How to Be a More Sustainable Traveller (and Save Money!)

With travel reopening across the western provinces this month, I decided it was time to remember I’m also a travel blogger and publish a little article with some simple, practical advice for anyone seeking out a new adventure.

BC recently experienced three consecutive days with temperatures blazing over 35 degrees Celsius. The sky was hazy blue, muddled with heat waves. Even the breeze off the Pacific Ocean felt warm. Outside was toasty like a sauna, and indoors without air conditioning was sweltering.

I think we can all agree that decreasing our carbon footprints and being more sustainable is probably a good thing for the planet that we love to travel and explore.

Here are three easy ways to be a more eco-friendly traveller (and save money while you’re at it!):

Travel Local

What a perfect time to travel local! Although travel is reopening, I still believe it’s important to be careful, stay close to home and listen to destinations that are asking visitors to postpone their trips. Be diligent with your travel choices. If you’re hesitant or unsure where to start, why not explore your own area?

Museums, recreation centres, cinemas and restaurants are all opening again, and local businesses need our support. Take a “trip” to a Korean restaurant or a French café; escape in a movie or learn about the world through an art, history or geography class. You can also consider road tripping to a nearby park, city or province. Travelling local reduces our footprint immensely – flying is one of the biggest culprits of global carbon emissions – and you might be surprised what you can discover in your own backyard.

Walk Whenever Possible

I love exploring new places by foot! Typically, when I first arrive in a new destination, I like to get the lay of the land by traversing the area around my accommodation on my two sneaker-clad feet. I let the cobblestone streets, intricate alleyways and beautiful bridges lead where they will: to a funky modern art gallery, an aromatic bakery hidden in a busy street corner or a sunny spot to sit and read by the silver-tinted river. Who knows what you might find!

However, I realize that walking isn’t accessible for everyone. In lieu of taking a walk, you might decide to ride the bus around the area, take the train to a nearby hamlet or hop on a passenger ferry. Public transit is a great way to see your surroundings without having to worry about renting a car, stressing out in traffic or missing the views.

Pack Tupperware and a Travel Mug

In my backpacking days, I loved hostel kitchens. When I first arrived somewhere, I’d buy a ton of food and cook a ravishing dinner the first night. I stored the rest in the fridge in a few Tupperware containers. I separated leftovers from fresh fruit and salads to bring with me the next day for lunch.

Tupperware is versatile. You can pack your own snacks for the drive or flight and your meal won’t get squished. A travel mug allows you to forgo non-insulated paper cups and take coffee right from your hotel room (saving money on takeout!). Tupperware is much sturdier than cardboard takeaway containers and it’s reusable.

I hope this article has offered some helpful ideas for more sustainable travel. We all have a role to play in being environmentally conscious travellers and keeping our world healthy and beautiful for generations to come.

Happy travels… and stay cool!

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