CONSCIOUS TRAVELER

Whether you’re planning to catch rays or fresh powder this spring break, consider these tips for a more environmentally-friendy spring break vacation.

OVERLANDING

If you’re committed to reducing your carbon footprint, consider cutting the airplane expenses – and not to mention the environmental impact of a long-distance flight – by planning a family-friendly vacation reachable by land aka “overlanding.” The official term for long-distance and self-reliant trips made in all-terrain vehicles, overlanding is increasing in popularity in an effort to reduce both over-tourism and carbon footprint. And while driving to your destination is by no means a novel idea, it’s now easier than ever. If you don’t feel like loading up your own car, companies like Outdoorsy make renting campers and RVs fast and accessible. So go ahead and book that cottage on Sanibel Island, FL or that cabin in Wild Cat Mountain, NH. Sometimes, the trip is just as fun as the destination.

UNCONVENTIONAL DESTINATIONS

Into the idea of beating the crowds and simultaneously fighting overtourism in popular hot-spot cities? Venture a little further off the radar to a lesser known vacation destination that still packs in plenty of culture.  Second-tier cities are the perfect solution to avoiding the detrimental effects of over-tourism on popular global destinations AND still getting a taste of authenticity. Consider Takamatsu, a short trip from Tokyo, Japan for its beautiful lotus ponds, traditional tea ceremonies, and authentic cuisine, or San Miguel de Allende, south of Mexico City in Mexico, for its baroque Spanish architecture, arts scene, and charming cobblestone streets. Staying domestic? Visit Richmond, VA or Asheville, NC for a taste of history, art, culture, and plenty of breweries, both just a day-drive away from the DC area.

REVIVING TOURISM

If you’ve been looking for ways to support cities and countries that have suffered natural disasters like fires, earthquakes, and flooding in the last year, a visit might just be the answer. Choosing your destinations with the mindset that your dollars can positively impact local economies is a sure way to contribute to the revitalization of communities in places like Australia, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. Thoughtfully consider your next vacation as an opportunity to immerse yourself in a local culture while doing your part to rebuild tourism. Stay in a locally-owned bed-and-breakfast, hit up the local culinary hot spots, or sign up for activities and tours run by local experts – some warm weather and sunshine might help convince you.

British travel journalist Juliette Kinsman said: “I don’t think the answer to the sustainability question is to stop travelling altogether, especially when we think about the positive impact that it has on the lives of people around the world.