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The A-Z of sustainable travel

12 May, 2023

Travelling is rewarding and enriching, but it comes at a cost: an often detrimental effect on the environment and the communities we visit. That’s why it’s important to travel sustainably, meaning that we minimize our footprint, respect the culture and nature of our destinations, and contribute to their development.

Sustainable travel is a broad term and can cover everything from genuinely environmentally mindful tourism to light touch (at best) gestures towards sustainability. Nevertheless, a survey from Booking.com in 2021 found that 83% of global travellers think sustainable travel is vital. And encouragingly, there are increasingly legitimate and tangible ways to travel sustainably, from choosing accredited accommodation and less carbon intensive transportation, to supporting local businesses and off-season travel.

Conveniently, Condé Nast Traveller has compiled an excellent A-Z of sustainable travel tips and tricks to help you plan your summer holiday. One of our personal favourites: I is for “Impact communities with your itineraries”. They go on to explain how, by prioritising charities, social enterprises and purpose-led ventures, your own travel itinerary can have a significant societal impact, an element of sustainable travel which is often overlooked.

None of these suggestions will negate the negative impacts of travel altogether – there is carbon associated with long distance travel that you won’t incur if you camp in your garden, and any degree of tourism risks crowding out locals to some extent. But travel teaches us about each other, and about the world, and draws attention to sustainability issues in ways we would miss if we never left our homes. So travel, travel responsibly and check out the guide to make sure you tread lightly and do good as you go.

By Budd Nicholson

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