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How to embrace sustainable travel


In the rhythm of wanderlust and the melody of new experiences, there’s a harmonious way to tread lightly and travel sustainably. It’s about being a conscientious explorer, one who cherishes the beauty of discovery while nurturing the world that hosts these adventures. At TravelLocal, we’re committed to reimagining travel so that it benefits all: our environment, ecosystems, local partners & their communities, and travelers. 

That’s why, in this guide, you’ll find information about what sustainable travel is, as well as some practical tips to help you embark on a journey that’s as kind to the Earth as it is enriching for the soul.

What is sustainable tourism?

Sustainable tourism is a comprehensive approach that considers the current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts of tourism. It seeks to address the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities, ensuring that development is a positive experience for all.

The benefits of sustainable tourism

  • Lower ecological impact: By prioritizing eco-friendly practices, sustainable tourism ensures that natural habitats and resources are preserved for future generations.
  • Wildlife conservation: Responsible travel practices help ensure that wildlife remains undisturbed, promoting biodiversity.
  • Environmental preservation: Sustainable tourism advocates for cleanliness and conservation, reducing pollution and waste.
  • Local community empowerment: It supports local economies, providing jobs and ensuring that the benefits of tourism are distributed equitably.
  • Cultural heritage preservation: Sustainable tourism respects and helps to preserve the cultural heritage of destinations, fostering pride among local communities.
  • Enhanced travel experiences: Travelers often find that sustainable practices lead to more authentic and meaningful interactions with the places and people they visit.
  • Conscious travel: It promotes mindfulness among travelers, encouraging them to consider the impact of their actions and to make positive choices.

Tips to travel more sustainably

Choose your path wisely

Opt for destinations that aren’t just calling for visitors but are also championing sustainable practices. Seek out spots where your presence is a positive force, contributing to conservation efforts or community projects. It’s about picking paths that promise mutual enrichment – for you and the place you’re visiting. Always hire local experts or guides who will be able to show you the other side of even the most popular destinations – because they all have a quiet side, if you know where to look. At TravelLocal, we only work with real local experts, the kinds that will make your trip unforgettable. 

people hiking on a glacier

Travel light, travel right

The art of packing can be a testament to your commitment to sustainability. Choose eco-friendly, reusable items and pack only what you need. A lighter suitcase means a lighter carbon footprint, whether you’re soaring in the skies or rolling on the rails. On this matter, why not check out our guide on how to avoid using single-use plastics on holiday? It’s brimming with useful tips. And if you need more information, you can always reach out to our wonderful local experts and they’ll give you tailor-made tips. 

person waking while holding metal water bottle

Embrace slow travel

Slow travel isn’t just a pace; it’s a philosophy. It’s about immersing yourself in the local fabric, spending more time in fewer places. This approach not only deepens your connection with each destination but also reduces the environmental impact of constant movement. Don’t know where to start? Our local experts know each of our destinations like only someone who’s lived there for a long time does. They’ll help you embrace slow travel so you can savor every second. 

man riding a bike down the street

Support local makers

From the artisan crafting treasures by hand to the family-run eatery serving local delicacies, your choices on where to spend can support local economies and celebrate authentic culture. Choose accommodations, tours, and products that are rooted in the local community, ensuring your travel money supports sustainable development. If you want to know more, we have a guide to buying local in the travel industry that may come in handy. 

Go green with your accommodation and transport

Consider eco-friendly accommodations and transport options that prioritize sustainability. Whether it’s a hotel that harnesses solar power or choosing to bike around a city, these choices collectively contribute to a greener planet. If you’re interested in the topic, these eco-conscious holiday destinations will make you want to pack your bags and start exploring. Remember, too, to speak to your local expert so they find the most sustainable option for you. 

men wearing cycle helmets looking over city

Be a mindful guest

Respect the customs, traditions, and natural landscapes of the places you visit. Simple acts, like disposing of waste responsibly, conserving water, and minimizing noise, can make a significant difference in preserving the harmony of your destination. 

Engage in meaningful experiences

Seek out experiences that offer insight into the destination’s conservation efforts or cultural preservation. Whether it’s a wildlife safari led by a conservation-focused guide or a cooking class that celebrates traditional cuisine, these experiences enrich your journey and support sustainable practices. Our local experts know them better than anyone and will ensure you have the best and most meaninful time.

Share your journey

You can inspire others by sharing your sustainable travel stories and tips. Social media, blogs, and even casual conversations can be powerful platforms to spread the word about responsible travel and its positive impacts. Remember to mention us on Instagram and to use our hashtag #TravelLocal. We will spread the word. 

person taking a photo of a sunrise

Discover some of our more sustainable trips

If you’re on the lookout for sustainably inspiring trip ideas, we’ve hand-picked a few: 

Make It Happen

In every journey lies the opportunity to be a steward of the Earth, a supporter of communities, and a guardian of cultures. As you set forth on your next adventure, let these tips guide you towards a path where exploration and sustainability walk hand in hand, creating a tapestry of experiences that not only tell a story of wonder but also one of hope and stewardship for our shared world. Together, let’s make it happen.

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