How to be a more sustainable traveller

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There have been many headlines recently that have challenged sustainability within the travel industry. As we become more aware of our actions and how they affect the planet; many of us are trying to make changes in our lifestyle. Personally, I would like to find a way to reduce my impact on the planet, protect wildlife and support small businesses. So, how can we travel in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way?

Travel by train

For some of your travel destinations this may be unrealistic. However, where possible you could consider travelling by train. This may be a slower form of travel but will actually really improve your understanding of the culture and country you are visiting. Not only that, you will reduce your carbon footprint – a win win situation!

Support local economy

It can be tempting to buy gifts in more commercial/mass production style gift shops. If you shop at local markets or independent businesses, not only will you be truly be purchasing something from the place you are visiting; you will also be supporting the local economy. Consider where you would prefer your money to go!


Before booking your hotel, find out what their recycling policy is. It is surprising how many hotels dispose of their rubbish. Most high end hotels will wash your bedding and towels everyday by request. Perhaps consider whether this is necessary, as chances are you don’t do this at home. How your hotel sources their food, staff and energy are also things to consider.

Make use of public transport

It can be tempting to use taxis when travelling as you do not have to worry about getting lost. However, it is a no brainer that travelling by public transport where possible will be better for the planet. Not only this, getting lost can be entertaining and enable you to learn more about the area in which you are exploring!

Your wardrobe

It can be so tempting to buy all new clothes for your holiday. Fast fashion is extremely accessible but is also highly disposable. Investing in higher quality, long lasting clothing will be more beneficial for the environment. Not only that, you will save yourself money.


Do not pay for water! Bring your reusable water bottle from home. Not only does buying bottled water involve plastic waste – only a small fraction of water in the bottling process ends up being sold. The rest is wasted.

If you make more sustainable choices, you may find you enjoy your holiday more. Not only will you save yourself money; you will learn more about different cultures. The more you do to improve sustainability within the travel industry, the better we can preserve these destinations in the first place!

Posted by Holly Burgess

Holly Burgess

Holly is a freelance blogger and actor based in West London. She enjoys writing about travel and theatre culture, and reviews productions for Theatrical Insight.

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