Simple ideas and food for thought to make your vacation more sustainable.

Sustainability on vacation feels like a lot of effort at first. But it doesn’t have to be. With our five tips for eco-friendly travel with kids, you can get ideas to reduce your carbon footprint, support local businesses and people, and be respectful of our nature, fellow humans, and resources.

If you’re reading this, you’re like our family: you love exploring and enjoying vacations, the outdoors, learning about new cultures. We can continue to travel and enjoy life, but there are ways to do that in a sustainable way.

What can we all do concretely to keep our carbon footprint as low as possible when traveling and to conserve resources? Let’s get started with our eco-friendly travel tips for families.

1. the journey makes the cabbage fat, or not.

Sustainable travel begins with the journey. Every kid knows by now that airplanes, cruise ships and even your own car cause more emissions than buses and trains. So before every trip, it’s worth asking how we can reach our destination in the most climate-friendly way. Especially for vacations near and in cities, it’s worth switching to train or bus. There really are such great places in Germany and Europe that you can travel to in a climate-friendly way. But sometimes things are a bit more complicated and a flight is indispensable. In our case, half of the family lives on the other side of the globe – not accessible without a plane. For this, we as a family have made the decision to take a maximum of one flight per year. Having that clearly in mind makes every decision easier. In addition, we compensate the emissions caused by the flight via Climate Fair. This offsets the same amount of CO2 emissions that were emitted by the flight by investing in climate protection projects.

Extra tip: It is equally important to avoid using your car as much as possible when you are there. For this purpose, we have scooters for the kids with us on every city trip. This allows us to cover longer distances easily on foot or by scooter, and the kids have fun doing it. If you are going into the nature, take the bikes with you or rent them on site. With them you can easily explore the surroundings and at the same time do sports together. In both cases: Don’t forget helmets!

2. choosing the right accommodation promotes sustainable tourism

Choose accommodations that are built sustainably or score high on sustainable concepts, like our favorite places. Large hotel chains and bunkers on the beach are usually not part of this. Sustainable hotels and accommodations can be recognized by their focus on environmental protection, responsible use of resources, well thought-out energy management and the use of organic products, for example in the breakfast menu.

3. eating on a sustainable vacation with kids

On site, it is also important to avoid packaging waste, to buy regionally and sustainably or to make sure that these values are implemented in the same way when choosing accommodation. The same applies to restaurants. Support restaurants that cook with organic or regional ingredients. It’s up to you and you can also show locally how important sustainability is to you when traveling.

4. travel respectfully to promote sustainable tourism.

Read about the local culture ahead of time and think about how you can make that work for you. Even the little things, like respecting meal times, make a difference. And make a point to learn a few phrases in the local language. The kids will like that, too – for sure. Be respectful of the natural environment on site. Protect animals and plants!

5. support the local economy

For sustainable tourism to work, guests should consume where it comes directly in the region, ie in the farm store around the corner or handmade locally. This way you can actively strengthen the regional and sustainable sector.

As you can see, sustainable travel does not mean doing without. Rather, it’s about traveling consciously and always having the set screws in mind.

Of course, things like having your reusable water bottle at hand and packing as minimalist as possible are also part of it, but we’ll just assume that you’re already doing that anyway.

You can read more about our thoughts on the subject here. Be sure to let us know if you like this series of posts. Then we’ll be happy to write more about it.

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