Slow travel: Tips for being a sustainable traveler

- Smart Driver

The slow travel movement has been gaining ground, since travelers have a growing awareness that travelling in a way that is more respectful of our planet is the best solution for taking care of our natural surroundings and the destinations we visit, so that they remain undiscovered treasures for those who come after us. This trend is called slow travel, and today we will give you some tips to put into action on your upcoming road trips.  

Tips for sustainable travelers

If your intention is to experience something other than rushing around to several places in one day to take a selfie for the social networks, then this is your style! Being a sustainable traveler consists of savoring each destination and each moment with calm, while at the same time taking care to minimize the impact that our travel creates on the environment and on the destination that we visit. 

One of the most memorable aspects of our sustainable car itinerary is enjoying the freedom to travel along authentic routes,  while escaping from overcrowded areas, to venture into those unknown destinations that are yet to be discovered and that constitute the most unforgettable moments of our journeys. Wander away from the beaten path set out in the travel guidebooks and become a curious traveler...  What's over there? Where does this river go? Am I discovering a new destination beyond the beaten path?

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Take note of these tips to make your trip unique: 

  • Local accommodation: Ideally, you will share a house with the locals or stay in hotels run by local families, so that you can soak up the local culture and heritage.  You can also choose to stay in eco-friendly accommodations  that demonstrate their commitment to the environment, and play an active part in change by taking small actions such as recycling, avoiding the excessive use of lights or air conditioning, and using the towels for two or three days if they do not need to be washed.
  • Extended stays: Having plenty of time is another pleasure of traveling with no need to hurry. We recommend that you take part in the local lifestyle for as long as you feel might be needed to make a real difference and  to bring about a true change in your perspective. This, in short, is the real purpose of travel.
  • Prepare your sustainable traveler's kit: Before you leave on your trip, you can prepare your own kit to reduce your environmental impact and ecological footprint, i.e., the amount of greenhouse gases you produce. The idea of the sustainable traveler's kit is to minimize the consumption of plastic during your road trip. For this purpose, you  will want to take:
    • An aluminum water bottle, which you can use repeatedly throughout your trip
    • Silverware, straws, cups and plates made of recyclable or reusable materials. From glass, bamboo or stainless steel containers... there are a thousand alternatives to plastic that will help you take care of the environment.
    • Picnic kit for making stops in natural surroundings on your drive and eating outdoors, if the weather is good
  • Local cuisine: Sampling the local cuisine in small establishments will benefit the locals, as will the purchase of handmade souvenirs. Take the opportunity to try the traditional dishes of the locality at each of your stops on car itinerary to sample the local culinary heritage. 

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  • Fuel: Spend less on gasoline and reduce your environmental impact while saving money on your car itinerary. For this purpose, we recommend that you not overload the vehicle: traveling light is more comfortable and minimizes engine consumption. Keep your car in optimal working order by checking the oil level, brake fluid and the tire pressure. This will help you not only to travel safely but also to consume less fuel. 
  • Sustainable travel with your rental car: So that your road trip is more sustainable, we recommend that you share a car with other travelers. This way you will optimize the impact of your trip and travel the world with friends or family members, who will share your new adventures behind the wheel, making it more fun. Drive smoothly and avoid sudden starts and stops: it  is preferable to maintain a steady and relatively low speed. Keep air conditioning to a minimum  to reduce fuel consumption, and make stops to eat at local restaurants or in a green setting. 
  • Respect your destination: It is very important to preserve the cultural heritage and protected areas of the destinations that you visit on your getaway. Remember not to be heavy-handed with the environment, so that native animals and plants are not affected by your visit, and pick up all your trash before leaving the site to keep the space clean and reduce the risk of fire. 

In an increasingly connected world, the slow travel trend is here to stay. Only in this way can we continue to enjoy the wonders of our planet for many years to come, taking care of our environment and reducing our ecological footprint. Are you ready to join slow travel? 

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