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The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Sustainable Trip to Europe: Tips and Tricks From Professional Trip Planners

Posted August 17, 2023 in Travel Guide - Last updated August 8, 2023

Europe is an exciting place to travel to for everyone. This beautiful continent is filled with amazing natural and historical wonders, fun festivals, a great climate, and enjoyable activities for almost every type of traveler. This has made Europe one of the most frequented destinations by travelers worldwide.

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Increasing tourists and the need for sustainability

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The rising number of tourists comes with a lot of issues. Natural wonders, archaeological monuments, and delicate ecosystems are falling victim to the rising tourist numbers and are suffering the most harmful effects. Though everyone acknowledges these negative impacts, tourism’s effect on metropolitan areas receives far less consideration than it should. Moreover, city travelers might consume resources like water twice as quickly as locals and produce double the garbage, putting more strain on the infrastructure. There can also be several long-term significant effects along with these immediate effects.

The adverse effects of tourism on Europe can be significantly reduced by traveling sustainably, thereby positively affecting the environment. Some tips and tricks you can use to plan a sustainable trip to Europe include:

Try using public transportation

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Try to avoid hiring a car whenever you can take public transportation. Most European cities have a vast and well-maintained network of trams, trains, and buses that will take you anywhere you need to be. You will also be able to find maps of the transport systems either at the hotel or online. Therefore, using public transport instead of hired cars can be economical and sustainable.

Rent hybrid cars

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There might be situations where hiring a car might be unavoidable. In such a case, consider renting an electric or hybrid car. These vehicles can assist you in reducing your overall carbon footprint because they generate much lower emissions than conventional diesel or petrol vehicles. Electric or hybrid cars are available in most of Europe’s leading cities and are frequently priced similarly to conventional rental automobiles.

Book sustainable accommodations

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Look for eco-friendly hostels or hotels when booking your accommodation. A simple online search will help you find these kinds of lodging easily. Several hostels and hotels have also taken steps to lessen their environmental effect, including composting waste or recycling and using energy-efficient equipment and lighting. You can make your trip to Europe eco-friendly by supporting such establishments moving towards sustainability.

Don’t use single-use plastic articles

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Plastic is one of the major pollutants that cause enormous harm to the environment. It also takes several years to degrade, increasing the impact on delicate ecosystems. So when traveling, limit your usage of single-use plastic products like disposable cutlery, plastic wrap, and straws. Also, many European nations are beginning to tax or outright ban single-use plastic items, so you should avoid them.

Carry reusable coffee mugs and water bottles

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When traveling, try taking reusable coffee mugs and water bottles with you whenever possible to minimize the use of throwaway cups. This is also an economical option since many European coffee shops offer discounts to people who bring their mugs.

Use reusable bags for shopping

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Bring a few reusable bags with you when you go shopping while traveling to limit the use of plastic shopping bags. If you haven’t packed them with you, you can buy them from the many European stores selling such reusable bags. It is also economical since it spares you from paying plastic bag charges.

Pack light

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Packing lightly can help lower carbon emissions and avoid carrying a heavy bag. In addition, since heavier planes use more fuel, packing lightly can also assist in saving fuel use and associated emissions.

Eat as much local food as possible

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Eating locally is a tried and tested method of reducing the adverse effects of tourism on delicate ecosystems and traveling sustainably. You can find a ton of local eateries and restaurants online, accompanied by guides and reviews to help you choose the best one. Using locally produced food reduces transportation-related emissions while also boosting the regional economy. Also, trying regional specialties can make your European trip tastier and more fun.

Know more about the spot you are visiting

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Spend some time learning about the social and environmental problems that the locations you are visiting are dealing with before you leave for the trip. You can accomplish this by watching documentaries, reading blogs, or talking with people who live or have visited there. This will increase your awareness of your effect on these locations and the changes you can make to limit negative impacts.


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Millions of travelers visit Europe’s monuments, natural parks, villages, and cities yearly to learn more about its culture and history. However, you can make your trip to Europe eco-friendly and help its’ environment by making some little changes and efforts.

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