There’s lots of talk these days about the costs of travel, both financial and environmental. We’ve all watched as the price of oil has see-sawed up and down, wreaking havoc on road trip plans, airline fuel surcharges, and the like. Similarly, for those of us that care about the future of this planet (I hope that’s everyone?), we’re also concerned about limiting our carbon emissions while pursuing our travel passions. Or, the case of flying to Buffalo to see your in-laws over Christmas, your travel “responsibilities.”
Yes, we can reduce unnecessary business travel by having more phone calls and video conferences. And yes, we can take public transit and drive hybrid cars to reduce our carbon footprint while traveling. However, amidst all this hubbub, it’s also wise to consider a basic thing every traveler can do to save some green (i.e., reduce their carbon output and save some cold, hard cash). What’s that one simple thing? PLAN YOUR TRIP.
Wherever you’re going, managing your itinerary using some proximity-enabled planning tools can ensure that you spend less time in the car (or on the bus, the train, or the plane), and more time exploring or spending time with friends and family. This is one area that’s often overlooked when it comes to green travel — one of the best ways to limit your carbon footprint is to limit the amount of transport you need while you’re on your trip, not just when you traveling there and back. With sites like NileGuide, you can easily use distance-based filtering/sorting and maps to group nearby places together in your itinerary. For example, you might find a restaurant around the corner from your hotel, eliminating the need for a taxi (on NileGuide, you can do this using our “Distance From” sorting). Similarly, you might find a bar near a hiking trailhead, meaning you won’t have to make a special trip to go out of your way for that post-workout beer. Either way, you’re saving green. Likewise, you might choose to spend an entire day in Santa Monica, and then a separate day in Hollywood, rather than jumping around Los Angeles and wasting time and money. Or, at the highest level, you might find that it makes more sense to go from Florence to Rome to the Amalfi Coast, rather than starting in Rome, and then driving up to Florence and then all the way back down to Amalfi.
Ultimately, it matters both how you get somewhere, and how you travel once you’re there. It’s best to consider both as you strive to be a good travel citizen.