Ecologically-minded travelers hoping to keep it green on the road are often concerned about a potentially out-of-control price tag. Fortunately, it’s getting more affordable than ever to maintain your environmental priorities while on vacation. Here are a few of my favorite frugal tips.
Food: Breakfast is one of the most affordable meals to enjoy while traveling. When possible, consider choosing an eco option. Locally-supplied restaurants offer travelers a chance to vote green with their pocketbooks while still experiencing a relaxing vacation. For example, Max’s Harvest in Delray Beach, Florida is a farm-to-forks venue offering surprisingly reasonable Sunday brunch selections. Sustainable snack options include hand-cut rosemary chips and gourmet deviled eggs, both available for $5.
Supplies: Cosmetics, sunscreen and other personal care products are available in reasonably-priced eco versions suitable for travel. HandSan, an organic spray-on hand cleaner from Bio Green Crystals is packaged for easily tucking into your messenger bag or day pack and rings in at roughly $6 per travel-sized bottle. Similarly, Badger, an all-natural body care company sells $3 tubes of USDA – certified organic lip balms in flavors such as Madagascar vanilla, highland mint and tangerine breeze.
Accommodations: Researching your chosen hotel’s green efforts in advance is a great way to stay informed. I try to pay particular attention to linen-laundering procedures and the venue’s selection of personal care products. Does the hotel encourage you to be more conscientious in your requests for fresh towels or drop off more than you would reasonably need? What types of soaps and shampoos are stocked in your room? On a recent visit to the Plantation at Crystal River along Florida’s nature coast, I enjoyed cruelty-free shower and hand soaps with sustainable packaging as well as paraben-free shampoo and conditioner.
Activities: The venue also offers legally-guided manatee snorkeling tours for less than $50 per person, along with low-impact kayaking tours, bird watching and a variety of other ecological activities. Interacting with nature is one of the most inexpensive ways a traveler can keep it green on the road. Parks, nature trails and more can be accessed for free around the world. For those who want to take it up a notch, volunteering is an affordable way to have a higher-end experience for less. Govoluntouring.com provides a variety of international eco packages, including marmot conservation in the French Alps, low-carbon desert living in southern Spain and lion encounters in Zambia.
Photo Credit: Pictures of Travel Places