When planning an eco-friendly vacation, there are many things you know you’re going to want to avoid at all costs. This includes air travel if at all possible, or places that produce lots of waste like amusement parks.
As well as that, there are other things you need to take into consideration when you are taking a family vacation that’s eco-friendly - things that might not seem that big of a deal. Here’s a list of things you should make every effort to avoid doing for your eco-friendly trip.
1. Over-packing - Traveling eco-friendly starts at home when you’re packing. It's important to pack only what you will need. Keeping your baggage light will not only make it easier to carry, but it also helps less fuel to be used on whatever mode of transportation you are using.
2. Souvenirs - Of course you want to bring home something to remember your trip by, but you want to be careful what you buy. Buying too much of stuff you’re never going to use is a waste. On top of that, you want to be careful where you purchase your souvenirs. Helping the local community by buying your souvenirs from local business and not big box stores, and purchasing handmade items, will be the best thing you can possibly do for the environment.
3. Hotel - You need to make sure you choose the right hotel, and once you’re there you need to make sure that you continue to follow the same eco-friendly tips you do at home. Turn off lights when you leave, turn down the heat, take short showers, reuse sheets and towels instead of having them changed every day. Even better would be avoiding a hotel altogether and staying with friends and family, or doing some house sitting.
4. Cars - Consider ditching the rental and just using public transportation to get around. Biking and walking places are the way to go as well. If you must use car travel at your destination, then avoid doing things like idling in the car, make sure the tires are properly inflated, combine trips as much as possible for less back and forth driving, drive the speed limit, and go light on the cargo in the car. See if you can rent a hybrid car to lessen your carbon footprint.
5. Food - Much like shopping for your souvenirs, you want to keep your food consumption local and with local businesses and restaurants. Attempt to eat organic items as well, and where possible eat at a family table to avoid as much waste of food as you can.
Ultimately, when you are heading out for vacation you want to keep in mind most of the things you are already doing at home, even if they might look a little different when you’re staying someplace else.
A lot of the things you do at home that are eco-friendly might be done with cost savings in mind or even less work for you. When someone else is paying the electric bill (the hotel) and washing the towels (a maid) it might be tempting to take a vacation from your eco-friendly practices, but you want to continue to do these things even when you’re on vacation for the good of the planet.