At Untours we are big boosters of thoughtful, responsible, and sustainable travel. We love the lessons Europe has to teach us about environmental conservation and stewardship. We have learned a lot over our decades of European travel and progressive business.
Here are some eco travel tips for travel in Europe, the Untours guide to green travel.
Green trip planning
- Choose tour operators and hotels that have responsible environmental business practices.
- Use e tickets and PDFs for as many of your trip documents as possible.
- Favor local guides and independent tour groups over big operations.
- Plan your trip with as few flight transfers as possible.
- If you have the option of hopper flights and rail transfers, choose rail.
- If you book a rental car, choose the smallest, most fuel-efficient model possible.
- Blend in when you travel. Choose small-group tours when possible.
- Stay in an apartment.
Before you leave home
- Turn off all lights. If you must use some lights for pets or security, set timers.
- Unplug any electronics that use phantom power, like TVs and stereos that use remote controls.
- Turn heat or air conditioning off or to the lowest possible setting.
- Buy carbon offsets for your trip.
Staying green on your trip
- Pack light. If possible, travel carry-on only.
- In your sightseeing, travel by foot or bike whenever possible.
- When hiking and visiting natural and archeological areas, stay on marked trails.
- Use rail and mass transit for sightseeing when it is available.
- When staying in a hotel, reuse towels multiple times to save laundry.
- Spend your money in smaller, locally owned shops rather than chains.
- Eat local, patronizing small, independent restaurants and farmers’ markets.
- Pack and use a reusable water bottle.
- Pack a small foldable tote bag in your day bag to carry any purchases you might make.
- Seek out recycling bins when you are on the go; make an extra effort to find bins by asking a local.
- If you are shopping for souvenirs and gifts, look for handmade things that you can buy from their maker, local goods, and fair trade chocolate.
Green your vacation apartment stay
- Turn off air conditioning or heat when you leave your vacation rental apartment for the day.
- Line dry your clothing as the locals do in Europe.
- Close shutters in summer to keep your apartment cooler.
- Understand and follow local guidelines for residential recycling and sort your recycling accordingly.
- Bring your own bags to market.
- If you are staying in the countryside, ask about composting.
- Don’t leave phone and tablet chargers plugged in when you are not actively charging your devices; they use electricity. (This is an important tip for home too!)
- If you need extra light at night, buy a night light to use rather than leaving on an overhead light all night.
- Buy carbon offsets for your trip with Native Energy.
- Book your hotels and get free carbon offsets with Trip Zero.
- Get some eco travel tips from the New York Times.
We’re a green, eco-responsible tour operator. Read more about Untours’ environmental policies and best practices here.