Children and young adults are the future. Therefore, we should show them how to travel with the smallest possible impact on the environment, cultures, and sites they encounter. The following tips for conscious travel with your students or kids will help you make any of your trips (and CAS Trips!) more sustainable.
1. Mode of Transport
Yes, some of the most beautiful places are a plane ride away, but do not be fooled by Instagram pictures or inspirational magazines. There are just as amazing places closer to you. If you are based in Europe, there are some unique places to see like the Berlin Wall, the Highlands in Scotland or the windmills all over the Netherlands.
If you are based in Latin America, visiting Peru will be a highlight! Explain the consequences of flying to your kids or students. Depending on their age, you can go into scientific details or just explain the cause and effect conflict of flying vs. driving with a car.
2. Respect Wildlife
Depending on where you are traveling to, you might find yourself enjoying time with wildlife. This could be a safari in Africa or walking the beaches in Galapagos. No matter where you are, you should always respect the wildlife – do not litter the beach, do not feed the animals (even birds!). Explain the environmental consequences to your students should these rules not be respected.
Teach your kids or students a few basic rules (make sure you do the same):
- Use a quiet voice to not disturb wildlife
- Do not touch or feed wild animals – you never know what could be under a rock
- Do not get too close – we do not want to risk any consequences
3. Make Smart Food Choices
Students and kids can be picky eaters, so be sure to make smart food choices. As many of you know, the way food is grown and processed has a big impact on our environment.
Instead of going to the supermarket, explore the local markets, and choose organic and local products. If you want to splurge and go out for a meal, avoid the big fast-food chains and instead visit some small family-owned restaurants. This also gives students and kids an understanding of how food traditions and ingredients reflect the local culture and the seasons.
4. Support the Small Local Businesses
Buying a small souvenir from a place you have traveled to is often a must. One of the ways to travel more sustainably is to support local businesses while you are traveling.
Do not stay in big hotel chains, and instead, stay at small B&Bs and family-owned hotels and eat at locally-owned restaurants. Give the local community you are visiting a chance to financially strive.
5. Choose a Sustainable Tour Operator
This last point may be a bit of self advertisement, but in order to truly travel sustainably it is always advisable to choose a partner that has similar values to those of your school or family you are traveling with. CAS Trips was founded on sustainable principles and we incorporate the UN SDGs into every trip we take.
Whether you are a teacher looking to travel with your group of students, or a parent interested in providing your child with the trip of a lifetime, feel free to contact us.