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Handling Travel With Care: New Habits to Adopt for Future Travel

by Elyse Glickman

Jul 9, 2020

Photo: Oleksandra Naumenko | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

An interesting and accidental beneficial side effect of recent travel bans is that large swaths of the world affected by over-tourism are beginning to heal themselves. Major cities from Los Angeles to London and Beijing are reporting their best air quality in years with less nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide emitted by cars and industry. The canals in Venice are so clear, schools of fish and even a dolphin were easily spotted by locals — all of this and more taking place before Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in April.


While Earth Day remains an important reminder for the public to adopt new habits to ensure a sustainable future and protect the environment and the ecosystems within it, the unforeseen events of the last few months provided tangible, undeniable reminders of what can happen when people are forced to take several steps back. It has also provided Sarah Casewit, Marta Tucci and Sofia Mascotena, founders of custom eco-travel company Naya Traveler, an opportunity to share tips on how parents can teach kids and each other how to be smarter and more sustainable.


Family bike ride. Photo: Pro777 | Dreamstime.com


  • Plan ahead: Plan out an itinerary/route, preferably with a travel expert familiar with a region, that is as efficient as possible in order to avoid unnecessary carbon emissions.


  • Pack light: Carbon emissions per passenger can be significantly reduced by offloading unnecessary weight, so the bottom line is pack light and consider what clothes and personal belongings your family needs while traveling.


  • Research holistic hotels: Work with your expert and on your own to seek out hotels committed to protecting the environment as much as possible. Taking this a step further, encourage good habits during the stay such turning off the lights, electronics and AC when not in the room.


  • Know your environmentally friendly airlines: In addition to reducing carbon emissions through the use of modernized and more efficient fleets, some carriers also opt for the use of environmentally friendly materials such as carbon fiber seats, recycled paper, reduced use of plastic in in-flight service and having protocols in place for responsible waste management.


  • Make sustainability your travel companion: Bring along refillable water bottles and reusable totes to cut down on your use of plastics. Also, if you don’t use a fresh new towel every day at home, there’s no need to do this while traveling, even if hotels offer the option.


  • Less activity is more: You don’t have to see every museum, park and monument to feel like you’ve experienced a place. Pick the few essentials that truly interest you and your family and engage deeply with a destination as a local would, exploring neighborhoods and taking public transportation, walking or riding bikes whenever possible. If your budget allows, take longer, fewer trips and make them count.


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