Tourism will never be completely sustainable as every industry has impacts, but it can work towards becoming more sustainable if the travelers of the world increase their knowledge about how travel impacts the planet on a larger scale. There are several areas of concern that all deserve your attention when you travel. Think about the humans affected, the wildlife and habitats, water sources, and climate and atmosphere as well. While all these areas are equally important, balancing this responsibility with your personal responsibilities to things like budget and financial impacts might seem daunting but there is a synergy to be found and you can still find ways to scratch your wanderlust itch that leave you feeling respectful of the planet, and your own wallet.
Be Open Minded
We all have dream travel destinations that we want to experience, and while taking the trip of a lifetime seems like a space you won’t want to compromise around, consider amending aspects of your trip to accommodate your desire to care for the planet and your need to balance your budget. Thinking about how to pay for travel of any size can be stressful and saving up can take a long time leaving you feeling hopeless. If your financial situation allows for it, consider taking out a personal loan to assist with travel costs. Using a loan can also be a good way to supplement your overall travel budget to provide space for the elements that will lend themselves to you being a more conscious traveler regarding the environment. Unfortunately, especially depending on what part of the world you travel to, sustainable choices can also some with higher price tags. It might be worth the extra cash it costs to help you strike a balance between experiencing a trip that is aligned with both your dreams, and your carbon footprint.
While you are planning, and subsequently enjoying your trip, there are practices that you can implement that have the best interest of sustainable tourism. Some of these ideas are things that you may be doing by default anyways, which means that any shifts or sacrifices you may experience might be on a smaller scale than you assume, which is a good thing. Minimizing waste and recycling when possible is a major one. Different countries have different laws and regulations regarding recycling so do your research ahead of time and learn what you can and cannot recycle while vacationing, every little bit counts and helps. General things like not leaving waste behind in public spaces and reusing materials such as towels whenever possible will go a long way towards conserving resources. A less obvious way to facilitate sustainable tourism is by stimulating the local economy during your trip. Buying gifts or souvenirs in small, locally owned businesses and shops will help to promote an environment where the money coming in directly helps the residents.
Cover image: eco-travel in Bled, Slovenia, via Canva