SGO: Sustainable Tourism

Traveling is fun, enjoyable, and when we travel we get to learn new things about the places we visit and about the local culture, so traveling has a positive influence on us. Therefore, it is our duty to make sure that we do not have a negative influence on the environment we adventure in. Being a green traveler is not difficult and every initiative helps. Have a look at these easy ways of being a greener tourist:

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Find an alternative to the traditional holiday abroad which for many people is limited to the pool, the hotel and the bar. Alternatives include work and travel, volunteering abroad or aiming to learn a new skills in a foreign country, for instance diving or taking a language or cooking course.

However, if you do prefer a relaxing holiday by the pool, be careful on the following aspects: when you book a holiday, you may find competitive prices for all-inclusive packages, to get drinks and two meals included in the price, rather than the traditional bed and breakfast. This option will let the travel agency and hotel to have monopoly over the money you spend. Spending less on the travel package and buying food from local stores and restaurants, will contribute to the local economy!

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The same principles apply to buying souvenirs, so try to buy gifts made locally, also because it is more authentic than buying something from a store which is all over the world. If you are planing to go to an exotic destination, and want to take a village tour and come into contact with the locals, make sure you choose a local guide to show you around. This way not only that you help with economy, but who can know better than a local? Your local guide will also tell you how it is appropriate to behave in that certain destination and prevent you from disturbing the locals or getting into trouble. If you attend traditional ceremonies or you simply want to take pictures of the locals, it is good to ask for their approval.

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The means of transportation you choose for your trip also plays an important role in how green your journey will be. If you travel somewhere close, from England to France for example, it can be very convenient to go by bus or train. Public transport pollutes less than personal cars and planes, so take that into consideration too next time you travel. And just think about taking a ferry from Dover to Calais, or take a train ride under the see through the Euro Tunnel is something you do not get to experience every day, in contrast with the traditional car ride.

Whatever you do and however you do it, though, have fun!

by guest blogger, Irina Cristache

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