Traveling well is nuanced, and unique to each individual. The motivations around planning a trip with my daughter, for example, are very different from planning a getaway with just my husband. A “One Size Fits All” option is not a part of the conversation when I’m designing a new trip.
I share this to illustrate the way I view traveling sustainably as well. As much as I would love for there to be an easy answer around sustainability, that is simply not the case.
What we do have though, is a wide range of options to consider.
“Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being.” – Kevin Kruse
Here are a few of my top suggestions to clients when they begin thinking about ways to leave less of a carbon footprint and leaving more of a positive human impact when they travel.
- Think Locally While Dining Globally: when you’re in a new city, seek out as much of the local community as possible. Oftentimes this is most successful when working with a skilled and local guide which we will pair you with. Our preferred partners are masters at this craft! Think adventurously even if it only comes to food, for example. Ask about the ingredients, learn where they are sourced. Try as much of the local produce as possible. It will always make for a more interesting, if not better tasting meal.
- Maximize Connections: I love the concept Harsha L’Acqua of Saira Hospitality has shared numerous times surrounding skill share. If you have the opportunity to connect with members of the community you’re traveling to, would you? How about a step further. If they were, for example, to show you how to weave a beautiful bracelet, what would you want to share in return? You could share something about business, a skill obtained in your own circles and community. It’s a great concept Harsha has suggested and a new way to travel.
- Offset Carbon Simply: One of the benefits of working with Solas Travels is knowing we care too! We can present you with an estimate of your trip’s carbon footprint and ways in which you can offset this. We recommend OneTreePlanted.com and refer to this non-profit frequently for their carbon offset programming.
- Luxury and Sustainability: These two things, “luxury travel” and “sustainable travel” are not mutually exclusive. As your advisor, I am happy to highlight the great work our dynamic international partners are doing in the sustainability realm. So many are working collectively to move in a more positive direction. You can read more on Virtuoso as well.
Every step we all collectively take towards more sustainable travel practice is one worth taking. I like to use the phrase “Travel Brightly”. To me that means to travel with care and curiosity. I encourage you to take that approach and see what happens next.