As defined by the World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism considers present and future economic impacts, social and environmental effects, and responds to the needs of visitors, industry, the environment, and the community visited. Such travel and leisure activities minimise negative impacts on the environment. Here is some advice on travelling sensibly—for nature and civilisation.
Travelling, unfortunately, means high energy consumption, so it is important to try and reduce this negative aspect if possible! If you choose to go by aeroplane, buy a flight there and back without too many changes. Usually, newer planes are more efficient because they are designed to be more fuel-efficient. Low-cost airlines tend to fly with more filling, and passengers have less luggage. Once you land, take a train or bus. Bikes are always welcome, especially in crowded cities that are fighting smog!
What to take with you
As little as possible! Especially if you are travelling by plane, weight is a crucial aspect. This way, you will buy a cheaper ticket and not overload the vehicle and, therefore, the environment. Let’s think about what we really need. If we are going to a warm country, our luggage can be minimal. Take as few disposable items as possible, especially if they are made of plastic.
Feel like a local citizen
Don’t take the easy way out! Instead of staying in a chain hotel, look for flats that have retained the unique, characteristic style of the local culture. This way, you can discover an unknown city and feel like a local. Look for places a little away from the centre, but offering something that is a unique experience—cultural authenticity and the chance to get to know your hosts. And try to learn a bit of the local language—it brings people together.
Everyone loves a travel souvenir. Check for items created by local artists and artisans — at the same time, we will have a chance to meet fascinating people, see their workshops and learn about the production method. Try visiting places chosen by the local community and events organised there. In this way, you will bring something priceless back from your trip — extraordinary stories about people, things, and locations.
Leave no trace
There is nothing worse than tourist ‘rubbish’. We should try to travel in such a way as to interfere as little as possible with the space we visit. We must not destroy or transform it. Let us preserve its authentic, original character. The only thing we leave behind should be our footprints.