We travel thousands of miles away to discover a new area, to learn and explore a place we believe is worth seeing. Unfortunately, our actions while traveling might be damaging that exact same place. And even if we might be eco-conscious at home, our resolutions are quickly disturbed when we are out of our comfort zone.
We’re sharing with you why it is important and how to commit to being a conscious traveler and make sure we leave a positive impact on these wonderful places. Guess what! While doing this, you will also be making even better memories on the way!
To be a conscious traveler means to take conscious actions while traveling. It means to take decisions and actions that will support you, the environment you are visiting, and its people.
It’s about being responsible and respectful and act in all consciousness. It’s about being aware of the negative impact we are generating when traveling and doing the best that we can to minimize it and compensate for it.
There are multiple actions and decisions to take to help you become a conscious traveler. These actions won’t just reduce your negative impact, they will also help you create priceless lasting memories and make your trip more meaningful!
Ready to discover them? You’re on your way to becoming a conscious traveler! Let’s go!
The number one aspect to be a conscious traveler is the intention you put behind every decision and action you make. We, too often, go on about our life without really wondering why we do the things that we do. Everything becomes a habit. And it’s rare that we question our habits.
Being away from home in a new destination is a great way to shake things up and ask ourselves important questions.
While traveling, we get to meet new people, discover a new culture which also means learning about new ways of doing. This is a great time to question some of our habits that might not be super conscious. Keep an open mind and take this opportunity to try a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
Think about the way you eat, how you use transportation, what you do during your free time,…
At the end of your trip, make an assessment and decide to bring these conscious habits back home.
Transportation is a big part of your traveling, especially if you are going far. Can you plan your trip in a way that will reduce the number of times you take planes? Have you looked into taking the train or a bus? Can you rent a bike instead of doing everything by car or walk and take public transportation more often?
When planning your trip ask yourself how you can move around while reducing your negative impact. Maybe you want to stay longer in one place and experience it more instead of changing every 2 days.
You will be surprised how a better planning ahead of time will not only help you to reduce your traveling impact but also make you gain time and money.
You might not find eco-friendly products at your destination so make sure to pack them with you!
We are often overwhelmed with the number of places we can stay at. From hotels to Airbnb, or Bed & Breakfast, one way to help you make a choice would be to look for eco-conscious accommodations. These places are conscious about the way they use energy, water, how they dispose of waste, what materials they use, etc. Consider also how much space you actually need. Why not try to stay at a sustainable tiny house for example?
Make a search for the area where you are going to and don’t hesitate to ask additional questions to owners!
Speaking of trash! When traveling it can be hard to follow the local guideline about waste management and recycling simply because we are not aware of them. Take some time at the beginning of your trip to learn about the best practices on how to dispose of your waste.
Did you know they are 7 different types of plastic and not all of them are recyclable everywhere? Learn more here.
The expression “vote with your dollar” is valid when you are traveling as well! The way you spend your money abroad also has a big impact.
Research and support organizations and businesses that are trustworthy, ethical, and are mission-driven. Choose local small businesses over big touristic corporations. Ask locals for recommendations, read blogs, check out the businesses’ social media and website, read the reviews and spend some time learning more about the places you are investing in.
Eating out is usually a big part of traveling. Research some low-waste, organic restaurants that are nearby.
Take also this opportunity to reduce your meat consumption and adopt a more vegetarian or vegan diet. Reducing your meat consumption is one of the best ways to reduce your negative impact on the environment. Give it a try when you are traveling!
Research local non-profit organizations and learn from their work. This will be a great way to better understand the area you are visiting and to donate your time or money towards an organization that is making a difference.
While you are there, you could be volunteering at a beach cleanup or a local school for example. Participating in a cause bigger than yourself will give your vacations a whole other meaning!
There are different ways to visit a place. The touristic way where you end up staying only in places that are made for tourists or the more local way where you take this opportunity to meet locals and learn from their culture.
You could research meet-up activities, join a yoga class, look into cultural events happening on the more local side of the city, or once again ask other locals what they would recommend.
Resist the temptation to have the perfect picture in close proximity to wildlife and make sure that you are experiencing nature and wildlife in an ethical and respectful way.
Research the website of the organization you are going with, check their credentials, read reviews, and if you can’t find anything convincing make the decision to skip on the experience instead of doing something that wouldn’t be ethical.
Last but not least, don’t forget to share your experience as a conscious traveler with your friends & family! Inspire the people around you to also be more conscious when traveling and start your own revolution!
P.S: Another way to start the conversation is by sharing this article! 🙂