5 Tips To Travel Sustainably


1. Pack Reusable Supplies

These reusable supplies can reduce your waste output, and also save you money in the long-run:

  • Water Bottle
  • Coffee Cup
  • Portable Coffee/Tea Filter
  • Collapsible Tupperware
  • Cutlery Set or Spork and Knife
  • Travel Toiletry Bottles
  • Produce and Shopping Bags
  • Menstrual Cups/Cotton Pads

You can buy these items in our Eco-Gear section. 

Tip: If you want an eco-friendly on-the-go cleaner for your water bottle or menstrual cup, bring 4 ounces of baking soda with you. 

2. Buy Local, Eat Local, Sleep Local

Are the restaurants not tourist traps and being frequented by the locals? Are the souvenir shops and hotels serviced by local staff? Is the food grown locally?

Seek out and support indigenous artisans. When you buy directly from an artist, you’re not only helping them feed their family but in many cases, you’re helping to preserve their culture.

3. For organized Trips – Are You Traveling Responsibly and Ethically?

Research if your group trip does any of the following, especially if they are volunteer-based:

  • Engages in any form of animal abuse. You can check out Nomadic Matt's post on this for more in-depth information on just how ubiquitous this issue is.
  • Exploits the people they are trying to help. This is especially rampant in orphanage voluntourism.
  • Find out how the organization works within the communities you are visiting. Does of any of your money contribute to the growth of the local economies you are visiting?

You can choose to go with organizations like Grassroots Volunteering that only trips working with Social Enterprises and ethical non-profits.

Nomad Tip: Before you go, ask your travel provider (tour operator, travel agent) about the company’s environmental and responsible tourism policies – support those who support responsible tourism. 

4. Be Conscious of Your Transportation Methods

Mass Transit not only supports local economies, but it will also save a ton of fuel and reduce your carbon footprint.

It requires less fuel to travel overland on a train than it is to fly or drive. Try mass transportation as much as possible. You can route any trip you have using Rome2Rio and choose overland when you can. It's usually cheaper but requires more time. 

5. Leave No Trace

Don't litter. It is possible to live a zero-waste or very close to zero-waste when you don't litter and always carry your own bags on you. 

Whatever you bring with you stays with you and leaves with you. Nothing is left behind.

You can check out the Seven Principles for next time you hit the road.


Do you have any tips on how to travel more sustainably? Let us know in the comments below!