The holidays are better spent at home, not at the airport because you missed your connecting flight. These seven tips can help you and your family get to where you need to be this holiday season, traveling safely and sustainably and helping the world celebrate an eco friendly Christmas.
1- Book early your sustainable travel experience
Depending on your travel plans you’ve likely already booked your ticket. It isn’t uncommon for planes, trains, buses, and ferries to sell out during the holidays, so if you still haven’t purchased your ticket, do it as soon as you can.
Doing so allows you to reap various early bird perks like lower prices, picking your favorite seat, or choosing the vehicle with the lowest carbon emissions. Planning ahead makes for a better travel experience with less stress.
Flights are especially necessary to book early during peak travel days. Google Flights has implemented a carbon emissions tracker which estimates how high, low, or normal the carbon emissions are for a particular flight. Their predictions depend on factors like the aircraft model and configuration, projected speed and altitude, and the distance between the origin and destination.
This tool is useful for eco-conscious consumers like you who wish to minimize their personal carbon footprint. Booking early allows you the greatest number of options when picking the perfect flight.
As demand for air travel returns, aviation stakeholders are leveraging new commitments, investments, and innovations to #decarbonize for a more sustainable future ✈️
— McKinsey & Company (@McKinsey) December 10, 2022
Enjoying an actual sustainable travel experience calls for as little luggage as possible is beneficial for many personal and environmental reasons. For one, you’ll be happiest without hauling multiple suitcases from one end of a station to the other. Packing light in one carry-on bag is eco-friendly and easy on your back.
Consider the possibility of performing laundry while visiting so that you may re-wear clothing instead of packing entirely new outfits for each day. And think twice about the four pairs of shoes you find “essential.” Usually, one comfortable pair and one more formal pair are all that is necessary.
Less weight on a mode of transportation guarantees fewer carbon emissions. You may be stuck in the mindset that your bag won’t make the difference, but if we all thought like this then conservative environmental progress would never be made.
3-Arrive Earlier Than Necessary
US Baby Boomers don’t need to be told this, but Millennials… keep reading!
Getting to the airport, train, or bus station early is essential to a smooth travel experience. You never know what you may encounter on the way; traffic, getting lost, poor weather conditions, the list continues. Just plan on arriving early so that no matter what happens, you will not miss your ride.
Nothing is less sustainable than waking up late, speeding to the airport, only to miss your flight (leaving an empty seat on your plane), having to drive back home, and eventually driving back to the airport to make your new flight. Never mind all the money wasted!
When it comes to waiting at the gate – the earlier, the better.
4-Opt for Reusable and Resealable
Bring your own snacks and water bottle when traveling. Doing so minimizing transportation demand and waste, which quickly adds up considering the number of flights, trains, and buses that depart daily.
Politely decline when the stewardess offers you a plastic cup of water and proudly sip from your reusable one instead. Similarly, when she comes around with bags of peanuts, tell her you’re all set and snack on the munchies from your resealable container from home. Now that’s how you make your travel experience sustainable! (side note: the writer is not responsible for the repeated eye-rolling you will cause).
Related Articles: 19 Sustainable Christmas Gifts Under 50 Euro | Best 27 Handpicked Eco-Friendly Gifts for Christmas
5-Take Safety Precautions
COVID may no longer be at its peak, but it still exists and so do thousands of other viruses and bacteria. You don’t want to endanger your family or friends from your traveling, so be extra cautious and do what you can to prevent the spread of germs.
Consider wiping down your seat with a sanitizing wipe before sitting. Most travel lines do clean their vessels, but one extra wipe won’t hurt. Additionally, bring plenty of hand sanitizer and extra masks. Wearing a mask while traveling is the simplest way to protect yourself from external germs and keep your own germs to yourself. Following these safety precautions will minimize your risk of contracting an illness during your travels, no one wants to be sick during a long-awaited sustainable travel experience.
6-Double Check Checked Luggage
The last thing you’ll want is to finally make it home after a long day of traveling, and exhaustedly unzip your suitcase to realize you grabbed the wrong one from the carousel and have none of your own things.
Make your luggage stand out with a bright luggage tag or suitcase so you’ll be sure you’re taking yours. You could even peek inside to confirm before walking out of the airport doors. Check and double-check!
Don’t wrap presents before traveling. The paper will probably get ruined during transportation and you’ll have to do it over again once you arrive. Besides that, extra tissue and boxes will take up more space in your luggage which you’ll be trying to conserve as an avid eco-conscious and sustainable travel experience warrior.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Airport Flight Schedule. Featured Photo Credit: Erik Odiin/Unsplash.