How to Make Your Travel More Environmentally Friendly

How to Make Your Travel More Environmentally Friendly

Written by Duke Stewart on

Duke Stewart is a recovering American expat who writes about life through travel—and wants you there with him—through captivating stories and guides at Travel Through Life. In the meantime, you can follow his adventures on Instagram @travthroughlife.

How to Make Your Travel More Environmentally Friendly

There are five easy ways to lessen your environmental impact while you travel. Try at least one of these tricks on your next getaway.

Do you love to travel but worry about your carbon footprint? Flying is one of the biggest factors, but there are some surprising others you may not have considered. Even things as seemingly innocuous as driving with heavy bags or having your sheets and towels washed every day at a hotel can negatively impact the environment. If you want to help make our planet a better place, while still seeing the world, there are a few easy ways to make your travel more eco-friendly.

Check out this quick list for a few tips that can lessen your guilt on your next vacation.

Pack lightly and save on gas.

Think about those final moments when you’re packing and trying to cram things into your suitcase at the last minute. It's tempting to want to bring your entire closet with you on a trip, but did you know that for every extra 100 pounds in your car, your fuel efficiency goes down by two percent? To save money and help the environment, try to bring only the essentials and outfits that you can mix and match for different looks. Excess weight also impacts the fuel efficiency of an airplane, which is why checking a bag over the weight limit costs more.

Bring reusable bottles, containers, and bags.

Instead of using disposable trash bags to store your dirty laundry on a trip, use the Pack-It Sport Laundry Stuffer. This will keep any sweaty, smelly workout clothes from contaminating your clean clothes and you won't have to waste a garbage bag and add it to the landfills. As a bonus: The stuffer has an antimicrobial treatment that helps contain odors. Use Pack-It Specter Clean/Dirty Cubes for smaller items, a Shoe Sac for sneakers, and a silicone bottle set for toiletries. And grab a reusable water bottle that you can fill up at water fountains along your journey.

Eat and drink locally.

“When in Rome, eat as Romans eat” is the mantra that you should follow when traveling. Eat locally to not only support the community or country that you’re visiting, but also to consume food items that didn’t have to travel far before reaching your plate. If meals come prepared with local ingredients, think about all the carbon that's saved in putting together breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Stay at an "eco" hotel.

Instead of booking a high-end hotel full of every imaginable amenity, try staying somewhere that guarantees a lighter carbon footprint. There are tons of “green” and “eco” hotels out there that look to balance accommodation with sustainability. If you don’t book in one of these hotels, you can still do the Earth a favor by asking your place to wash linens and towels as often as you do at home—which is probably not every day.

Travel together and overland.

To reduce your fuel consumption, travel with a group by car or bus on vacation, as opposed to by plane. Plus, by turning the journey into a road trip, you can chat more easily with your fellow passengers, appreciate the beauty of your surroundings as they pass by, and make pit stops at certain landmarks or restaurants on the way to your final destination.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

How to Plan a Safe Solo Getaway

How to Have a Tansformational Travel Experience

Utilize the Sharing Economy to Maximize Your Travel Budget