How to travel more responsibly

Top tips for travelling with a lighter environmental footprint so you can have a fun and feel-good holiday.

Immersing yourself in the community is the most authentic way to travel
  • Huw Kingston
  • February 2019

Responsible travel is trending. It’s more important (and popular) than ever to care for our environment, especially when travelling. Here are a few simple ways in which you can transform your holiday into one that's greener and more ethical - and you are sure to be rewarded with a more authentic, enjoyable experience.

Opt for a homestay

It’s a good idea to take advantage of the increasing options for homestays when travelling. These can range from urban Airbnb rooms to being welcomed into family homes in off-the-radar destinations. Sharing a home with a local family will not only be educational, it can be inspirational, too. As a traveller, your environmental footprint will be lower and you will ensure your tourism dollars go towards supporting the local community and maintaining traditional cultures. In the interest of engaging with locals, try leaving your phone and camera in your room every now and then and focus on enjoying the moment.

Homestays provide the opportunity to live like a local
Homestays provide the opportunity to live like a local.

Don’t waste soap

Soap bars are a great invention – swap out shower gels in single-use plastic bottles for a bar and use it until the end of your trip. Don’t leave behind that part-used hotel soap bar, either. Carry along a reusable container to pop it into and bring it to your next destination to stop it ending up in landfill.

Do ethical tours

Experiential travel is a big buzzword and all about immersing yourself in a destination. However, not all experiential activities and tours are created alike and many – particularly animal encounters – can be exploitative and invasive. Do your research to choose ethical, sustainable, community-focused tourism operators and you will return from your trip with great memories as well as a clear conscience.

Visit the local markets

Apart from being a lot of fun, markets are a brilliant way to connect with the locals, taste locally grown foods and buy handmade crafts. You can make a big difference by contributing to the economies of small communities and you could come away with a great souvenir, too.

Soak up the colour and buzz of local markets
Soak up the colour and buzz of local markets.

Reduce your plastic use

With at least eight million tonnes of plastic entering our oceans every year, it’s imperative to reduce our plastic waste. Make a travel pack with reusable items such as a bottle, cup and straw and take it wherever you go. If you’re always prepared, you can say “no” to all the everyday plastics that you often end up using mindlessly. You can even use your own cup on your flight.