In the past 100 years, travel has advanced significantly. Mexico City was only reachable by ship or train in 1920, while Britain maintained an empire with India.
A variety of travel alternatives are now available to travellers thanks to new technologies like aeroplanes and cruise ships. Modern travellers can visit destinations that were unreachable or unheard of just a century ago, from touring ancient sites in Peru to driving through New Zealand.
How Travelling Has Transformed in Recent Times
Travelling has evolved dramatically during previous centuries. People travelled by trains, steamship, and horseback in the early twentieth century. We can now go to any region of the world at any moment.
At the time, air travel was only in its infancy. The first successful transatlantic flight between Newfoundland and Ireland took place in 1919. The trip took more than 16 hours, which is a long time in comparison to today’s flights, which take just over eight hours from New York City to Europe. As more people got access to air travel, it became considerably more affordable and accessible to everybody.
The construction of highways, airports, and train stations has also considerably improved travel infrastructure. Airport capacity has increased with extra gates and runways, allowing additional aeroplanes to take off and land safely. Airlines have expanded their fleets and flown to more destinations to accommodate passenger demand.
Trip planning used to entail visiting travel agents and poring over stacks of literature. Today, we can find everything needed for a trip without leaving our homes. We can reserve a hotel and travel to our location the following day only with the help of the Internet!
Impact of Travelling on The Planet
There are many great things about travel with many cultures, experiences, foods, and people to explore. Despite how wonderful it is, travelling has its issues, particularly in terms of the environment. Let’s look at a few impacts of travelling on the planet:
It should come as no surprise that transporting millions of people causes significant carbon emissions. The World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that tourism is responsible for 8–11% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Road transport accounts for 74.5% of emissions, whereas 17% of all travel-related carbon emissions come from aviation.
Overuse of Water
Going on vacation gives you access to endless showers each day, swimming pools, and breathtaking vistas from well-designed gardens. Large hotels frequently reroute and overdraw groundwater to provide these services, putting pressure on the water supply systems of tourist locations all over the world.
While small farmers struggle to irrigate their crops, particularly during the dry seasons, local communities face water shortages and increased salt from natural drinking water sources.
Many people rely on single-use plastic things while travelling, which produces a lot of waste. In actual fact, tourists can generate twice as much waste as residents. Since coastal regions account for 80% of all tourists, plastic waste from the industry may significantly contribute to this pollution.
Landscapes are physically changed by plastic pollution, and marine life is harmed. By 2050, if current patterns hold, there may be more plastic in our oceans than fish.
Loss of Biodiversity and Degradation of Ecosystems
Unsustainable land use and infrastructure development can result in sand mining, wetland draining, deforestation, and soil erosion, all of which have an impact on landscapes. It also results in habitat damage and increasing pressure on wildlife and endangered species.
How To Travel in A Sustainable Way Across Malaysia
1. Choose Responsible Travel Companies
If you are unwilling to spend your vacation doing volunteer work, you could continue to travel sustainably by selecting a travel company that is committed to sustainable tourism. The easiest method to ensure this is to verify that your travel company is certified by the Travelife certification programme.
2. Bring Only What You Need
Most of us are unaware that the quantity of luggage you bring on an aeroplane can add to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted. The aircraft must consume more fuel when carrying higher weight. How to travel sustainably is to pack light, especially if you’re only going away for the weekend, to help. You can use a backpack instead of a huge suitcase, or you could utilise packing cubes to make more room in your suitcase.
3. Research the Environment and Culture
Informed travellers make better environmental decisions. Before you board an aircraft, research the environmental concerns confronting the destination and take steps to lessen your carbon footprint ahead of time.
Along with knowing about your surroundings, conduct some cultural research. When travellers understand the culture, they can make more educated judgments that demonstrate respect for the locals.
4. Choose Sustainable Transportation Means
When travelling to nearby areas, one sustainable travel tip is to avoid flying if possible and instead use the train or coach to reduce your carbon impact while enjoying the surroundings. Once you arrive at your location, you can book a hybrid vehicle transfer, ride-share, or take the bus.
5. Pick an Eco-Friendly Accommodation
More hotels and Airbnbs are implementing sustainable practices as more visitors express concern for the environment. Examples include using renewable energy sources like solar or wind energy, providing bikes to visitors, purchasing amenities in bulk to reduce waste, providing locally sourced food, installing water recycling and filtering systems, and more.
A green travel tip you need is to make sure that the accommodation you select employs an eco-friendly approach in all of its operations.
6. Eat Local Foods
Try all of the local delicacies that you can’t obtain at home when travelling overseas. Every destination provides distinct specialities worth experiencing, from seafood to curries. You may lower your carbon footprint, help the local economy, and enjoy some fresh and great cuisine by eating local food instead of imported ones.
7. Don’t Print Out Booking Information
In today’s digital age, it’s incredibly simple to download boarding passes and screenshot booking confirmations onto your phone. Since digital tickets are accepted at all airports and hotels worldwide, this reduces both paper waste and travel time.
8. Opt for Reusable Items
The best responsible tourism tip is to avoid single-use plastic as it is the most effective strategy to reduce trash while travelling. Pack a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, straw, food containers, and utensils to save waste.
9. Walk Wherever Possible
When travelling, nothing beats experiencing the sights and sounds of the area on foot. It’s not only a terrific way to immerse oneself in the city, but it’s also a great idea for sustainable travel. Before travelling to your destination, ensure that the area you’ll be walking in is safe, and you may even wish to stay in accommodations with high accessibility by foot score for convenience.
10. Be Mindful
Always remember that wherever you go in the world, you are in someone else’s house, and endeavour to have a positive effect while you are there. Respect the culture, environment, and your willingness to learn.
On that note, if you happen to be travelling to check out the Penang Festivals, be sure to keep these handy tips in mind!
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