20 Sustainable Travel Tips: How To Be a Good Global Traveler

We think of sustainable travel as a movement of respectful travelers who live at the intersection of deeper travel experiences and caring for our planet and its people. This is a journey of awareness and travel decisions that aim to respect and protect the local environment, culture and economy. These 20 sustainable travel tips are ones you can use every day…whether on your next trip or at home.

Sustainable Travel Tips to Protect the Environment
In awe of mother nature along the Huayhuash Trek in Peru.

Travel holds tremendous potential. For the traveler, it offers a path to experience, education and personal transformation. For local host communities, it provides a means to economic benefit and cultural exchange. It’s this magic “travel equation” that among other things first inspired us to quit our jobs for the road over ten years ago, and to this day encourages us to continue traveling, exploring, learning, and sharing.

However, developments across the tourism industry are not always rosy. Over the years, we’ve seen our share of rapacious tourism development and the cumulative effects of thoughtless individual actions conspiring to harm local cultures, economies and the environment.

Sadly, overtourism dominates the headlines as more and more destinations and environments feel the negative impacts and pressure from high visitor numbers. Awareness of the “invisible burden” of tourism is rising.

So what can a traveler do? The cynic says nothing, the hopeful say plenty. And that's where sustainable travel comes in as part of the journey.

Learning a New Skill - Zikra Initiative, Jordan
Learning new skills from the women of the Zikra Initiative in Jordan.

First, there’s a process. We’d like to think of it as a chain beginning with one’s core values. Couple those with an evolving awareness and informed decision-making, and you have a platform to take action. Recognize your right to choose, vote with your feet, exercise the power of the purse, and appreciate that your actions — even at their smallest — have consequences. Micro changes to macro differences; over time this makes change.

But what does all this gibberish mean on a personal level?” you ask.

What does it mean in terms of some simple actions we all can take on our next trip? In other words, what does it mean to be a good global traveler? To align your values of caring for this world and its people with your travel decisions and spending?

Here are a few sustainable travel tips that address cultural, economic and environmental considerations that we've picked up…

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