“Responsible travel is not only better for our world, it’s also more interesting and memorable. Responsible tourism is the future of travel.”
— Simon Reeve, Author, TV Presenter, & Avid Traveler
You can’t really see the world without getting out and exploring it. As we travel, it is important that we remember our responsibility to care for our planet. This is especially important when it comes to luxury travel.
It’s easy to get swept away by all the new sights and sounds when you’re trying to experience as much as possible. Enjoy your travels! Just make sure that you leave your destinations as beautiful as you found them.
Eco-Friendly Tips for Responsible Luxury Travel
Save Resources: Travel with E-Documents
This goes for airport travel as well as corporate business.
You will conserve ink and paper, but that’s not all. Think of all the ways you can spend that time you saved by not printing documents. Security is faster when you’re not fumbling with paperwork. Check with your airline to see what e-document options it offers.
At the airport, electronic documents can be used for:
- Boarding passes
- Flight, gate, and terminal information
E-documents make business travel more efficient, too.
- Email copies of agendas and talking points before a corporate meeting.
- Present your reports as a slideshow instead of long-form writing.
- Publish your findings on digital platforms.
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Compensate For Travel Pollution
Flying has become pretty convenient for travelers. Though costs can add up quickly, airport travel has become more affordable over the years. Airplanes can quickly cover distances that would take days by car.
Everything comes with a price, however. Frequent fliers don’t always stop to consider the impact of those jet engines on the environment.
- Airplane engines give off significant levels of carbon emissions, according to the Center For Biological Diversity.
- Higher performance in any vehicle—land, air, or sea—typically results in higher emissions levels.
- That also means more pollution.
To combat this, airlines—like United and Delta—have developed ways to give back in proportion to the pollution they create. Travelers use a carbon calculator to determine the carbon footprint generated by their flight. They can then contribute accordingly to programs that work to alleviate the effects of greenhouse gases and fossil fuels.
For more information, check out United’s CarbonChoice carbon offset program here.
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Make the Best of Layovers
Sometimes a nonstop flight just isn’t possible.
If you’re heading to a remote location, you may have to fly into the airport and pick up another type of transportation there. Other times, you may just be stuck in a connecting city for several hours. When you do encounter layovers, use them to get a little more out of your travels.
For long layovers, you can arrange an airport limo shuttle to show you around town. Your limo chauffeur will know the best ways to avoid getting stuck in traffic. That means no wasted fuel from idling at red lights.
When your layover is short, you may not want to leave the airport. That’s okay! Most airports have shops where you can check out the local fare.
- Local delicacies in the food court.
- Souvenirs made by local craftspeople.
- The scenic view; You may be able to see iconic landmarks from the windows.
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Picking the Perfect Destination
Not every trip has to be international.
There are many beautiful places to travel in the US. If you do travel internationally, try to travel as eco-friendly as possible.
Some great options between attractions are:
- Carpooling with a limo service
Picking a destination closer to home lowers travel costs and levels of pollution. When you don’t have as far to travel, you consume less fuel. Carpooling limits the number of vehicles on the road. If you’re traveling with a group, try to get as many people as you can into one vehicle.
Traveling by car is often cheaper than flying. If you do have to fly, shorter flights leave you more time to enjoy your destination.
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Immersive Yourself: Eat/Stay/Shop Local
Beware of tourist traps.
Some destinations have become so popular that the tourism industry begins to snuff out the area’s culture. To see the reality of a new place means stepping out of your comfort zone. Try new things—from activities to foods.
Smaller, less “touristy” destinations tend to be more authentic. Plus, supporting local businesses helps to stimulate the economy.
- Try to stay at a local hotel or hostel, rather than a chain.
- Eat at restaurants run by native chefs.
- Avoid malls and big name brands.
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Sometimes Less is More: Pack Lighter
This is especially true when flying.
More luggage means more checked baggage. This weighs down the plane, which causes the engines to work harder. Less efficient operation ups those carbon emissions.
Checked bags often cost more, which leaves less money in your travel budget. That means less money for you to spend when you get to your destination.
For road trips, avoid loading up on tons of groceries before you go. It is a good idea to pack snacks for the road, though. You’ll likely buy less if you wait until you get to your destination. There is also less risk of food spoilage on the ride.
Snacks at convenience stores often use single-serve packaging, which makes a lot of trash. Instead, pack your own snacks from multi-serve items you already have at home.
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You may be surprised at how simple preparations make a difference in the amount of trash you leave behind. When you’re out shopping, use your own reusable bags to cut down on plastic waste.
There may not be many trash cans or recycling bins at your destination. A reusable bottle eliminates the need to throw away plastic bottles.
Minimize Electric Consumption
Old habits die hard.
But small changes can really impact how much energy you use. Turn off lights when you leave your room. Don’t run the air conditioning unless it’s necessary. When you do turn it on, make sure it’s not set too low.
You want to be comfortable, but there’s no need for your A/C unit to have icicles hanging from it. Avoid leaving the water running in the sink while you’re getting ready.
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Utilize Fuel Efficient Vehicles
Really think about what type of transportation you’ll be using for your trip.
Public transportation is good for transporting lots of people across big cities. However, trains and buses run slowly. Plus, buses need big engines that burn a lot of gasoline. Trains also burn fossil fuels like coal to run their steam engines. If you’re only going a few blocks, consider walking or bicycling.
Cabs may or may not be available in your area. Though they are smaller cars, taxi services aren’t very energy efficient. They consume a lot of fuel driving around looking for their next passenger.
If you’re traveling as a business professional, you could likely carpool. Consider booking a limo rental or luxury car to take you and your colleagues from the hotel to the conference center. It never hurts to have a stylish entrance at a business meeting.
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Book Responsible Ground Transportation
Limousine service is actually quite eco-friendly. Many limousine rental companies use FlexFuel, hybrid, or fully electric vehicles. The large capacity limousine interior is perfect for carpooling.
Did you know that the average stretch limousine can hold 8-15 passengers? For even larger groups, a party bus has a higher capacity than a standard limousine.
Don’t risk getting lost.
You’ll waste fuel and time riding around in unfamiliar territory. A professional chauffeur knows the most efficient routes to get you to and from your destinations. There are many ways that ground transportation service can help you travel responsibly.
Let A1A Limo help you find your perfect match from our fleet of the best luxury cars. With our worldwide affiliate network, we service 850 cities worldwide.