One of the industries that took a severe hit from the recent pandemic was the tourism industry.
Air travel was virtually non-existent, and people were not allowed to leave their own homes, let alone the country. The time we spent in isolation gave many of us time to evaluate how we live our lives, be it how we work or vacation.
People have discovered different facets of their lifestyle; a good example is a working-from-home balance. Working from home is better for the environment according to HBR, and the post-pandemic culture encourages that. Would it have happened without Covid-19? It isn’t very certain. In fact, people started to concentrate on living better, taking tips from trained sustainability experts, and seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Those tips range from water conservation to changing eating habits to support sustainable methods of farming. As is clear, change is easy to make within the home, but what about within the travel industry? Can you make your vacation more friendly to the world around you?
Sustainable travel is one of the key weapons in the environmentalist’s arsenal as we battle climate change. The New York Times explain how air travel emissions were worse than anyone expected in 2019, with the growth vastly outstripping projections. With planes unable to fly, those emissions stopped and that wasn’t the only positive impact of the Covid crisis. In Venice, a lack of visitors left the water quality in the canals better than it has ever been. While planes are no longer grounded and Venice is open for business again, people learned those lessons, and some now seek to travel more responsibly.
How can you travel sustainably in a post-pandemic world? We’ve got some tips that should help you and further reduce your impact on the world around you.
Don’t Fly Everywhere
If you wish to travel to Europe, you must fly, but you don’t have to fly everywhere. For example, you could fly into Spain and then take a train across the country. This is especially prudent if you plan a trip that takes multiple countries. Rail travel is far more energy-efficient than flying and should be considered for domestic trips as well. Why fly from Miami to New York when a train can get you there in just over a day? Sure, it’s quicker to fly, but is it sustainable? The answer is no. You can also travel sustainably by sea, with Explora demonstrating the wide range of destinations available to travellers across the world. By taking a cruise you can visit multiple locations during a vacation without jetting between destinations burning aviation fuel, which is much better for the planet.
Travel Off The Beaten Path
Some tourist attractions are paying the price for being too popular. Some of the most beautiful places on earth, such as the Taj Mahal, suffer degradation through too many people visiting. Indeed, the ancient city of Dubrovnik in Croatia even limited the number of people who could visit because of the negative impact of cruise ships pulling into the harbour and people spilling into the old town. That’s why it is a good idea to find places off the beaten track, ones that haven’t suffered from tourism pollution. If they’re not often visited, they might also be grateful for your vacation dollars.
Think about the weight you place in your suitcase as you’re packing for a trip. Every bit of clothing or tech you load in puts extra strain on the plane if you’re flying out of the country, meaning it takes more fuel to propel it through the skies. Of course, you might not think you can save the world by minimalist packing, not when others around you are loaded with cases, but if everyone started to pack smarter, it would positively impact emissions output. It’s also easier for you to haul around the airport as well.
Finally, when you do go on vacation, slow down. You don’t have to do ten countries in two weeks; you can have a great time taking a seven-day break in a city and staying put. If you simply fly into a city and stay there, your carbon footprint is reduced as you’re not taking multiple flights or even rail trips. Some cities have enough to keep you entertained for weeks, whether domestic, such as San Francisco and New York or further afield, like Barcelona and London. Pick a place, travel there and explore at a leisurely pace, rather than rushing around and cramming too much in. It’s better for the environment, and ultimately better for you.
This article was written Exclusively for b4i.travel by Camilla Hope