12 Simple Ways To Travel More Sustainably

Hi! Welcome to my blog. Today I’m chatting about a few ways to travel more sustainably. Travelling can be tough to do sustainably. Whilst it’s probably never going to be perfect however here are a few easy ways to reduce your impact.

Disclaimer: Some items in this post were gifted. This post also contains affiliate links which are marked with a *. These mean that I may earn a commission off of any purchases made, at no extra cost to you.

Use Reusables

Taking reusables is cost-effective and good for the environment. I take an old cloth tote bag, a water bottle (I have this bottle from Chilly’s Bottles), some metal or bamboo cutlery (I use this* folding one from Net Zero Co) and a travel cup for hot drinks. My travel cup is from Net Zero Co and it’s collapsable to maximise bag space which is so handy! You can find it here*.

Products from Net Zero Co were very kindly gifted.

Try taking the Train or Bus

Whilst this isn’t an option for everyone – train travel is way more expensive and time consuming than flying – lets be real. If you have the time and budget to take the long way there, definitely do. For one, you get to see amazing scenery and parts of the place that you normally wouldn’t and you can sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Inter-railing* is such a fun option for all ages if you want to see Europe in a more sustainable way. If coach travel is more your thing – then I love travelling with Flixbus* across Europe.

Shop with Local Vendors

Supporting the local people & their culture is such an important part of responsible tourism. You can do this by putting your money into local artisans who are preserving the traditional means of production & techniques. You’re also helping to further the local economy, instead of buying things that were manufactured in a different country.

Be a Thoughtful Tourist

Over-tourism occurs when a large number of tourists descend on a site or city and begin to cause problems for the locals. Places like Venice & Barcelona have been mentioned a lot in recent years as places suffering from over-tourism.

Top things to avoid over-tourism are: Visit lesser known places alongside the main tourist attractions & Donโ€™t travel in peak season. This can be tricky for some but if you have the choice, visit in off-peak which is generally any time but summer.

Related: My Instagram Post on Over-Tourism & 4 Top Tips for Avoiding it

Eat the Traditional Cuisine

A big part of culture is food! Trying some traditional delicacies is a fab way to be more immersed in the culture and also you’re supporting local chefs and eateries. People with specific dietary requirements might not be able to try everything, but hopefully there’s at least one dish to taste test!

Stay in One Place for Longer

Adopt the principles of Slow Travel and spend a while getting to know a new place and living like a local. I’d really recommend checking out this post from HannahMatcha’s blog about slow travel & why it’s important.

Be Mindful of your Souvenir Shopping

Instead of buying mass-produced souvenirs that might be thrown away after a year or so, buy longer-lasting or consumable souvenirs. This could be ceramics or products from artisans, or traditional foods that are locally produced.

Learn Some of the Language

Whilst English might be widely spoken, I always try to learn some of the language basics when I’m visiting somewhere new. Making a little effort to communicate with the locals is a great way to be more immersed in the culture and to show your appreciation for their country.

Pack Lightly

Packing lightly doesn’t only cut down the time it takes to decide your outfit, it also reduces the fuels needed by the vehicles transporting you and your luggage.

Offset your Carbon Footprint

To be honest, Carbon Offsetting is a bit of a minefield. I wrote this post over on my friend’s blog which explains the why, what & how so be sure to check it out if you’re struggling. The key thing to remember is that not all offsetting is created equal – so do your research!

Wear Eco-Friendly Suncream

Some suncreams contain chemicals which are damaging to aquatic life. The chemicals in these creams can be absorbed by the coral which can result in bleaching. National Graphic reports that 14,000 tonnes of suncream are washed into oceans across the globe every year – caused by swimming or showering after applying the cream. Using reef-friendly options is a great way to reduce your impact.

Respect the Local Wildlife & Animals

Avoid paying to see animals in captivity and make sure to do proper research before visiting sanctuaries. Here is a really useful post on ethical wildlife tourism for anyone wanting to have those experiences in a responsible way.

Final Thoughts

I hope this was a useful post and gave you some ideas on how to travel moe sustainably. Let me know any other tips you have for travelling more responsibly in the comments below. Bye for now!

Related: 10 Ways To Be More Eco-Friendly

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19 Comments

  1. These are all great tips. Even if you can’t do them all at once I think anything of them would be a great starting point. I’ve been taking more reusable items with me when we go away and have recently started using the train, for UK trips.

  2. These are great tips! I brought reusables with me to london so I could do it zero-waste!

    Ash | pricklypineapples.ie

  3. These are all very useful tips on being a more sustainable traveler! I have learned so much from this post that I will definitely be incorporating into my travels in the future. I loved reading this, thank you for sharing!

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

  4. Some great suggestions here! Honestly, my favourite souvenirs were always found by local artisans and vendors. For example, one of my favourite items that I brought back from Tanzania is a small carved lion. I love that it supports local vendors and it allows me to have something that truly represents that area that I visited.

  5. Amazing tips. I never understand why people want to travel and eat what they eat at home. I have really tricky dietary requirements so it isn’t always easy for me but I try to eat as locally as possible. Being a thoughtful tourist is something we should all be doing anyway, it’s so important to respect that the place is also a home to a lot of people. I love that you included the tip about offsetting your carbon footprint too. It’s not possible for us all to take the slower more eco friendly routes getting between destinations but offsetting it helps! x

    Sophie

  6. I love this post and how mindful it is. Iโ€™m hoping to travel more this year and Iโ€™m wanting to TfL while being sustainable so this has given me a few ideas. I definitely will be mindful to use public transport when Iโ€™m visiting a new place.

  7. Ten great tips here, Jess. I can never understand people who go abroad and want to eat the same food they get at home. Why not try a new cuisine? And learning a few words of another language is surely the polite thing to do too? At least to say hello, please and thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me know what you think!