By Jamie Jefferson | Travelocity
If you have led your family to live a greener lifestyle over the past year, it’s only fitting that you give your vacation a green makeover as well.
People are becoming more and more environmentally conscious, so it’s no wonder that eco-friendly family vacations are growing in popularity.
Eco-friendly vacations are affordable and fit a wide range of tastes. By adjusting your schedule, making a few important choices and thinking with an environmentally friendly perspective, you can have a vacation that leaves less of an impression on Mother Earth. Here are 7 quick tips for a more environmentally friendly vacation:
Traveling eco-friendly starts before you leave the house. Your home uses a lot of power even when you aren’t there because of appliances that are left plugged in. Before you leave on your trip, be sure to unplug any unnecessary appliances such as your television, your computer and even your washer and dryer.
2. Configure your Furnace or AC.
Turn off your heating and cooling system, if possible. If you live in an area where your pipes would freeze, or if you have pets that need climate control while you are gone, be sure to learn how to program your AC and heater so they aren’t running continuously while you are gone. Set some of your lights on a timer for security purposes. You’ll save money and save power as well.
3. Fly Direct.
If you are flying to your vacation destination, try to find a direct flight from your home airport to your destination. Airplanes use a lot of fuel when they land and take off. By flying direct, you’ll be saving on the fuel that is distributed into the air. You’re also voting with your dollars and encouraging the airline to have more direct flights.
4. Purchase Carbon Offset Credits.
You can also opt for Carbon Off-set credits to offset the fuel used in your flight. Ask your airline if it offers a carbon off-set program. If not, you can always buy credits from a separate company. The company will use that money to fund renewable energy products or plant trees.
5. Consider all your Travel Options.
Look into taking the train instead of an airplane. Riding on the train can be a fun experience for the whole family. Not only will you be using less fuel but it will be a trip that your children will remember for years to come.
6. Rent a Hybrid.
When you arrive at your destination, rent a hybrid car to get you from place to place or take public transportation.
7. Stay at Eco-Friendly Hotels.
When searching for a place to stay, ask about the hotel’s eco-friendly policies. Many major chains are practicing recycling, using non-toxic cleaning products or replacing regular light bulbs with energy efficient ones. By asking, you are letting the hotel industry know that you care about these issues. You can find independent eco-friendly hotels by searching online. The Green Hotels Association has a list of environmentally friendly vacation spots.
Eco-friendly vacations are easily within your reach if you do some simple research. You don’t have to visit the middle of rainforest to be environmentally friendly. You can get an eco-friendly vacation by simply making better choices for your travel options.