Family vacations have always been fun. Individuals have many options for planning their vacation, with a one-week stay at a timeshare costing an average of $21,455. While the perfect getaway involves more than just finding an affordable flight and hotel, it can be a great idea for a vacation to have a smaller environmental footprint. Luckily, there are plenty of simple things you can do or avoid doing to make sure your family's vacation is eco-friendly. Here are some easy ideas to get you started:
Stay In an Eco-Friendly Hotel
Staying in an eco-friendly hotel can help cut your family's carbon footprint on vacation. Ask the front desk if the hotel has a policy for reducing energy usage (such as turning off all unused lights and electronic equipment) and request a room with 'green' features, such as a shower instead of a bathtub. Make sure you unplug all unused electrical devices when leaving the room for the day.
If you are not sure where to find such hotels, you can use any search engine on your phone to assist you in the search. A good number of consumers, around 48%, use a search engine to begin research whenever they feel stuck about anything.
Make Your Home More Energy Efficient Before Leaving
It is also important to make your home more energy efficient before leaving on vacation, so you can be less reliant on a hotel's environmental features while away. Turn the heater down a few degrees in winter and up a few degrees in summer. Install energy-saving bulbs throughout your house and turn off the lights when leaving a room, especially if it is unoccupied for any time.
Rent A Car with Better Gas Mileage
A great way to cut down on gas mileage and the environmental impact of the vacation is to rent a car with better gas mileage than your car back home. When renting a car, there are plenty of eco-friendly options, so look for the greenest one available.
Drive Smart for The Whole Trip
Despite your best efforts, though, there's no way to avoid driving during your family vacation. The good news is that you can drive smartly for the whole trip to reduce your impact further. Ensure everyone in the car is wearing their seatbelt, and remember to operate at or below the speed limit. Keep your windows rolled up while driving through heavily-polluted areas since open windows reduce gas mileage.
Consider Taking Public Transportation
Consider taking public transportation in certain places instead of renting a car. It might be easier than you expect, especially if you have older kids who can drive themselves around or you are traveling with another family. If the public transportation is listed on Google Maps, this will help give a rough estimate of how long it might take to get from point A to point B. Just be sure not to leave all of your luggage on the bus or train unattended, as it might be gone when you come back.
Pack A Reusable Bag
Packing a reusable bag in your luggage can help reduce the amount of plastic bags used during the trip, which is especially important for beaches and other destinations where there are likely to be plastic containers floating around in the water. Make sure you have enough reusable bags to go around when buying groceries.
Consider Leaving Behind A Few Items
When you return home from your vacation, make sure to unpack your bags and wash everything that got dirty or sweaty while on the trip (like socks and undergarments). You can also leave some items for next time by packing a few extra clothes in the suitcase before going through security at the airport, so you don't have to clean everything right away.
Vacations for your family can come in all forms. For instance, you may decide to go on a beach holiday. Also, you may choose to visit campgrounds to ride on recreational vehicles together with your family. RVers can explore America's roadways for a weekend or months thanks to more than 16,000 public and independently maintained campgrounds.
While doing all this, it can be hard to keep an eye on the environment and stay green and healthy during a busy vacation when traveling with children. However, you can drastically cut down on your family's impact with some research beforehand.
Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.
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