Our Top 5 Eco-friendly Travel Tips

I bet you and I have at least one thing in common: we both love to travel.

Spring is here and summer is around the corner which means more road trips, camping excursions, weekend getaways, and vacations. Yay! I’m excited just thinking about it! But, again, if you’re also anything like me, you may see your “green” practices start to get pretty relaxed when you’re away from home. Sometimes the hotel lights stay on in every room, the air conditioner blasts chilled air, garbage is tossed in the most convenient receptacle, without thought to recycling. Sound a little bit familiar? Well, this year I’m bringing my green intentions on the road with me. Keep reading to see our five favorite travel tips that will help keep Mother Earth a little more colorful this traveling season.


1. Before you leave, turn down or unplug any appliances that don’t need to be plugged in. Even if your stereo, TV, or computer is turned off, it is still stealing energy — be sure to unplug them all. Another big energy burner is your water heater, so be sure to turn down the temperature before you get your vacation on.

2. Make your travel plans paperless. Many airlines, hotels, and car rental companies have gone paperless. According to the Bureau of Transportation, over 2 million people fly domestically daily. Wow, and that’s just air travel within the United States. With numbers that high, it’s imperative that we cut down on paper waste by choosing to travel ticketless. You can always opt for an emailed receipt or confirmation number.


3. Bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere. But, really, everywhere. The majority of airports have drinking fountains so it’s easy to fill up your bottle once you’ve moved beyond security. Plus that airport water is expensive! You can also fill up while traveling at cafes or restaurants, or ask for a pitcher of water with your room service.

4. Travel like a local. Opt for the bus, to walk, or shuttle while traveling (when safe.) Not having a rented car in an unknown land might seem a little intimidating and scary, I understand. But when possible, choose to walk or take mass transportation. It will open your eyes to the area around you and I guarantee you’ll see so much more then if you were in your rented two-door hatchback!


5. Be hotel-hip. One of the nicest things about a vacation is that your perfectly cooled hotel room will always have new sheets, clean towels, and mass amounts of shower gels and hair products. But guys, do we really need clean sheets after one use? Or a clean towel after it was used to wipe off our hands? Or our heat or A.C. blasting at full force with the sliding glass door open? Sometimes our “green” blinders come on when we’re guests at a hotel. But I challenge all of us, me included, to forgo the cleaning service for just one or two days. I bet we’ll feel a whole lot better about it!

+ I’d love to hear more eco-friendly travel tips — please leave them in the comments!

Check out more #FPEarthMonth posts for tips and tricks for making your life just a little greener!

Follow fp joanna on Instagram

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

I’m going to Portugal in July and really enjoyed reading this tips – the water bottle and going paperless ones are my favorite!

Warm Regards,

8 years ago

Great tips! I don’t like overpacking on clothes, because hello–laundry!

8 years ago

These are some great tips! You really would save a fortune by taking your own water bottle with you while you’re traveling out and about.

Great tips. Especially the water bottle. I’ve seen fold down bottles which are ideal for travelling. We should all do our bit to help balance out the air travel.

8 years ago

Love the water bottle tip…simple but so true!

8 years ago

I love these tips! So useful and so true :) Especially traveling like a local! You can get in touch with the local people and you’ll learn so much more about the place you’re visiting! Guaranteed ;)


8 years ago

I’m sorry but I find it funny how anyone would say no to a paper airplane ticket and feel like they’ve done something for the environment… I live in Sweden and I’ve promised myself to never go by airplane again in my life. I know America’s a lot bigger than teeny tiny Sweden but common! Cut down on airplane travels. Take the train. Go do some tourist-stuff where you live. I bet many people haven’t seen that local castle or museum or riverside.
To really help save the planet we need to do a radical change NOW! And it starts with each and every one of us.

8 years ago

So true, Elina!

8 years ago

Thank you for all these great tips. Looking good is important, but the earth looking good [and staying that way] is even more important!


8 years ago

These are frivolous and silly tips. I’m a little insulted you think this constitutes “eco-friendly” travel. Pretty lame post…

8 years ago

Hello. you can buy groceries where you stay and pack your meals in jars or tubberware that you have brought. If you dont bring your own, then save plastic that you most likely will encounter at some point and re use them to pack meals. Healthier And cheaper to eat this way. Of course still try the typical dishes but not all meals have to be bought on the street.
The websites Airbnb and couchsurfing are cheap and better than hotels. you normally will find a guest room in a house of a local, or someone who can reccomend things.
Rent the city bikes if there are. Look at train options instead of flying. Stop in local cafes and shops. Shopping local is better for the enviorment, think of all the gases used to transport a product internationally! It also gives you an authentic experience of the city, or town.
hope these help, i am still learning as i travel!

8 years ago

I totally agree with Elina, as large as the U.S. is not to mention our neighbors to the North of us , and to the South of us; there’s a lifetime of travel to be done! Why is there this need to travel outside our own country when we have such a diversity in our own country?

8 years ago

Being conscious of how we are using the hotel’s resources is a very great tip! Thanks for sharing.