4 Tips for Eco-friendly Travel

Holiday travel is a guarantee for most people. Whether packing up the car to visit grandma or flying to see family and friends, traveling during the holidays can take a toll on passengers and the environment. Here are some suggestions to help you have an eco-friendly trip, which will reduce your carbon footprint and save you money:

Eco Travel Tips

Maintain Your Car

If you’re driving, make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on all required maintenance. Some quick car maintenance includes an oil change, inflating tires (don’t forget the spare), and filling up when you begin your trip. When planning, check for construction or delays that could idle your car too long. This will prevent losing gas mileage and reduce car emissions. Other eco-friendly tips are avoiding excessive speeding, carpooling and packing light cargo. If flying, pack light (mail presents if needed), book direct flights, and rent small and/or hybrid cars.

Eat Local

Many destinations have farmers markets and restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients. Shopping at a farmers market will save money, provide opportunities to cook at home and support local growers. When you dine out, look for restaurants that use fresh produce, meats and other ingredients. Not only does this support local farmers and the economy, but it also provides fresh flavors not available at a chain or large restaurant. Finding vacation rentals within walking distance to restaurants and attractions will also save energy, gas and keep you active.

Laguna Beach Trolley CA

Photo: Chris Goldberg

Use Public Transportation

Buses, trolleys, and bikes are a great way to travel and see the area. If visiting beach destinations – including those in Alabama, California, Florida and South Carolina – rent a bike to help the environment and get the family some exercise. Many mountain destinations in Colorado and Utah have free public transportation options. Other destinations offer trolleys, shuttles and buses at a low cost, saving you money as well. Remember walking is always a great health and eco-friendly option, too.

Reduce Energy Usage

Before leaving the house, unplug appliances and electronics that will not be used. A few items include TVs and entertainment systems, computers, and coffee makers. Also double check that most lights are off – leave a couple on for security purposes – and adjust the thermostat. When you’re on vacation, practice these tips in your rental, and also keep showers short and use hard plastic water bottles that refill easily. Note: Keep the thermostat warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter when traveling.

If taking a road trip, find must-have gadgets for safe travels.