The best international travel tips include ways to indulge in the best plant-based cuisines, embrace reusable items, and reduce CO2 emissions while enjoying a great holiday.
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The white cliffs and terracotta rooftops of the Positano coast, the winding cobblestone streets of Vieille Villes, and the endless plates of gazpacho and fried fish paired with sherry in Barcelona. If you’ve ever sat around your hometown daydreaming about far-off locales, you know that traveling is an amazing experience. International travel in particular offers a unique boost of benefits- exploring new cultures, history, and cuisine in addition to the time spent on relaxation and fun. But, none of us are daydreaming about the negative impacts that long flights have on our environment- greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, plastic pollution, etc.. So, what do you do when you feel the urge to “spread your wings” but want to minimize your environmental impact?
Some airlines have caught on to the need to reduce the aviation industry’s impact on the environment. They’re using sustainable fuel options, swapping single-use plastic items like flatware for bamboo alternatives, or going package-free when possible. For those of us who take pride in our frequent flyer miles, there are also steps we can take to reduce our negative impact when flying. They can be anything from choosing to go car-free when exploring a city to investing in a few plastic-free usable items like water bottles.
With fashion weeks on the horizon, a few of us are traveling and experiencing the flavors of some of the places mentioned earlier. To learn how to embrace the joys of new locales sustainably, I sought out international travel tips. Ade Sudarsanan, director at the Ministry of Travel, shared a few of his tips to reduce CO2 emissions and plastic pollution that can be used for exotic locales both near and far.
Reduce CO2 And Try Bike Rentals
- Rent a bike to explore the city and reduce your carbon footprint. Many cities offer bike-sharing programs, such as Santander Cycles in London, Vélib’ in Paris, and BikeMi in Milan.
- Consider taking a guided bike tour to learn more about the city’s history and culture while reducing your impact on the environment.
How To Find The Best Eco Hotels
- Look for hotels that have eco-friendly certifications, such as Green Key, LEED, or EarthCheck. These certifications ensure that the hotel meets certain environmental standards, such as reducing energy and water consumption, using sustainable materials, and minimizing waste.
- Choose hotels that have implemented sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy sources, recycling, and reducing single-use plastics.
- Consider staying in eco-friendly accommodations, such as eco-lodges, glamping sites, or sustainable farm stays. These accommodations often use renewable energy, source food locally, and minimize their environmental impact.
Enjoy Plant-Based or Farm-to-Table Restaurants
- Look for restaurants that serve plant-based or vegetarian meals to reduce your carbon footprint. In Milan, Joia is a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves vegetarian cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients.
- Choose restaurants that source their ingredients from local farms to reduce the environmental impact of transportation. In Paris, Le Comptoir du Relais and Septime are two restaurants that prioritize local and seasonal ingredients.
Minimizing Single-Use Plastic or Purchasing Carbon Credits When Flying
- Bring a reusable water bottle and refill it instead of buying bottled water. Many cities have public water fountains where you can refill your bottle for free.
- Bring a reusable shopping bag to avoid using plastic bags when shopping.
- Choose airlines that offer carbon offset programs, which allow you to purchase carbon credits to offset the emissions from your flight.