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How to plan for sustainable overseas travel: 5 easy ways to make a difference

Australians love to travel. You can walk into a mountaintop ranch on the opposite side of the world and the chances are, there will be another Aussie there. We’re an adventurous people. We’re explorers. Our reputation for being globetrotters is perhaps only trumped by the reputation Australians have garnered for being kind.

With recent reports indicating that over 90% of Australians are concerned about sustainability but only half believe they do enough, we’ve decided to help you out. We’ve put together 5 easy tips to help you become a sustainable traveller.

1. Leave the car at home

Passenger cars are one of the world’s major pollution contributors. If you’re like the 2 in 3 Australians that drive to work every day, use your holiday abroad as an opportunity to ditch the car for a sustainable alternative.

Why not make good on your pledge to have a more ethical holiday right from the beginning? Airtrain will get you to the airport comfortably, safely and on time – so you’ll have ample time to hunt for that new-release book you just need for the plane trip.

Did we mention that each time you travel with Airtrain, you save .43kg of CO2? Each train has the capacity to carry over 600 passengers – amounting to a total CO2 saving of 258kg. That’s sust(r)ainable travel at its finest!

2. Avoid buying travel-size toiletries

Australia’s 100ml air travel restrictions on liquids and gels mean that often, travellers find themselves buying mini-size toiletries to take onboard.

With 8 million metric tonnes of plastic winding up in the ocean each year, it’s important to reconsider alternatives before packing the plastics.

You can get 100ml reusable containers to decant your toiletries into from any good chemist. However, if you want to opt for a zero-waste option, Australian Certified B Corp, Biome, offers clever alternatives to plastic.

3. BYOB (bring your own bottle)

With one million plastic bottles bought around the world every minute, the demand to use a sustainable alternative has never been greater.

Worldwide, water bottle refill stations are cropping up everywhere. You can even fill up your bottle at the Airtrain Domestic Station and the Brisbane Airport terminals before you depart on your holiday.

If there’s no drinking water taps in the area when you’re abroad, cafes and eateries will usually be happy to fill up your bottle with safe-to-drink water. In some cases, it may cost a small fee, but this is miniscule in comparison to the money you’re saving by ditching the disposables.

4. Be mindful of water wastage

A tonne of Australians embark for overseas holidays every year with one main activity (or lack of) on their agenda: relaxation.

For many of us, nothing says ‘relaxation’ more than a long, leisurely shower.

However, it’s important to stay conscious of water usage, even when it’s your hotel who is footing the bill for your bathing. If you’re wanting some water therapy, hop down to the beach. It’s (in most cases) free and what’s more relaxing than the feel of the breeze in your hair and the sun on your skin?

It’s also very likely that you can pick up some delicious local grub from beachside vendors. There’s nothing we like the idea of more than floating around in the water, sunshine beaming down, with a grilled corn cob in-hand and a smile ear-to-ear. You can’t do that in the hotel shower, can you?

5. Go paperless

A few short years ago, we remember stuffing a chunky folder stacked full of crispy A4 sheets of paper into our carry-on. In 2019, printing your itinerary translates to one thing – unnecessary paper waste. Smartphones deliver us a more sustainable way to keep our documents handy.

With Aussies using 40 million trees’ worth of paper each year, it’s never been more important to go paperless, and thanks to technological developments, it’s also never been easier.  

Airtrain are proud to be part of the movement towards a more sustainable future. Our range of mobile-ticketing and smartcard options make paperless travel effortless.

The little things we do have the ability to create big changes.

There’s a million & one ways to be eco-conscious while you travel. If you have any tips on how to be a sustainable international traveller, please leave a comment below.

Safe travels!