I, for one, have always been a big fan of solo travelling. And with travel changing rapidly since the pandemic, it is expected that the solo version of it will change, too.
Conversations around climate change and the environment, and how they can be affected by the travel industry raises the question if we need to re-look at the way we go about these escapades, however well-deserved. When it comes to solo travel, and being conscious about it, there are many ways to go about it. From using less plastic, to employing public transport — we got three travel bloggers to help you give your solo travel itinerary a sustainable reboot. Here’s what they’re suggesting.
Manage Your Trash
“When you are travelling to a remote place or a smaller town, don’t compare it to how your life is in a city. These people are already living a sustainable (https://www.mansworldindia.com/style-luxury/earth-day-2021-five-sustainable-style-pieces-to-get-your-hands-on/) life. If you go and suggest to them how they can bring about change, keeping in mind city standards, you might end up making them change good habits they already have,” says Sahib Singh Sadana, a travel blogger.
For him, the culture around scuba diving is particularly problematic. “People say ‘the sea was there before you, and the sea will be after you,’ so don’t take anything from the sea and don’t leave anything behind. Various unethical activities are carried out [during dives] like when people bring food to attract fish. They do it to get good pictures for their Instagram but it is wrong. Travel for the experience,” he suggests.
PRO TIP: Whatever places you travel to, try and leave it in a better condition. Manage your trash by carrying a garbage bag and disposing it off at the right place.
Keep It Local
Travel content creator, Devangana Lashkary feels that sustainable travel is all about having the will and making smarter choices. “Being a responsible traveller, caring about the natural environment, and contributing to enriching the cultural heritage of the local community will create no harm but only good,” she asserts.
Sharing practical tips to l help you along the way she says, “Use efficient modes of transportation. While flying, if feasible, choose direct flights over connecting ones to reduce your carbon footprint. Local/Public transport is budget-friendly and sustainable (https://www.mansworldindia.com/wheels/jaguar-land-rover-to-use-recycled-plastic-for-their-sustainable-luxury-interiors/) as well. Eat and shop locally, because it will help strengthen the local economy of the place.”
PRO TIP: Experience Cultural Tourism and interact with local communities. Travel is incomplete without getting to know the rich heritage of the place and its ecosystem. After all, travelling is one of the most wonderful modes of learning.
Echoing Lashkary, another travel blogger, Siddhartha Joshi suggests planning your itinerary keeping in mind local options and offerings. , “I do a bunch of things when I travel on my own. I try and stay at homestays run by local communities, eat food grown native to the place (it always tastes better) and use public transportation (bus/trains or walking) as much as possible. I also carry my own water in a bottle and only buy it as a last resort.”
PRO TIP: Carry your own water bottle and refill it at restaurants/ hotels. I’ve been using the same bottle for over a decade for my water needs when I travel.
With these things in mind, I’m sure your next trip will be so much better. Here’s a quick checklist to help you get going:
- When packing for a trip, have a minimalist traveller mindset. Don’t pack things that you don’t need, and keep your luggage light. This indirectly helps you burn less fuel when travelling.
- Bring reusable products on your trip. A bottle that you can carry everywhere, your own toiletries and reusable bags can make your trip a lot more eco-friendly.
- Save electricity by making sure that you turn off all the electronics when leaving your hotel room. Don’t use the room cleaning services if not required.
- Avoid wasting food. Order economically and according to your eating habits. Small portions and a variety of foods will not only fill you up, but will also allow you to taste different and new dishes.
- Save water as much as you can. Taking long showers or soaking in the bathtub may sound nice, but it’s wasteful. Small steps like taking quicker showers, or washing your own laundry — instead of giving it to the hotel staff — can go a long way.
(Featured Image Credits: Representative Image)