Travelling lighter

Nicola Turner Behaviour Changer

Holiday, vacation, road-trip, mini-break – whatever you call it, there is something magical about getting away and exploring new places. I never used to give a second thought to the impact I was having when I travelled – but I’ve discovered that being more mindful of the planet can actually enrich the adventure.


There are lots of ways to be a bit lighter on the planet when we travel, here are some of the things I like to consider:

  • Destination: I’ve embraced a philosophy of less is more when it comes to where I travel. Instead of trying to cover as much territory as possible when I go away, I favour staying in one location longer and going deeper. It’s such a great way to really immerse yourself in a place and discover and support communities beyond the standard tourist attractions. I also do a lot more local travel these days to reduce the transport emissions.
  • Accommodation: When I’m picking accommodation I’ll favour places that make it easier to be more sustainable.
    • Food: I tend to go for accommodation that has some sort of kitchen facilities. Being able to prepare meals allows for more choice and can save a heap of money and waste. I’ll also see what sort of food shopping options are nearby – a local market is a cool way to get amongst fresh, seasonal and package-free food.
    • Location: I’ll opt for places that are close to most things or have easy access to public transport.
    • Sustainability: Before booking, I’ll check what sort of sustainability initiatives the accommodation has. I love to support places that are proactively taking action, and if they aren’t, it’s a great way to create conversation.
  • Reusables: I always pop a reusable coffee cup, a water bottle, a container for food takeaways and a couple of produce bags in my If you’re heading to a destination where it’s not safe to drink the water, you could look at a UV travel steriliser to avoid disposable water bottles – just check it meets the required safety standards.
  • Getting sorted: I always make the effort to understand local recycling and waste sorting. If there is no composting available, and it’s appropriate, I’ll take my food scraps home with me. Otherwise there are amazing apps like Sharewaste that can help you find local composting options.

By making a simple tweak to our mindset and planning, it’s amazing the difference we can make to lightening the load of our travel.

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