Sustainable Travel Tips: Summer’s Not Over Yet!

If you haven’t had a chance to satisfy your wanderlust yet this summer, here are 3 highly recommended and affordable destinations you could pick, along with some tips for how to travel most sustainably.
Business Insider reported on Lonely Planet’s newly released 2016 list of the best-value destinations for high-quality travel experiences that won’t wilt your wallet! Here are 3 great choices, where you can enjoy comparable or cooler temperatures than Central NY, along with rich visual and cultural experiences.
Towering mountains of Taos, New Mexico
New Mexico. Pueblos, cliffs, Carlsbad Caverns, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, artists, history, extra-terrestrials? Distance from Syracuse: 1,714.89 miles
Quebec City great travel destination
City of Quebec. History, architecture, charm, restaurants, shopping, aquarium.
Distance from Syracuse: 415 miles

Costa Rica two oceans, beaches, forest ecotravel
Costa Rica. Volcanoes, beaches, extensive parks and forests, two oceans, turtle nesting, birds, biodiversity. Distance from Syracuse: 2359.7 miles.

What’s the smallest carbon footprint you can make when you travel a given distance? See these charts from the Union of Concerned Scientists’ guide “Getting There Greener,” ©2008.
Chart showing most sustainable travel for solo passenger
Chart comparing sustainability of travel options for two passengers
Chart comparing sustainability of travel options for  group of four passengers

Your sustainable travel choices have impact!
Stall at open air market in Caribbean
     Many people find extra satisfaction from their vacations by building sustainability into their visit to a new destination. They shop at local stores or markets, and buy items made by residents of the areas they are visiting. It’s fascinating to explore the work of local artisans, and to meet the makers. It is nice to know that by leaving the hotel to dine out locally, you’re infusing the community’s economy with your money.
     Some more ideas come from GreenGlobalTravel, which advises people to “Leave Only Footprints: Stick to marked trails to avoid harming native flora.” Also they suggest bringing a BPA free water bottle with you to refill as needed, using just one bar of soap for both sink and shower, and to “hold onto your trash until you find a place to recycle it.” Additionally, they propose you carry a bag for trash with you so if you find some, you can pick it up to help protect wildlife from injury.
Hotel bed with breakfast tray on it
Sustainability can play a role in your choice of acommodations.. Perhaps you might select a hotel based not just on its location, price,and amenities but also on whether the hotel operates in a sustainable fashion. Do they use local products and labor?  Do they recycle? Are they using LED lighting in guest rooms and public areas? 
     While you’re a guest in a hotel, you can add to its sustainability by not requiring fresh towels or linens daily, turning off tv and lights when you leave the room. Some people bring stainless steel sporks , chopsticks when they travel, to avoid utilizing disposable flatware, styrofoam or plastic plates.
Finger swiping face of cell phone held in hand
Want to take your smart phone with you when you go abroad? Advance planning is needed. There are two ways to do it: one costs more but is easy, the other is more complicated and takes longer, but costs less. Read about it in this NYTimes article.

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