Are you confused by what "sustainable travel" actually means and how to do it? You're not alone! It has become such a buzz word that many people just wave it off without a thought.
With more people traveling than ever before, it's important to pause and reflect on your current travel habits and learn how you can adjust them to travel more sustainably in the future. It really only takes a few minutes, so let's dive in!
Our article on 10 Tips to Make Sustainable Travel Easier Than You Thought lays out the easiest ways to make your travels more sustainable. But we also want to dispel any hesitancy you may feel about diving into sustainable travel by showing you some of the benefits that both you, the locals, and the environment will experience as a result.
8 Benefits of Sustainable & Off the Beaten Path Travel
With sustainable and off the beaten path travel...
1. ...you heighten the feeling of stumbling upon your own amazing, unexpected discoveries. No more following in the footsteps of millions of tourists before you, this is truly your experience.
2. ...you get to experience the incredible nature. Pro Tip: Leave it better than you found it by keeping a trash bag with you for picking up trash you find along your way.
3. ...you get to spread the economic impact of tourism and support the local community. Many shops, hotels, and restaurants in popular destinations are owned by foreign entities, so the locals deal with the negative aspects of tourism but don’t enjoy any of the financial benefits. Your tourism dollars are more likely to stay in the community when you visit lesser-known places.
4. ...you get to chat with locals. Traveling to places that don’t get much tourism means the locals are actually curious about you! More cross-cultural connection helps us all become more tolerant and understanding of other cultures and perspectives.
5. ...you get to discover more unique, traditional local dishes! Eating super local is one of the best benefits of sustainable travel.
6. ...you get to feel like a local! No following umbrellas, you might be the only tourist around so enjoy doing as the locals do and mimicking their pace of life. Traveling where few venture means you’re lessening the strain on overtouristed places.
7. ...you get to become part of the culture rather than just observing it from the outside. My favorite way to participate in the culture? Join a sagra, or local festival celebrating a certain food or local dish. The community usually puts on a feast in the piazza with accompanying events and games.
8. ...you can feel good knowing you’ve offset the carbon footprint of your trip (besides just planting trees, you can choose carbon offset programs that also benefit impoverished communities through solar and wind power installations).
The key to sustainable travel is to not get overwhelmed. You don’t need to be perfect–I REPEAT: you don’t need to be perfect–you just need to be better. Practice making intentional decisions and it will soon come naturally. Read this article for beginner practical tips on how to travel sustainably.
If you need help planning your off the beaten path trip to Italy, book a free 30-minute Exploration Call with me here. I can help you choose a destination, get your itinerary laid out, and answer your questions!
Get The ULTIMATE Guide for the Solo Woman in Italy here!