5 ways to travel sustainably in 2024

Planning a 2024 European adventure? Here's our top sustainable travel tips!

If you’re all geared up for a European adventure this year, here’s the inside scoop: sustainable tourism is the new star of the show!

Picture this—immersing yourself in Europe’s beauty while being an eco-hero, opting for greener and more sustainable options along the way.

But what exactly is sustainable travel?

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines sustainable tourism as a form of travel that considers its present and future economic, social, and environmental effects, while addressing the needs of tourists, the industry, the environment, and local communities.

In a nutshell, our planet has limited resources, and too much tourism can harm them. That's why sustainable travel is important—it's a way to enjoy our travels while taking care of nature and supporting local communities.

Here are our top tips on how to travel sustainably:

1) Choose eco-friendly accommodation

Kickstart your sustainable journey with responsible accommodation choices:

  • Eco-lodges and green hotels: Opt for options committed to reducing their environmental impact through energy conservation, waste reduction, and eco-friendly practices. Check out Book it Green and EcoBnB for inspiration and a place to start searching.
  • Homestays and eco-retreats: Consider staying with locals or exploring eco-retreats nestled in nature, fostering a closer connection to the environment. This helps promote community-based tourism and helps reduce consumption. Airbnb is always a good place to start.

2) Opt for greener transport

Make your European travels eco-friendly from the moment you step foot on the continent:

  • Public transport: Utilise Europe's efficient public transportation networks, from trains to trams, reducing carbon emissions while exploring cities.
  • Bike rentals and walking tours: Embrace cycling or walking tours (which are usually free!) in pedestrian-friendly cities to immerse yourself in the local culture and reduce your ecological footprint. 

3) Choose local, eco-friendly activities

Explore Europe's wonders while respecting the environment:

  • Nature-focused tours: Engage in eco-conscious activities like hiking in national parks, birdwatching, or exploring sustainable wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Cultural experiences: Seek out authentic experiences that support local artisans (markets and local stores are a great place to start), organic markets, and heritage tours promoting sustainable practices. 

4) Be mindful of where you eat

Savour Europe's culinary delights while making sustainable choices:

  • Farm-to-table dining: Opt for restaurants that prioritise locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, supporting regional farmers and reducing food miles. Check out FoodPrint’s guide to finding sustainable restaurants around the world.
  • Plant-based options: Embrace the diverse vegetarian and vegan cuisines across Europe, minimising your ecological impact while enjoying delicious meals.

5) Switch up your packing

Small changes can make a big difference in reducing your environmental impact:

  • Reusable essentials: Pack reusable items like water bottles, utensils, and tote bags to minimise single-use plastic waste.
  • Eco-friendly toiletries: Use biodegradable and eco-friendly toiletries to reduce your environmental footprint. The brand One Nine Five offers some great options asa starting point for you.

Your green European adventure awaits!

As you map out your journey, consider adding these eco-friendly tips to your travel plan. They'll not only enrich your experience but also help protect Europe's nature spots and cultural treasures for future explorers.

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