A Guide to Sustainable Travel in 2020
Take on your 2020 travels while being the most sustainable version of yourself! Safe travels!
Environmental awareness is on the rise with help from advocates like Greta Thunberg and Leonardo DiCaprio. The world is beginning to wake up and take charge is now. Even while traveling, it’s important to have a sustainable mindset so to make a positive impact on the places we visit. Here’s a guide to sustainable tourism in 2020.
What is sustainable travel?
Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting somewhere with the intent of being conscious to make a positive impact on the environment, economy, and society. It’s a combination of businesses, politicians, tourists, and locals altogether striving for sustainability in the tourism industry.
As the World Tourism Organization states, sustainable tourism is “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.”
How to travel more sustainably in 2020
Read up on your destination
Do your research. Familiarize yourself with the local customs, lifestyle, and religion of the place or places you plan to visit. This doesn’t need to be extensive. However, if you want to be the best possible responsible and sustainable tourist, a little research will go a long way.
Book everything carefully
Here’s another way that research comes in handy. To fully be a sustainable traveler, booking through responsible and eco-friendly companies is the way to go. Whether you’re booking an entire tour through a company or just accommodation, try to choose the most responsible ones possible.
There’s a number of excellent sustainable organizations to travel with and at Planet Conservation Travel we are your dedicated travel agency in Central and South America providing eco tours and sustainable adventures.
Kynder combines the most eco-conscious cafes, bars, restaurants, and hotels Europe and the US into one hub so you can quickly find the kindest spots in your destination.
Ecobnb is basically like Airbnb but strictly eco-friendly. You can find private rooms, houses, eco lodges, and more.
If you’re coming to Costa Rica, you can book a stay at the Eco Travel Hostel in Puerto Viejo where the hostel composts, recycles, and even grows much of its own food.
Spend your money locally
Get your groceries from local, organic shops, buy your souvenirs from local vendors, and avoid chains at all costs when eating out. Explore beautiful local cafes with freshly roasted coffee, feed yourself with goodies from farmers’ markets, and let the locals cook your dinner. Plus, local cuisine is always going to be fresher and plus you’re traveling so trying new dishes is all part of the excitement.
When you do this, less CO2 emissions are being released because international companies will restock less, and you’ll be putting money back into the hands of local businesses rather than multimillion-dollar companies.
Be careful when it comes to attractions with animals
If you’re an animal lover, this initially seems hard to resist. However, when you take a closer look you realize it takes a true animal lover to not participate in most attractions with animals. This is because many countries don’t have the same care for animal rights. Animals are often times mistreated, abused, malnourished, and drugged for the sake of tourism.
If you do want to see animals while you’re traveling, do thorough research to make sure you’re going to the most ethical animal sanctuaries. Not finding anything? Volunteer and get up close and personal with animals that way!
Volunteer your time
Probably the most rewarding way to be a responsible traveler is to volunteer. Giving up your time not only betters a community but likely yourself, too. There’s so many ways to give back such as teaching English, beach cleanups, turtle conservation, building homes to places in need, planting trees, working on a farm, and so much more.
Walk or take public transportation
Finally, get to exploring your destination on foot. You’ll not only get a better feel for the place but you’re always lowering your impact completely. You can also cycle for a more exciting adventure around the city or town. For longer journeys, check out subways, trains, and trams and only fly if you really have to.