Why Travelling Locally is Responsible Tourism?
Written by Ivana on July 20th 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has largely put an end to many international travel plans and has forced us to stay within the borders of our own countries. However, although travelling abroad has been compromised, it does not mean travel is cancelled all together! Now, if never before, is a unique chance to discover the hidden gems of our own country, the places, attractions and fascinating destinations we might not have considered visiting, had this health and economic crisis not occurred.
Currently, traveling internationally comes with additional risks, especially if you’re travelling long distances to get to your destination, which is why travelling locally is the best way to keep yourself and others safe. What you also may not realise is that taking a local holiday over an international vacation can also be beneficial for our environment! Travelling locally at this time is not only responsible travel, but also sustainable travel!
If you’re on the cusp of booking a local vacation, we’re here to tell you all about the benefits of travelling locally!
1. Find a New Appreciation for Your Country
Even though international travel is an exotic experience, often it means numerous transfers and connections to reach the final destination. However, you don’t have to set off halfway around the world to travel locally! Travelling is all about exploring, so just think about how many destinations there are in your own country that you haven’t had the chance to visit yet!
It’s easy to become complacent with your local area, but if you spend time travelling in your own country, you will discover a new sense of appreciation for your local surroundings and rediscover stunning towns that are so close to you!
Right now is also the perfect time to enjoy local discounts that are intended to increase local tourism and allow people to visit the places they’ve never thought of before. Another silver lining is that giving back to local communities that have been in lockdown will surely help the economy recover much faster.
2. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Save Money
This year you will have the chance to plan an eco-friendly, local vacation!
Most countries can be travelled completely by car over the course of a few days on a road trip, completely eliminating the need for air travel. If you’re car-pooling, or traveling with four other passengers, your travel will have much less of an impact on the environment.
Moreover, travelling locally for this year’s holiday will mean savings which would have otherwise been spent on international flights. It is much more affordable to simply jump in your car or book a train to get to your destination, rather than booking expensive flights months or a year in advance. Shorter distances and local prices will ensure that your holiday will not be an experience your wallet is recovering from for months!
Apart from that, travelling by train to reach your destination means an even further reduction in carbon output. Train travel actually cuts carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) by half, compared to plane travel. Although the train itself can be a big emitter of carbon, it is designed to carry multiple passengers, so the per capita emissions are a lot lower. Travelling via train is also a great way to make the most out of the actual journey, being able to admire the scenery while travelling.
If you opt for shared transportation, whether that be car or train travel with your family or friends, you will make a positive choice for our planet, reduce your carbon footprint significantly and save both time and money.
3. Travel Spontaneously
Travelling abroad often means packing a lot of destinations and attractions into a limited period of time, making the most of expensive flights to the destination. You may need multiple buses, taxis and public transport options to achieve this aim, increasing your carbon footprint and damaging the environment in the long-term.
Travelling slower and to fewer destinations is good for the environment and your wallet, and allows you to extend or reduce your holiday as you please, adding spontaneity and flexibility to your journey. By all means visit multiple locations, but with less money being spent on transport, you can stay in each destination for longer, giving yourself the chance to really relax and enjoy everything it has to offer. If travelling with your car, park it at the same place for a few days and enjoy exploring each town differently, by walking, cycling or taking public transport.
By travelling within your own country you also eliminate the need for Visas or travel permits, making it a lot easier to make a spur of the moment decision for an overnight or weekend stay! Exploring your own country is ideal if you have a busy schedule and not much time to travel, as it’s perfect for last-minute getaways where little or no planning is needed.
4. Be Sustainable and Support the Local Economy
The advantage of travelling with your car is that you can pack many things with you, such as a reusable water bottle, a tote bag for groceries, food containers and travel utensils, reducing your need to use single-use plastic during your trip. If you are heading off on a day trip, try to prepare your food in advance, again avoiding using single-use plastics. Reducing the use of plastic as much as possible is a great way to reduce your environmental impact.
Did you know that eating locally grown food can help reduce your carbon footprint as well? Imported food has a much higher carbon footprint than locally grown fresh food. So, to keep your carbon footprint low, pick locally grown ingredients, instead of eating packaged, imported food. The more you eat locally grown food, the more you are helping to support the local economy, which will be grateful for your custom during this economic crisis.
Now is the perfect time to discover the local beauties of the countries we live in, as international travel has become more challenging. Investing our time, money and energy into the local communities we would have otherwise avoided on our travelling route is a great way to give back.
As our travel habits change we give way to travelling in a more green and eco-friendly way. Travelling locally definitely affords us with more eco-friendly choices, thanks to short travelling distances, more time for exploring each destination and the ability to pack smart.
We are all becoming aware of how our vacation choices affect the surroundings in which we live. Every action we take has an impact on our environment and is reflected in the generations to come. Let’s make sure the choices we make today are beneficial for the future we want to create tomorrow!