For many people, 2022 saw the return of travel after an almost global lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the return of tourism has been welcome for many economies, travel still isn’t as smooth as it once was, with airport delays and climate change causing chaos for travelers.
While things look set to stabilize further this year, it’s more important than ever to take a sensible approach to travel. If travel is on the cards for you this year, read more about how you can make better travel choices in 2023.
Stay closer to home
While most of the world’s borders are now open again to visitors, you may want to look closer to home when planning your next travels. Exploring destinations closer to home can help you reduce your carbon footprint, but it also gives you the chance to see some of the treasures that are right there on your doorstep.
Consider exploring more of your homeland in 2023 to help you enjoy greener travel.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Choose airlines with green policies
Flying contributes to 3% of global carbon emissions, which is a figure that is only likely to increase. While flying can be the only way to visit some destinations, there are ways you can help to reduce the impact of flying on the environment. From taking direct flights to packing lighter, the choices you make can help reduce the emissions caused by your travel.
Many airlines offer the chance to help offset your carbon footprint, using donations made by passengers to use towards green initiatives like planting trees or installing solar panels. You can explore some of the most sustainable airlines to help you choose an airline that is doing more to reduce its carbon emissions.
Visit destinations with good sustainability records
Your choice of destination can also help the environment. Instead of heading straight to overpopulated cities and destinations geared toward mass tourists, try looking beyond for your next travels. There are villages all over the world that are embracing tourism while working to protect their environment, providing some incredible experiences you may not have experienced before.
You could also choose from some of the world’s most sustainable cities to help you find a destination that’s doing more to help the environment.
Making better travel choices isn’t just about making greener choices, it’s about making sensible decisions for yourself too. Wherever you decide to travel, it’s important to protect yourself. It’s easy to throw caution to the wind when traveling but could see you at your most vulnerable and at risk of harm.
Road traffic accidents are a major cause of injuries and deaths among travelers, especially younger travelers. This is why it’s important to get to know local road safety rules and take caution when driving or using roads abroad. If faced with an accident, you may need to consult a car accident lawyer to help you get legal help for your case. It’s also vital that you get adequate travel insurance to help cover the cost of any medical treatment you may need during your travels.
Explore hidden gems
Traveling is about exploring and having adventures, but your travels can soon become frustrating if the places you visit are overcrowded and overpriced due to the high volumes of tourists. Thanks to platforms like Instagram and TikTok, even some of the lesser-known travel destinations are becoming must-sees for people looking to capture the perfect photo.
If you want to try travel with a difference, consider exploring places that are off the beaten track. Avoid the busy tourist hotspots and be willing to explore a little further in search of somewhere that isn’t crawling with tourists. Interacting with locals is one of the best ways to get recommendations, and you never know what hidden gems you might discover.
Maintain sustainable habits wherever you are
Traveling to new destinations can mean you do things a little differently than you would at home. This is a good thing when it comes to relaxation and eating, but there are some habits and behaviors you should take with you wherever you go. Some of the things you can do to enjoy more eco-friendly travel include:
- Pack lightly to help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Buy eco-friendly products to take with you, including reusable face wipes, toothbrushes, toiletries, etc.
- Take a reusable water bottle and avoid buying bottled water when possible. Look out for clean water sources where you can refill easily.
- Avoid single-use plastics where possible and recycle as much as you can.
- Reduce the energy you use in your hotel by turning off lights when not in use and not leaving your devices to charge for longer than necessary.
Maintaining your sustainable habits can help make a difference, even if those around you aren’t so considerate.
Support local economies
The world has been through a lot in recent years, with many communities relying on tourism to help them rebuild. Your support can be vital to these economies, and making some more considered choices during your travels can make a big difference. Some ways to directly support local economies when traveling include:
- Avoid chain restaurants and coffee shops, choose independent places, and sample the local cuisine.
- Support local tour guides over global providers.
- Shop in independent stores, including souvenir shops.
- Choose local selections for wine, beer, etc.
Doing some research ahead of your trip can help you learn more about the location you’re visiting to help you learn more about the local life. This can enrich your experience and ensure you make better decisions to support the local economy during your visit.
Making better travel choices not only benefits you, but others too. From supporting the local economy to finding ways to enjoy greener and more sustainable travel, you can play your part in making travel better for all. As you plan your next adventures, think about how you can do things differently and experience travel in a whole new way.