Guest post by Claire from Traveltio! Who is Claire?
Claire is a self-confessed travel nut. She has been travelling around the world since her Mum farewelled her in a teary goodbye, and she hasn’t looked back since! You can read all about her adventures through 48 cities in 26 countries on 4 continents on her blog Traveltio.com.
How can you have a positive impact while travelling?
Travelling is one of the best things for your soul around. How do I know? All anyone ever talks about, reads about, takes pictures about, is travel, because the truth is, there’s just something irresistible in finding new adventures to enjoy.
Being a serial traveller, you learn this over and over again, and it never gets old, but the things that you learn along the way is that there are two different kinds of people who go on adventures—the tourists and the travellers.
The tourists are the fanny-pack wearing, resort-staying, mass consumption bunch while the travellers are usually out for a less inclusive experience, open to a little rough and tumble, but also a huge fan of the good, authentic life. And when you’re a traveller, you start to learn that your travels are dependent on how good you are at being conscious of the environments that you’re in and not caving into all that is shiny and new.
1. Before you leave home, unplug!
You can go green while travelling even before you leave the house, and it comes with being a good landlord to yourself and your home residence. It’s more than just unplugging all your devices and putting the thermostat down low, it’s also about cancelling any of your subscriptions, taking all your future bills online, recycling before you head out, and halting any regular deliveries that you have. It’ll also save you money as well!
2. Take a water bottle with you
Depending on where you’re heading it can get expensive if you’re buying water bottles right and left, and even when it’s not financially draining, it’s ecologically draining every time you pop open another bottle and toss it in the trash when you’re done.
3. Take public transport—or walk!
Public transportation around the world is getting better and better every day, and with a good pair of shoes, walking is the perfect way to discover a city. My advice is always to make like the locals, because if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me, and in places like Amsterdam with their many bike paths and rental places, it’s truly the best way to become a part of the scenery and enjoy the ride.
4. Try a work stay
Work stays are awesome options for people looking to extend the life of their travel when the pocket strings definitely aren’t able to do it, and it’s also great for the environment. Hostels around the world, farms, bed and breakfasts, and plenty of restaurants are open to the idea of trading work for accommodation or meals, and it’s a good way to supplement your travels without needing a work visa for each place you head to.
Learn more about working on an organic farm!
5. Buy only locally made products
Here is the rule that I live by: only buy a thing made in China on your travels if, in fact, you visited China. Otherwise, you’re undermining the local economy with your purchase.
Never purchase fake authentic items (it undermines the value of the real deal), electronics (that dirt cheap iPhone likely has an iCloud lock on it, making it a stolen good and a profit from the black market), and cheap trinkets (like shot glasses, because they don’t have any significance and are likely just going to collect dust).
6. Pack light
Or rather, live light. So much of modern culture centers around consumption, and success based on how many things you can put your name on, but when it comes to travelling, less is definitely more. Don’t take lots of different clothes (or my problem, too many shoes), products you think you can’t live without, or too much of anything other than life-saving medicine. Stick to a few interchangeable pieces that can be easily washed or substituted by something else in your wardrobe, a rain jacket, and some Advil, and you’re good to go.
Learn more about how to write the ultimate RTW packing list.
7. Eat at farmer’s markets, on streets, or anywhere they locally source
Eating food from the ground that you’re walking on is about as good as you can get it; farmer’s markets, and street food stands, and tiny little cafes off the beaten path are the ones that are going to be where to get this good for the soul food. When you find a place that is selling local produce, it means the community is being employed, the earth is being looked after, and the economies that exist there are being sustained—this is the best way, hands down, to eat green and go green on the road.
8. Add reusable bags to your mix
Taking your own carrying capacity when you frequent those farmer’s markets not only saves your vendors some change (and sometimes, you as well) it’s also good for the environment. So if you’re not a backpacker, grab a light pack with plenty of space to carry away trinkets when you go out for the day and if you’re a backpacker, find something small that won’t add bulk, like this fold up number by flip & tumble.
Travelling is a great thing, but the way to keep it that way is to be responsible for keeping the communities on your itinerary sustainable, and it’s easy. Just a little tender loving care and the world can be the same place for your trip today as it is tomorrow—so plan, then pack, smart, and bon voyage!
What are your top tips for having a more positive impact while travelling? Comment below with your best advice!
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