How to Plan a Budget Trip with a Focus on Sustainability

An experienced travel writer shows how holidays need not cost the Earth, and how you can in fact combine budget travel with sustainability.
Any opportunity to get away and explore somewhere new is a chance to make cherished memories with your loved ones. But it’s no secret that these trips can come at a cost – both to the planet and your wallet. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to save money while also limiting your environmental impact. If you’re looking to plan an eco-conscious adventure that doesn’t cost the Earth, here are three key things to think about.

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Travel plans are often the biggest sustainability offenders when it comes to holidays. Especially if you’re travelling by air, chances are you’ll be leaving a hefty carbon footprint before you’ve even checked into your accommodation. However, planes are often the cheapest and most convenient way to reach far-flung destinations, which can pose a dilemma for the eco-conscious traveller.
If you can reasonably reach your destination by another means of transport, make sure to look up these options. Whether that’s by car or train, you may find affordable transport that’s far better for the planet – especially if you book way in advance. If it’s not possible to complete your whole journey by alternate means, think about breaking it up and finding more sustainable methods where you can. For instance, can you get public transport to the airport? Or, if you’re travelling in a group, could you carshare?
Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to plan the most economical route so you can enjoy a guilt-free journey to your holiday destination.


As businesses become more focused on their environmental responsibilities, it’s becoming increasingly common to find accommodation options with strong green policies. If you’re looking to stay in a hotel, read up on their eco credentials in advance. Look out for things like energy-saving measures or their recycling process to give yourself peace of mind when booking.
On top of any environmental commitments made by the hotel, you too can play your part as an eco-conscious guest. For example, you can save water by reusing towels instead of requesting new ones every day. Often, hotels in developing countries put a major strain on local water supplies, which is why it’s so important to adopt responsible habits as a guest. In addition, try to reduce your plastic waste by using a refillable water bottle and bringing your own toiletries.


One of the most exciting parts of planning a holiday is thinking about all the activities to fit into your itinerary. You don’t have to limit yourself to ecotourism every day, but just stay conscious of how your plans may impact the local environment.
Planning an eco-friendly itinerary starts with picking a suitable location. For example, visiting somewhere with good public transport links will allow you to save on the emissions of a hire car when exploring the area. You can also look for destinations that have dedicated areas for supporting the environment such as nature reserves and national parks. Visiting these natural hotspots is a great way to learn more about a region while also practising responsible travel habits.

About the author:

Phoebe Moore is an experienced travel writer, having worked for more than a decade in the industry. She’s passionate about promoting eco-friendly travel and enjoys sharing her knowledge around how travel and sustainability can go hand in hand.


Find out more:

10 sustainable travel experiences around the world to bookmark – Lonely Planet

Eleven sustainable travel companies going the extra, eco-friendly mile – The Times Travel

10 Sustainable Travel Tips For The Eco-Conscious Traveler

3 Actions to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint