5 easy tips to make travel more sustainable


Travelling is fun! It takes you to new places, helps you explore hidden treasures, meet new people, and ultimately gives you many significant experiences. As individuals, our taste of travel also differs. While someone may romanticise serene beaches, many are curious about the thrill of wildlife, and for others, their calling lies in the mountains and valleys.

The ignored truth is, with more and more people joining the customised tour and travel bandwagon, more harm is intended towards nature. Wondering how? Well, the alarming effects of tourism include constant strain on heritage sites and cities, increased fuel consumption by airlines, lack of focus on the local communities, and so on. These are a few reasons that make ‘sustainable travel’, the need of the hour!

With sustainable tourism already garnering massive international attention, let’s learn more about it and grab a few easy tips on how to travel sustainably without overhauling your trip!

What is Sustainable Travel?

Sustainable travel begins much before we reach our destination. It begins with the start of travel planning and includes every aspect of the vacation. Right from choosing the mode of transport, seeking accommodation, plans to participate in local experiences, and being aware of spending money on the right souvenirs, each factor impacts sustainable travel.

Having said that, it is important to note that there are three pillars of sustainable tourism:

  1. Employing non-polluting and environmentally-friendly practices (the focus should be on the concept of reducing, reusing, and recycling).
  2. Protecting and conserving the natural and cultural heritage (causing no harm to historic buildings or ill-treating an animal, caring for the endangered species); and
  3.  Promoting local communities and aiding their economic benefits (upholding the basic rights of native people or ethnic groups, supporting fair wage policy for all the staff members or employees).

Now that you know all about sustainable travel, let’s talk about how globetrotters can lessen their negative impact while planning their perfect vacation.

5 easy tips to make travel more sustainable

1.       Choose to travel offbeat or off-peak!

When it comes to holidaying in the present times, when we are hit with a pandemic, it is best to take the road less travelled. As we are all rethinking how to travel, with the new social distancing norm, it is ideal to visit under-the-radar spots to escape crowds. Being mindful of choosing a holiday destination can curb over-tourism, which is a major concern for fragile ecosystems.

However, if you are all set to visit the famous tourist places, like beaches and churches of Goa, magnificent Manali, or explore forts of Jaipur, we suggest you must travel in off-peak season!  Not only will there be fewer people around, but your travel expenses will also support the local businesses that struggle to operate outside the peak season.

2. Consider your mode of transport

With air quality turning from bad to worst in most of the Indian cities, it’s time to reconsider how we fly. While planes are fast, it is not an ideal mode of travel, especially when it comes to protecting the environment. They emit huge amounts of carbon which further leads to global warming.

Before you book a ticket for your next holiday stop and think, ‘Is it necessary?’, ‘Can I reach my destination via bus or train?’ While by ditching planes, you not only reduce your carbon footprint but save a good amount of money as well.

Finally, if taking a plane is your only option to travel, then consider booking a direct flight; choose an economy class over the first-class section (as they have almost a double impact on the carbon footprint). Furthermore, you can also do some research into the airlines' website and choose the one that has the lowest carbon emissions per passenger per mile.

3. Look for eco-conscious hotels and accommodations

Sustainable hotels provide accommodations that are designed to respect the environment and the one that suits the area where they’re located. The most common features of eco-conscious accommodation are installing efficient lighting systems, implementing a low-pressure water facility, and generating their power or energy. In many cases, these novel hotels with eco-credentials also help the local communities by consuming local produce, locally made products and hiring the local folks for service purposes. It is a win-win for both society and nature.

India hosts some spectacular green eco-hotels and resorts. The most famous paradises include Banasura Hill Resort in Wayanad (Kerala),  The Dune Eco Beach Village and Spa in Puducherry, The Serai Camp Relais & Chateaux in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan), Nimmu House Ladakh in Leh (Jammu and Kashmir), and so on.

So, next time when you are holidaying in one of these unique hotels, act like you would at your home! Avoid changing towels (if they are clean) when not necessary, curtail your shower time, and do not forget to turn off the lights, TV, and ACs when you step out of the room.

4. Reduce the use of plastic

Plastic poisons the environment and is dangerous for both wildlife and marine ecosystems. Many hotels and resorts have taken several steps to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics from their day-to-day operations.

We (as travellers) can be a part of the solution too! Small steps like ditching the plastic water bottles and using reusable ones, packing our toiletry bottles from home, swapping plastic toothbrushes (a major beach pollutant) with a bamboo toothbrush, remember each one counts.

5. Be wary of animal experiences and say ‘no’ to wildlife products

One of the most common attractions of a tourist spot is interactions with the wildlife or native animals. Whether it is a camel ride in Rajasthan, an expedition on Yak in Ladakh, or an Elephant Safari in zoos, make sure these animals are treated in a more humane way. Though it is fun to get closer to animals, it is best if we can eliminate these experiences.

If you want to explore wild animals, plan a visit to their natural habitat! There are a lot of elephant sanctuaries, deer parks, national parks, and marine conservation projects across India that provide you with the best wildlife experiences.

Furthermore, while buying souvenirs, just say no to objects made of seashells, hand-stitched leather hats, purses, belts, and items made with ‘original’ wolf fur, among others.


Travelling without leaving a negative footprint is not impossible. All you need to do is become more mindful and remember the key points: reconsider the mode of transport, opt for greener accommodation, reduce plastic use, and care for the locals and the wildlife at the same time. With our top 5 tips, we hope you add more meaning to your joyous holidays.

Before you go, check our website for the best and sustainable travel accessories and essentials.