How to travel more responsibly post the COVID-19
The covid-19 has undoubtedly turned the world upside down, especially when it comes to the notion of traveling across the world.
Ever since countries across the world started implementing various lockdown measures and travel came to a standstill, an indirect but rather beautiful consequence has been observed; the gradual improvement of the environment, especially air pollution levels in various cities and not so surprisingly, the improvement of the ozone layer.
As countries ease travel restrictions, open borders and the world slowly comes back to normal – one of the crucial lessons we take back is the considerable impact our actions have on the earth we inhabit.
Air travel has for long been blamed for its negative effects on the ozone layer and so are other causes such as air pollution (due to the increasing use of cars in urban lifestyles) and extensive use of plastic. This doesn’t only contribute to the increasing effects of climate change but, leads to considerable damage of the wonderful world we live in and are so keen on exploring.
Post the COVID-19, one of the things we should all probably reflect upon is how we can travel responsibly and sustainably. As global citizens who love to travel, that is the least we can do for better years ahead! 😊
To get you to start thinking about this, we’ve put down a few quick tips and ways you can think about traveling more responsibly once we’re through this pandemic. 😊
1. Slow travel is the new trend! Try and avoid plane travels wherever possible and use alternative means of transport instead.
What is slow travel, you ask? Slow travel is essentially having the mindset that rejects traditional ideas of tourism we were once so used to and, encourages us to be more open to new experiences and especially soak ourselves in the environment we're in.
This could mean using more of local transport and adopting newer methods of traveling instead of always opting for the next flight only to get to places sooner! Sure, we don’t mean go all ancient, but wherever you can – such as within cities of the country you’re visiting – plane travel can be avoided, and you can instead opt for trains, buses and car pooling.
This won’t only help the environment in a way but will also enrich your travel experience and help you understand the local culture so much more!
2. Adopt to public transport in the cities you’re exploring!
For many, traveling in a new city can be daunting and that’s why, many opt for car rentals to accompany our travels within the city. However, this only restricts your travel experience in a way and also leads to an addition in air pollution!
One of the best ways to experience a city is by using its public transport. Whether it is the trams of Istanbul, the trains of Sri Lanka or the subway in New York – the experience you’ll have in adopting the lives of the locals whilst traveling in public transport is truly unmatched.
3. Buy and support local wherever you go
While many of us may already do this whenever we travel, take the extra effort to research and read about local and small businesses and try and support them by buying from them instead of opting for convenient large corporations.
A large part of responsible travel is supporting the local community. This means buying from local businesses, buying locally sourced things, and supporting small businesses. This helps the local economy and at a time when the economic implications of the coronavirus may be felt for a long time, doing this as a responsible traveler is the best decision you can make for the world 😊
4. Use less of plastic whether you're traveling or not 😊
This goes without saying, right? Whether you’re traveling or not – we need to collectively reduce and stop plastic use as much as we can. However, many of us do tend to use a lot of plastic while we’re traveling. Think of the number of the many plastic water bottles you buy, the shopping bags you collect in markets, the travel toothbrushes, etc.
Simple tips to avoid this include planning well in advance and carrying eco-friendly products along such as cloth or jute bags for your local shopping, two to three reusable bottles you can refill during your travel and perhaps shift your toiletries to more eco-friendly options such as bamboo toothbrushes and reusable shampoo/conditioner bottles.
5. Be mindful about your travel destination!
Before the coronavirus hit, you probably heard of stories such as the flooding in Venice due to over tourism, the lack of housing for many residents in Florence due to an over demand of Airbnbs or the increase in pollution and sex trafficking in Bangkok due to again – over tourism! You see, tourism can sadly be like a double-edged sword- while it helps local communities thrive, it can also lead to depletion of resources by overburdening them and can cause considerable environmental damages to a city and its people.
The best way to avoid causing these problems and traveling more responsibly is to be mindful about your travel destination. Travel at a time when there won’t be as many people visiting the same place or better, choose an alternate destination and take the off beaten path instead. For example, Croatia was increasingly becoming very crowded thanks to all the Game of Thrones hype. However, just across the border – Montenegro is just as gorgeous if not more and that too, at half the cost!
6. Always be prepared for the worst! 🙁
If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 has taught us, it is that life is pretty much uncertain! Being a responsible traveler means, being foresighted and always being prepared for the worst and well, always having a plan B! One of the ways to travel responsibly includes always ensuring you have a travel insurance in place.
Whether you get scrambled into a local travel scam or get under the weather; a travel insurance helps you keep your travel troubles and turbulences at bay. 😊 And don’t worry, contributing to your journey in becoming a more responsible and sustainable traveler – our travel insurance policies have always been paperless 😊 Zero wastage, zero-touch involved! 😉
P.S. For more travel content and tips to protect yourself from the ouches of life, follow our in-house clumsy potato and travel enthusiast, the ouch potato on Instagram 😊