Eco-friendly tourism part 3: The best modes of Transport for sustainable travel
Welcome back to the Preparture blog! If you’ve been following along for the past two weeks, you’ll have found blog posts full of tips and tricks to help you be eco-friendly on your travels. Whether it’s how to pack your carry-on for your flight, or how to play your part to help keep the locals in business, we’ve got it all covered. This is our final week in the eco-friendly tourism mini-series, and today we’re looking at the best modes of transport and the best ways to travel that’ll help keep your carbon footprint down.
Before you depart
Researching the best modes of transport before you leave is one of the best ways to ensure you make conscious decisions that’ll help you be eco-friendlier. Sometimes, the most obvious choice of transport isn’t always the most environmentally friendly, and if you really want to make a difference, you may want to get into the habit of changing the way you physically travel between destinations.
Quick ways to make a difference:
- Traveling as a group? Rent a larger vehicle so that you can all travel together rather than in separate cars.
- Heading to the airport? Take the bus, cycle, or hitch a ride with someone going that way.
- Need to make a short journey? Walk or cycle to your destination rather than hailing a cab.
One of the most popular modes of transports nowadays is flying. With between 8,000 and 20,000 jets in the air at any given moment throughout the day, and up to 40 million flights per day, that’s a lot of jet fuel being burned, and a lot of people on the move.
Whilst flying isn’t the eco-friendliest mode of transport, sometimes there’s no other way to arrive at our destination, so take note of these tips to help you keep the size of your carbon footprint as small as you can.
Fly in economy
It may not be the fanciest or roomiest spot on the plane, and that’s kind of the point. Did you know that when you fly up in Business or First Class, you take up much more space on the plane that could definitely have been put to better use? In fact, by flying up front, your carbon footprint increases to 5x the size than when you sit in economy class. That’s a lot to think about for the sake of a little bit of extra leg room, and, you’ll save yourself a lot of cash by traveling a little less luxurious.
Look for direct flights
It may not always be possible, but searching for a direct flight rather than hopping through multiple locations will of course save the planet that little bit more.
Did you know that take-off and landing are the least eco-friendly moments during a flight? In fact, that’s when the most emissions are created. By taking multiple flights, you’ll be increasing that carbon footprint even more. Flying directly to your destination is the most preferable solution, and you’ll have to spend less time lingering in the airport, and there’s nothing bad about that.
Arriving at your new destination can be a daunting and sometimes confusing experience, especially if you’re in a completely foreign country. Of course, this can be remedied by doing your research beforehand, and working out the best modes of transport at your destination.
Once again, traveling by foot or on a bicycle will always be the greenest ways of transporting yourself from A to B. However, when that’s not possible, there are always a few alternatives.
- Booked with a travel agency? Check to see whether your transfers to and from your accommodation are included in the price. If they are, you’ll usually get to share the transport with other travelers, which is great news if you’re all in the same bus or taxi.
- Even if you’ve not got transfers included, using buses can be a cheap and easy way of getting from the airport to your destination. It may not drop you off outside your door, but you’ll never find your stop too far away from your accommodation.
- Public transport in general is always a great shout, in fact. Does your destination have a metro or train system that’s accessible from the airport? If it does, that’s great news!
- Find yourself with other travelers heading in the same direction? Hiring a minibus to take you all the same way is much better than hiring separate taxis, and it’ll probably end up costing a little bit less too!
Explore your new destination
My personal favorite tip of them all? Travel more sustainably by taking longer trips. Ok, we understand that not everyone has the possibility to travel for longer periods of time, but if you do, we’d highly recommend taking the slower, longer route, and staying put in one place for as long as possible.
By staying in one place for longer, you get to fully experience your destination, and take it all in one day at a time, rather than rushing to and from each town, city, or historical site. You’ll also get to support local businesses more, and for longer, which if you read our last post, you’ll understand can keep them in business for longer, helping the locals live fuller, and more enriching lives. By taking the slower route, you can counteract both mass tourism, and travel sustainably.
Do you currently follow any of these tips to travel more sustainably, or are you willing to give any a go the next time you book your vacation? We’ll certainly be putting them into action.
Don’t forget to stay safe on public transport whilst the Corona Virus is still a threat. You should always wear a mask in enclosed spaces, and wash your hands as often as possible when you’ve been in busy or crowded areas.