why not, after all. There are saving to be made for everyone and the environment too.

6. Try home exchanges

Home exchange offers a viable way of enjoying a far away vacation without the expense of hotels, etc. The idea is very popular and relies on families e xchanging homes with each other.

You will get to know the other family's neighbors, you'll shop at their local shops and markets, and see life in their part of the world in a way that you never would otherwise.

Ecologically, home exchange is a great idea. You simply “become” the other family for a couple of weeks, and they “become” you.

The savings to be made are considerable, and the experience of local immersion in the culture and way of life is invaluable.

7. Travel by train

Travel by train whenever possible instead of plane. Trains are among the most environmentally friendly means of transport available.

Modern trains are comfortable and relaxing. Of course, they do take longer on the journey than a plane, but the journey can be considered a part of the vacation, so enjoy it.

Need I say that traveling by train is cheaper than traveling by plane? You'll be responsible for less carbon emissions too!

8. Rent an ecofriendly car

If you rent out a car at your vacation destination, rent out a small economical car.

Sure, it's fun to rent out a big car that looks cool, but think first. If you don't need a big car, don't rent one!

Here's a better idea rent a bicycle, or one for every member of the family!

9. Support protected areas

Visit protected areas such as parks and nature reserves.

This will help to ensure that they stay maintained. There is often a charge to help with maintenance, but it's usually very reasonable, and after all, it's for a sensible cause.

10. Buy local products

Buy local souvenirs and hand crafts to help support local craftsmen and artists.

However, watch out for souvenirs that exploit the environment and wildlife.

Local hand crafts are often less expensive than commercially produced ones, which generally use more resources as well.

11. Bring your own bottle!

Bring your own refillable water bottle.

With your own refillable water bottle you can drink all the water you want, refilling it from the local water supply.

You save money and you want, refilling it from the local water supply. You save money and save the environment from not having a few dozen extra empty plastic bottle to struggle with.

12. Try slow travel

Thoroughly explore one place, rather than country hopping and trying to cram in half the world in just two weeks.

The idea is sometimes known as slow travel. It means that you simply slow down and squeeze every last bit out of the place you go to.

You start exploring the immediate area around where you are staying, then you widen the circle a little bit at a time.

In this way you can spend two weeks in an area of say, 20 miles in radius, and have a really great time in the process.

And of course, you will save money and keep your negative ecological footprint to an absolute minimum.

13. Leave everything unplugged behind

Remember to physically unplug EVERY electric appliance in your home before leaving on your vacation. You will save money if you do.


Here were 13 ways to save energy, waste, and money while traveling or going on holiday.

How do you try to be sustainable while going on vacation? Share your knowledge below!

We'd love to hear from you.

#sustainability #savetheplanet #greenliving