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Money-saving Travel Tips!

Updated on October 12, 2016
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy loves to share her wandering adventures, including her home state of Texas, and the many places she's traveled.

Eco-Vacations are Fun, Affordable and Earth-Friendly

Take your Green Awareness with you on your next trip
Take your Green Awareness with you on your next trip | Source

Save money by going Green when you travel

If you care about the planet, you don't have to leave those cares at home when you travel. With just a bit of research and planning, you can be as eco-friendly on vacation as you are at home.

Many airline carriers, resorts, hotels and various destinations now pride themselves on being environmentally conscious and leaving a smaller carbon footprint than in the past. The days of wasteful use of resources by big-name travel industries have faded, which is good news for the environment.

Eco-travel makes good sense for Earth-conscious travelers, and it's a sound business decision as well for airlines, hotels and businesses.

Showing concern for the environment allows a business to promote itself as Green.

Here are some tips for planning a Green vacation or business trip:

Avoid Peak Travel Times

Peak travel times cost more money, but also create more harm to the environment due to the increase of pollutants from travel delays.
Peak travel times cost more money, but also create more harm to the environment due to the increase of pollutants from travel delays. | Source

How to Plan the Timing of Your Vacation

One way to save money as well as the environment when you travel is to avoid peak travel times.

It's no secret that ticket prices are higher during peak times, such as popular holidays, certain days of the week or trips to destinations during the high season or special events. The reasons rates are high are multiple. Yes, airlines and other carriers know the demand is high and they can hike the rates. But staffing needs go up during those times, and often fuel costs increase as well.

How do you help the environment by avoiding peak times? There are far more delays during peak travel periods, and those delays cause additional idling time on roadways, runways and other places when engines run in place. You can avoid adding to that waste by timing your trips to avoid those traffic jams.

Does Your Airline Conserve Fuel and Protect the Environment?

Improved aerodynamic engineering helps reduce fuel consumption
Improved aerodynamic engineering helps reduce fuel consumption | Source

Green Air Travel

Yes, even ginormous jets can be engineered and managed to fly Greener in the wide blue yonder. Several airlines have taken steps in recent years to reduce fuel consumption (which also lowers harmful emissions).

Continental Airlines' staff of environmentalists have helped the company Go Greener in everything from its terminals to its fleet of aircraft. The financial investment is huge (greater than $16 billion) but when you buy fuel in mega-quantities and transport millions of passengers a year, the investment can lower the bottom line as well as the impact on the environment.

Among Continental's innovations to its fleet are the installation of winglets (small air baffles on the tips of wings) to help aircraft fly more efficiently. The company also works to avoid polluting landfills by recycling what would otherwise be toxic waste. The company merged with United Airlines (becoming United Continental Holdings) a few years ago, creating an even broader opportunity to support the environment through eco-efforts.

Southwest Airlines, known for its early adaption of ticketless flying, has had a Green approach for years and now enjoys a Blue Skyways partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency. The airline saves nearly 300 pounds of CO2 emissions for each million of flights through efforts such as its advanced avionics engineering, installing winglets and recycling oil products.

Even non-travelers are benefit from Southwest's environmentally aware programs; the company works to reduce noise pollution, which greatly enhances the quality of life for people as well as wildlife living near flight paths.

Other airlines are also becoming more environmentally friendly; Virgin Atlantic and Jet Blue are among those that have reduced CO2 emissions in their fleets. Other steps, such as reducing the size of paper tickets and the time a jet spends idling on tarmacs (Jet Blue initiatives) and helping to offset carbon in Third-World countries such as India (a Virgin Atlantic program) are making a difference as well.

These are just a few of the things carriers are doing to make your vacation a Green experience.

Planes can be engineered to save more fuel

Various adaptions on wings help conserve energy and improve efficiency
Various adaptions on wings help conserve energy and improve efficiency | Source

More Tips for Going Green When Making Airline Reservations

Did you know you can even make a Greener choice when you book your flight reservation?

Pay attention to the type and age of the aircraft you'll be flying on; older models have fewer of the modern features that save fuel and reduce pollution (such as the use of lighter-weight metals, engineering features that save fuel, and more efficient emission systems).

Some airlines are so new that they boast an entire fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft. These airlines may not fly the routes you plan to take for various excursions, but if you can book seats on those flights that are going your direction, you'll be comforted to know you're traveling about as Green as you can get.

Most ticketing sites list the type of aircraft used on routes, so it's fairly easy to cross-reference a model and learn how it's designed.

Pack the minimum, and pack lighter-weight items rather than heavy ones

Streamline your packing to avoid extra weight, which increases fuel consumption
Streamline your packing to avoid extra weight, which increases fuel consumption | Source

Packing a Light Suitcase Saves the Environment When You Travel

Do you really need that amazingly heavy load of bath lotions and shampoos? What about the three extra pairs of shoes you are absolutely sure you can't live without?

Unless you're a fashion model going on a major shoot, or you're going to need a 12-month wardrobe, you probably don't need half the things you've set aside to pack.

Every extra pound of luggage adds to the weight the aircraft has to lift and transport. Multiply even 10 pounds of luggage by several hundred passengers during a 1,000-mile flight and you can see the impact on fuel consumption.

Worse yet, if you buy even one souvenir mug or figurine, your luggage will be even heavier on the return trip (not to mention the extra pounds you might be carrying from all that good food you ate - but we won't talk about that here). Here are some tips for packing:

  • Plan to offset the weight of souvenirs and other purchases you might make by not bringing back everything you took with you. Are you bringing a few paperbacks to read? Consider recycling them at the hotel or resort for others to enjoy.
  • Are you going to muck about in a remote area? Maybe you can pack older shoes and clothes that you can leave behind when you depart. Often, especially in areas with depressed economies, left-behind clothing and shoes are greatly valued by those who find them in your room or on the recycle shelves some Green resorts provide.
  • Carry small containers of consumables rather than entire, full-size bottles. If you save hotel shampoo bottles, they're perfect for trips and can be left behind with less guilt (although they might be considered a waste product). You can also refill the bottles for several uses.
  • Most hotels now have blow-dryers, so resist the temptation to pack that heavy and bulky device. And, hotels often provide courtesy computers; do you really need your laptop this week?

What do you think?

Do you try to Go Green when you travel?

See results

How to Pick a Green Travel Destination

Check to make certain your hotel or resort protects the environment through smoke-free policies, recycling and water-wise landscaping.

Some destinations are completely Green in every way - Maho Bay Campgrounds on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands was built to be environmentally sound and to have little impact on the fragile environment that hosts the resort. Visitors can stay in tent cabins (served by external bathhouses) or in condo-like units that have their own amenities. Either way, you can enjoy a stay in a tropical paradise with full knowledge that you haven't harmed the eco-system.

Several other Eco-resorts are available in exotic places such as Kenya, Honduras, Bali and Jamaica, to name a few. All are known for placing a priority on the environment while at the same time offering an amazing travel adventure.

The Marriott chain was one of the first to enact no-smoking rules across all its properties. The chain also offers Green choices for conventions and business meetings by including recycle bins in conference areas and offering recycled paper pads and pens. Many other hotel chains have similarly created Eco-friendly options for guests or business travelers.

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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Ha - that was great, Floriferous! I was surprised, too, but it's such a great feeling to know they're embracing environmental issues. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  • floriferous profile image

    floriferous 4 years ago from Canada

    Fabulous Hub. I had no idea airlines were ... ahem ... getting on board with green travel. Good for them. I've bookmarked it to refer to it next time we're off in the world.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, 10kabhijita! I appreciate your comments and votes; glad you like the hub!

  • p10kabhijita profile image

    Abhijit Aswath 4 years ago from India

    Great hub. Makes a lot of sense as an environmentally conscious human being. voted up and awesum.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Sord87 - I hope you get a chance to visit some of the Green destinations!

  • profile image

    sord87 4 years ago

    this is nice,going green allover even bag and air flight.would love to travel to green place too!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, aviannovice - thanks for reading and commenting!

  • aviannovice profile image

    Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

    Glad to see that Big Business is caring about the environment. Bravo!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Deborah - thanks for the great tip on Costa Rica - I have a feeling there are many such places to be discovered! Many thanks for stopping by and commenting here!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Bravewarrior! I'm so glad you like the hub! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Jennifer - that's great information about Lufthansa and the Portuguese destination! Thank you for sharing, and thanks for reading and commenting!

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

    Great hub. Going green is important to me and you've given me some new ideas. By the way, I've traveled in Costa Rica and many resorts and lodges there emphasize ecotourism.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Great article Marcy. It's comforting to know "going green" is actually going global. I try to live green in my daily life, which actually calls for little to no long distance travelling. In today's age of waste and economic gain, it's nice to see we're also working towards ergonomic gain!

  • Jennifer Madison profile image

    Jennifer Madison 4 years ago from Lohmar

    I thought this article was very useful! Ecotourism is such an interesting topic and it is always good to learn about companies who support it! It is good to see that United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, among others, are making efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and I think more airlines should follow in their footsteps. Lufthansa is a German airline company and they are currently testing biokerosene on selected flights and they are also working on reducing their noise emissions, modernizing their fleet etc. They have also recycled their trash for many years. A great destination for eco-tourists is Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago, which is a paradise for nature lovers and hikers. I have been there twice and I was amazed. The island also has a primeval forest that has remained untouched. Thanks for sharing this article, I hope more people will join in on the quest for a greener planet!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Nettlemere - it is indeed fascinating to learn how technology and big corporations are making a difference. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Teaches - I'm with you - it has been exciting to see changes made on behalf of the environment. Feels good to know even big companies care.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Rebecca - I hope you get a chance to travel soon! So glad you like these ideas - thanks!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Thumbi - I'm glad you found some new ideas here - thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Nettlemere profile image

    Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

    Very interesting about the airlines efforts to go greener, I hadn't read about that before. Good packing advice too.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

    I applaud those airlines that have taken this into consideration. It is great to see the increased green promotion throughout the industry. Voted up!

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Traveling green is a different concept and sort of new. I don't get to travel a lot ):. Maybe someday, and I will keep these ideas stored upstairs in the old 'cranium file." Good job, and what a fantastic idea for a Hub!

  • thumbi7 profile image

    JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

    This is very interesting

    Great idea

    I have never thought about it before

    Thanks for sharing this

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Alocsin - thanks for your kind comments here; so glad you like the ideas in the hub!

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

    I'll keep these tips in mind since I travel a lot. Have not considered the age and type of aircraft before but since this readily available info with the reservation, I'll consider it next time. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Yoginjoy! The more we learn about it, the more we can conserve the environment and resources. Thank you for stopping by and connenting!

  • yoginijoy profile image

    yoginijoy 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

    What a fantastic idea for a hub! Yes, I do try to be as green as possible, especially when I feel that flying is not a green activity. This is great-getting people thinking about their carbon footprint. Voting up and useful.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Suzzycue - I hope you give Maho Bay a try - it's one of my favorite places to visit. It makes you want to sell everything and live in a hut on the beach!

    Thanks for reading and for your sweet comments!

  • suzzycue profile image

    Susan Britton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    You sure made me think today Marcy. I never even thought of any of this on an airflight. My eyes are open and the idea of staying in a tent resort would be fun to me. Thanks for the tips and a great informative hub.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Melovy - trains are a great choice, too - and they're fun! I'm very relieved to see how airlines are making improvements in their equipment and practices. So glad you enjoyed the hub - thanks for commenting!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thank you, Lizam - I appreciate your reading and sharing your thoughts!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, fpherj - you are always so considerate of all you know, so I'm not surprised you think of these things! So glad you like the hub!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Suzie - wow, you're already ahead of the pack on this! Thanks for your votes, and for sharing!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    I agree, AcademicViews - you are so right. If everyone cut their baggage weight by even 10 pounds, it would have a huge impact on emissions and fuel consumption. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Sadie - yes, I think our tendency is to put ourselves in someone else's hands when traveling. But we can indeed take some control with our choices. Many thanks for your comments!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Awwww - thank you for the kind words, Nare! I hope this gives you ideas for some of your writing!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Kelley - so glad you like the hub! Thanks for voting and sharing!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Billy - thanks so much for your feedback! The more I've learned about environmental awareness, the more opportunities I see to incorporate it in our lives. Thanks for reading and commenting,

  • Melovy profile image

    Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

    This is great Marcy. I had never thought about avoiding peak times being environmentally sound, but it makes sense now I see it! We travel by train whenever possible, even though my husband is a pilot! (Though I do know that airline companies are improving their act.)

    Voted up and sharing.

  • Lizam1 profile image

    Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

    Very nice and well written hub. Thanks I will take some of your tips on board when we travel.

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Marcy......I consider a number of things when I'm planning a trip......and I would have to say that "going Green" is probably something I've been doing before even knowing the term, "Going Green".....if you know what I mean.

    Being frugal and looking for deals....and "thinking simple" are all habits of mine......packing light.....and I do search for prices and deals and whether to drive or fly.....and also, try to "share" the drive when possible...

    At this moment, I'm recycling like mad....having a huge yard sale!!

    Thanks for a great hub, Marcy.

  • Suzie HQ profile image

    Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

    Excellent hub with great info and ideas we can do when travelling. I do try to limit bottles, clothes for packing but the info on resorts and airlines is very useful!! Will vote up and share also!!

  • Academicviews profile image

    Academicviews 4 years ago from Scotland

    I think if everyone just made little changes we can help the planet. Really good hub and there should be more eco hubs on here.

  • sadie423 profile image

    sadie423 4 years ago from North Carolina

    Great information! Most people probably leave their green ways at home when they travel, great ways to keep it up even on the road.

  • Nare Anthony profile image

    Nare Gevorgyan 4 years ago

    Great Hub Marcy! Once I had been assigned to write about ecotourism but I really didn't know what to write. This is great! I admire you so much :)

  • profile image

    kelleyward 4 years ago

    Marcy I haven't heard of eco-friendly travel before. Thanks for the tips now I know how to be more green when I travel. Voted up and shared! Kelley

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    What an interesting idea for a hub! I never would have thought of this but your hub is filled with fantastic ideas and reasons for following those ideas. Great job my friend!

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