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Sustainable travel has become an increasingly hot topic as many travelers seek more eco-friendly ways to see the world. But does sustainable travel mean that you have to compromise on luxury? Up until a few years ago, luxury and sustainability were at either end of the travel spectrum.
Fortunately, now, you no longer have to choose between the two. While you can still opt for top-notch luxury during your trip, thoughtful luxury travel is increasingly becoming standard. In fact, nowadays, luxury has become less about things and more about experiences, untamed landscapes, unique cultures, and simply going slow.
Redefining Luxury Travel
For today’s forward-thinking traveler, a getaway has become something deeper than simply ticking off blockbuster destinations. The emphasis has shifted towards unique experiences and meaningful interactions combined with consideration of the earth and its inhabitants.
Luxury travel no longer comes with the harmful environmental price tag that it once did and more jetsetters with higher household income are more likely to book an ecotourism trip. People increasingly recognize that sustainability can also be sophisticated and something they can aspire to.
First-class, Low Impact Accommodation
Sustainable travel doesn’t mean you must stay in a yurt. Plenty of 5-star hotels put a premium on sustainability and strive to make their hotels as green as they can. Many luxury hotels are implementing initiatives to be greener on their premises while also working towards improving the lives of the local community.
A hotel can be considered green when it sets certain standards and processes that favor the environment and follow through. Furthermore, the growth in luxury eco-lodges means that you can get close to nature without compromising your home comforts.
Sourcing Local Products And Staff
The extravagance of luxury travel has long resulted in excessive amounts of waste and carbon emissions. The most sustainable hotels manage to balance exceptional service with what’s best for the environment. Rather than just relying on recycling as a means to reduce their carbon footprint, sustainable hotels work with suppliers to reduce packaging and use locally sourced, homemade rather than branded products.
You can also play your part and pick up your travel souvenirs and mementos from local markets that are authentic and locally made. Just avoid anything that might be produced from endangered natural resources.
Making A Sustainable Switch
If you want to make an eco-conscious luxury travel choice, then you need to do your homework. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you aren’t given the information you need. If you are unsure, stick to locally-owned, independent accommodation. These are likely to be more passionate about the surrounding landscape and neighboring communities. The best way to start is to look at a hotel or accommodation provider’s website.
See if they have a dedicated sustainability page that outlines what they do to reduce energy consumption, waste reduction, and sustainable food sourcing. Also, be sure to check their policies on fair wages, human rights, and responsible recruitment. Rather than focusing on a list of fluffy aims, look for facts, targets, and figures.
Luxury, environmentally friendly travel is not just possible, but it’s rapidly become the norm. While it might mean that you have to spend more time planning your trip, it will mean that you can look forward to a trip that not only excites you, it doesn’t destroy the places you love. With these travel ideas, make sure your next trip is environmentally friendly.