May 17, 2017 Danny Bamboat

The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Travel

If you love to travel, you’ve probably realized how each trip is unique and leaves you with memories that will always follow you around like a bright shadow. So how can you take your love of travel and make sure you do it right? Easy, by respecting where you go and what you do. Here are 10 tips from the ultimate guide to sustainable travel!

Clear blue water with hills in the background

Scenic view of Kanawa Island, Indonesia

The world itself is a changing place, but one thing stays the same – being responsible for the impact you leave on Planet Earth. Even the smallest act counts! Here are 10 ways you can practice sustainability when you travel:

1. Travel in small groups

Small groups of 6-15 travelers is ideal. You’ll leave less of an impact on the environment (and hopefully make some really good friends).

Group of people on a beach with brown sand

Travelling with friends keeps things interesting

2. Support local businesses

Use local services as much as possible (accommodation, restaurants, markets, convenience stores, tour guides). Just by eating at a local restaurant instead of Pizza Hut, you could be helping a family send their children to college.

Man wearing a peach shirt and woman wearing a green shirt at a Cambodia restaurant

Me and my friend Van at a delicious Cambodian restaurant

3. Use public transportation, cycle, or walk

Whenever you can! This way you also get to experience what it’s like living in a place. Or you might get lost and find something really cool you wouldn’t have seen on an air-conditioned coach.

Man on bicycle riding on path along a river

Riding along the river

4. Avoid buying illegal animal products

Be respectful to animal rights. I’m not saying you have to be a vegetarian like me (surprisingly difficult when travelling), but there’s way too much cruelty against animals that you don’t have to be a part of.

Woman with green shirt petting standing elephant in park

The beautiful Lucky at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, Cambodia


5. Don’t litter!

Make sure to clean up after yourself. If you can’t find a trash can, put it in your pocket until you do!

6. Carry water bottles

Do this so they can be refilled where possible. You should be careful with water in certain places, but some hostels have safe drinking water that you can fill your bottles with so you’re not buying plastic all the time.

Recycled water jug with purple flowers growing out of it

Evergreen Ecolodge in Nepal reused their water tank to grow plants

7. Travel with a backpack / small luggage

Using a backpack reduces over-consumption. The less room you have, the less you’ll buy (do you really need that light-up T-shirt you’re never gonna wear?)

Woman with green shirt and man with blue shirt wearing backpacks on a hill

Backpacks were all we needed for our trek in Nepal!

8. Stay in dorms / shared rooms

By sharing, you reduce electricity use and share facilities. And you’ll definitely end up meeting some interesting people.

9. Try out sustainable activities

Be sustainable by doing a Temple Stay in South Korea (eating organic food, spending time in nature, meditating) or a Bike Tour in Cambodia.

Man wearing purple pants and white rain boots, holding umbrella surrounded by a traditional Korean temple

A bit of rain during our temple stay in Korea added to the experience

10. Respect cultural differences

Every country is unique, so remember to respect cultural differences. Locals are usually friendly and excited to meet travellers. They’ll be impressed if you’ve taken the time to learn something about their culture.

A bride wearing a red dress at a raditional Korean wedding

Watching a traditional Korean wedding take place

To end off the ultimate guide to sustainable travel, think about getting involved in a project that will help a local community directly. Do some research beforehand to find a reputable organization that’s suitable to your passion. Last year, BAMtravels  was part of Project Alpha – a charitable book project about “The Trip That Changed My Life”. The project raised over $10,000 for the Save the Children charity! Check out this year’s topic is

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