After a long couple of years for those prone to wanderlust, nations are starting to reopen their doors to visitors. But did the pandemic give you a chance to think about your priorities when it comes to travelling? For consumers and the travel industry itself, sustainability is now a key priority. Of course, providers have work to do to reduce their carbon footprint – not least airlines, for example. But how can you, as an individual, go greener in your travel plans?

How to solve a problem like transport?

One aspect that is integral to travelling anywhere is transport. Over the years and decades now past, the focus was very much on speed and efficiency. The time that it took to get from, say, the UK to Australia has been much reduced. It used to take literally weeks to travel from London to Sydney by boat. Now, we’re close to a near future where a direct flight will take just 20 hours.

The cost of this progress is in the emissions, however. Travel and transport accounts for a huge volume of the carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere – and the modes of transport which still depend on fossil fuels are a significant contributing factor. There are alternatives, such as swapping out short-haul flights for electric rail, but it can only do so much to ease the issue.

What is a conscious green traveller?

So what do we mean when we talk about a conscious green traveller? Quite simply, it’s you – as a traveller – paying close attention to the decisions that you take when planning your next break. There are a variety of things that you can do as part of this, as there are mindful decisions that you can make at every touchpoint of the travel process – before, during and after.

Such decisions can be as profound as deliberately choosing a destination that’s closer to home. Others, meanwhile, could feel smaller by comparison yet they still all add up and help to reduce your carbon footprint.

How to become an eco-friendly traveller

Let’s dive into some of the major and minor decisions that you can deliberately make to be a greener traveller. Already, we have the option of holidaying closer to home. It doesn’t need to be a staycation, however. You can always travel to continental Europe by train, rather than by plane. When you arrive, buses can be a great alternative to taxis. Walking is even better!

There are many other small ways to boost your green credentials at all ends of the journey. Use a credit card for purchases instead of carrying cash. Lower your weight on a journey by packing light. Shop and eat local – after all, why wouldn’t you want to dine as locals do? And take the usual steps to reduce energy and water use wherever you’re staying.

You can see some of the decisions that you can consciously take when planning a holiday. Sure, some are bigger than others, but they’ll all help you to become a traveller who’s kinder to the planet.