As you’d imagine running a hotel price comparison site, we travel a lot, so we’re always looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of our travels.  But when we look for information on the subject we always seem to find the same old generic list of green travel tips.

So we thought we would ask around and see if we could find some more unusual green travel tips that you could use instead of or in addition to the ones you see listed everywhere else.  These are our top 10, and if you have any other great tips that aren’t widely known, please post them in the comments at the end of this post.  In no particular order, here they are:

10. Drive your car

Driving so often slated by environmentalists as something to be avoided at all costs and so you wouldn’t generally expect to see it on a list of green travel tips.  However, if the alternative is to go by plane, then driving genuinely is an eco-friendly option.

For example, we drove to Budapest from London and worked out that our emissions were roughly equal to one person flying.  So with two people in the car we have effectively reduced our travel emissions by 50%, and likewise a family of four could reduce their emissions by a massive 75%.

green travel driving

9. Souvenirs are rubbish

souvenirs for green travel tipsWe all like to take things home from a holiday to serve as a reminder of the wonderful time that we have had, but let’s be honest – most souvenirs are rubbish, and within a few weeks of getting them home that is exactly what they will become.

If the ‘I Love Seaworld’ keychain manages to avoid being thrown in the bin, it will probably end up spending the next 15 years in the back of a cupboard.

If it’s something that you might actually use then go for it, but if not save your money and leave it in the gift shop.

8. Be a holiday vegetarian

green travel pastaEven if you’re not normally a vegetarian, cutting down on meat while away on holiday is an easy way to not only reduce your environmental impact, but also reduce your risk of food poisoning.

7. Rent a hotel apartment

Renting a hotel apartment or any other sort of self catering holiday accommodation for that matter, has many benefits.  You cut down on laundry because no one comes in every day to change the towels and the bedsheets, plus you can prepare meals at home using good quality raw ingredients from the market.

You may think that you don’t want to have to cook while on holiday, but in actual fact, you’ll probably feel much more comfortable in a place where you don’t have to go to a cafe or restaurant every time you feel a bit peckish.

6. Go for a really loooooooooooong holiday

If getting there and back is the main environmental impact of your holiday, then you better make the most of it and stay there for as long as you possibly can.  One long holiday will have drastically lower emissions than three short holidays.

5. Exploit people’s hospitality

It is much more efficient to stay in someone’s spare room or camp on their sofa than it is to stay in a purpose-built hotel or guest house.  So make a list of all your friends and family who live in nice places around the world and get yourself an invitation.  If they won’t let you stay over, at least try to get invited around for dinner.

4. Use other peoples bins

green travel recycleIf you’re reading this article, then chances are you’re the sort of person who makes an effort to recycle when you’re at home but this can be difficult when you’re on holiday.

Keep an eye out for recycling bins outside people’s houses, offices and businesses, and if you can’t find any just keep hold of your rubbish until you get back to the hotel and ask them to recycle it for you.

The staff on reception might look at you a bit strangely, but that’s really their problem not yours.

3. Carry a Tupperware

green travel tupperwareThere are two great reasons to carry a Tupperware container on holiday.

Firstly, you can prepare your own snacks and lunches and carry it along, reducing the need to pick up take-aways with lots of horrible packaging.

Secondly, if you can’t get through your meal in a restaurant, you can take the rest along with you in your Tupperware and keep it in your hotel minibar for tomorrow’s lunch.

2. Use a hanky

green travel tissuesIt’s amazing how often people seem to have a runny nose when they’re on holiday, either because of hayfever, unfortunate cold weather or just because of that flu that took hold the minute you started to relax.  Help reduce sales of Kleenex travel tissues by carrying along some good old-fashioned handkerchiefs.

1. Don’t go anywhere!

I know at first glance this advice doesn’t sound like much of a holiday, but I don’t literally mean to not go anywhere.  Check yourself in to a hotel somewhere near home and spend some time visiting the attractions and beautiful places in your local area that you’ve probably take for granted for years.

Maybe you don’t really need to get away to get a break, you just need to get out of your routine and look at your surroundings with a fresh set of eyes.

Share your green travel tips

If you tried any of the above tips, leave us a comment below to let us know how you got on, or if you’ve got tips that you would like to share then please feel free to do so below…