How To Travel More Sustainably And Ethically

There is no shortage of ways to travel the world these days. From hostels to home-sharing, there are more opportunities than ever before to meet like-minded people and explore new places. There’s just one catch: how we travel as an individual has a huge impact on the environment and local communities. As sustainable travel trends gain popularity, travelers have more options than ever before. Whether you’re sticking to the same city or traveling abroad, here’s how you can do it more ethically and sustainably.

Traveling Green

Green travel encompasses a range of practices that reduce the amount of damage we do to the environment while we travel. This can be anything from how we get to our destination to how we stay while we’re there. There are plenty of ways you can start to travel more sustainably. – Reduce What You Fly – As much as you might want to see the pyramids in Egypt or the Incan ruins in Peru, flying there is likely to have a huge impact on the environment. – Share The Ride – If you have friends or family who are traveling to the same place, car-share or use a rideshare service to cut down on the number of flights. – Take From The Sea, Not The Land – Instead of traveling to see the sights, you can head to the coast and go scuba diving or snorkeling. – Stay In Hostels – Hostels are a great way to travel cheaply and meet new people. They’re also a great way to travel sustainably. – Choose Local Produce – Eat at local restaurants and buy local produce whenever you can. – Reduce What You Throw Away – Make sure you’re traveling with a carry-on bag, and try to avoid buying bottled water.

Go By Train

Airlines are one of the biggest polluters in the world. If you’re traveling to Europe, you can offset the carbon emissions of your flights by taking the train instead. There are plenty of different routes and times to choose from, and some even travel all the way through to Asia. If you’re traveling within the U.S., trains can often be quicker than flying. They have plenty of different routes and times to choose from, and many of them are very scenic. Many train companies have started to offer low-carbon and reduced fossil fuel options for long-distance routes. Some even have special discounts for travelers who want to go greener. If you’re planning to take the train for your next trip, make sure you check the times and see if it’s quicker than flying.

Stay At Locals-Only Hostels

Hostels are great for meeting new people and getting the most out of your travel budget. There are plenty of ways to stay in a hostel while traveling sustainably. Find a hostel that has a social or environmental mission. Many hostels now have a focus on being sustainable, so you can learn a lot while staying there. Hostels are also a great way to meet like-minded people who are interested in doing their bit for the environment. If you’re in a hostel that doesn’t have a focus on being sustainable, there are still lots of ways you can make an impact. Avoid using the air conditioning, eat the locally produced food, and of course, contribute to the conversation at hand.

Book Direct With Hotel Chains

Hotel booking apps like, and Airbnb have made it easy to find a cheap room to stay in almost anywhere in the world. However, booking through these apps can cipher money away from the local economy where you’re visiting. This can result in less money being spent on local services, and a knock-on impact on the environment. To make sure you’re booking sustainably, book direct with hotel chains online and try to find smaller, local properties. This will make sure that more of your money goes to the hotel, instead of the booking app. If you can find a hotel that clearly states it’s carbon neutral or climate positive, it’s a win-win situation: your money will go towards a sustainable hotel chain, and the environment will benefit too.

Go On Local Escorted Tours

If you want to travel but aren’t sure where to go, joining an escorted tour can be a great way to get inspiration for your next trip. The tours take care of all the planning, and once you’re there, you usually have a tour guide to show you around. This is a great way to see a place and meet locals. You’ll get a much more authentic experience than staying in a hotel and booking your own tour. Most tour companies will encourage you to use their local partners to help make your trip as green as possible. For example, they might suggest you go on a walking tour instead of a bus tour. This way you’ll get more out of your trip and help the environment at the same time.

Take A Short Break From Technology

Modern travel has never been easier, but it’s also never been more polluting. From flights to hotels, modern travel is very energy-consuming. To make sure you’re traveling as sustainably as possible, take a break from your tech. Turn off your notifications, and spend some time away from social media. You can also make sure you’re using public WiFi only when you need to, and avoid downloading or streaming anything. These small changes will make a big difference to your carbon footprint. You can also make sure you’re traveling with a carry-on bag only. This will save you money and reduce the amount of waste you produce.


Travel is a great way to learn more about the world and ourselves, but it’s important that we do it in a way that isn’t harmful to the environment. By following these tips, you can make sure that your travel is as sustainable and ethically sound as possible. Remember, these are just guidelines. If you feel as though you can travel better by doing something else, go for it. The most important thing is that your travel is sustainable, and that you’re having fun.

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