The eco-friendly travel guide: 30 European rail adventures to inspire your next trip
According to a GlobalData survey, 35% of travelers are likely to book ecotourism holidays in 2022. Today (March 17), The guide to eco-responsible travel hits the shelves – here’s a snippet
Vacations, adventures, and travel make us who we are, keep us sane, and expand our horizons.
However, we realize that a fast lifestyle is not necessarily better for our minds or the planet. Gone are the days when frantically ticking off the world’s crowded hotspots would be considered a relaxing and restorative break. Instead, conscious and sustainable travel is what we crave now. Traveling by train gives us the chance to awaken our senses in a new place, the time to feel its ebbs and flows, and the space to calm the restlessness of our busy minds. It also restores the balance between tourism and local, environment and economy, conservation and community.
Unless you walk everywhere, camp under the stars and forage for your food, no matter how you travel, it will always have an impact on the planet. But you can significantly reduce that impact by becoming a much more sustainable traveler.
Part of being a sustainable traveler is making sure you’re giving back to the place you’re visiting in some form or another. This doesn’t just mean contributing to the local economy or donating to charity, but also weaving experiences into your trip that directly support local conservation. From visiting nature reserves to booking wildlife tours or other tours that employ local guides, your vacation can have a positive impact in so many ways. As always, the key is research and if you’re not sure, ask questions! Also, share what you’re doing to help start the conversations that will lead to a greener planet.
Over- and under-tourism
Overtourism is the influx of tourists to particular destinations such that they outnumber local residents and adversely impact the local economy and community. Venice, Bruges, Amsterdam and Barcelona are all hotspots for overtourism, and while they’re not completely avoided in this book, you’ll be guided away from the same old must-see lists that add to the problem. It’s also helpful to go to these off-season spots to spread the love throughout the year and to make sure the money you spend goes into the local economy (for example, by not just not to stay in hotels of global chains and to shop in international brands).
Undertourism is the opposite of overtourism. It concerns destinations little known to tourists – secondary and tertiary cities that have a lot to offer travelers and, arguably, give you a much more authentic local experience. There are a lot of these stops in this book, because it’s my favorite way to travel. There are no queues for museums or attractions and I love spending time lingering in cafes and bars imagining what life is like here.
Travel without plastic
Even the greenest among us tend to leave our plastic-free credentials at home when we go on vacation. But with a little simple planning, there’s no need to add to another country’s plastic problem. Here are the essentials
packing essentials to make sure you don’t have to search for single-use products when you’re away.
Bags: Pack a variety of lightweight tote bags, so you don’t get caught in stores or markets and end up with a single-use carry bag for all your lovely knick-knacks.
REUSABLE BOTTLE: Not only is it essential because it saves you the hassle of collecting (and paying for) single-use plastic water bottles, but it’ll come into its own if you’re spending time on the beach or going for a picnic. fuck. the
stainless steel vacuum cleaners keep your cold drinks cold for twenty-four hours and your hot drinks hot (perfect for a long train journey) for twelve hours.
REUSABLE CUPS: Likewise, think about how many takeaway coffees you could grab on your adventure through Europe. You can avoid all that single-use cup nonsense with a reusable cup. There are even foldables
styles if space is an issue.
REUSABLE CUTLERY SET: There are plenty – made from metal or bamboo, they come in a handy roll, often with a reusable straw too. Whether it’s grabbing a quick lunch at a train station or going out
during a picnic, once added to your bag, it will become a daily essential.
PLASTIC-FREE HAIR/SKIN CARE: Suitcase space is always an issue, right? But you can avoid having to use plastic hotel miniatures or haul your own full-size toiletries across Europe by switching to shampoo, shaving and shower bars. There are so many brands offering them now, especially those that are vegan or chemical-free. Invest in some metal boxes to store them, and you’re good to go, whether you’re camping or checking into a fancy hotel. Likewise, there are also plastic-free deodorants and sunscreen options.
The Eco-Conscious Travel Guide: 30 European Rail Adventures to Inspire Your Next Trip (£12.99, hardback) was published by Harper Collins on March 17, 2022. Buy it online or at your local bookstore.