Face it. We all have that moment of panic when we go on vacation: “This is going to cost so much money. Why didn’t I save more? I don’t want to live on Taco Bell and Dilly Bars for the next seven days”. And nowadays, it’s cool to save money. It’s the hip, trendy thing to do. There’s no better way to embrace being cheap than by going green.
Before You Leave
Unplug your stuff before you leave. Do you really need your microwave plugged in when you’re heading to Branson with your family? The green community likes to refer to leaving electronics plugged in as “leaking electricity“. Leaks are bad, guys. Speaking of leaks, shut off all your outside water connection, especially on those trips home over Christmas and your pipes like to freeze. There’s nothing worse than coming home to busted pipes and a $500 water bill while you were chowing down on mom’s gingerbread cookies.
During Your Travels
When you’re finally on vacation, resist the urge to eat at familiar places and hit up the local joints. Local places source their food in town and support the local farming community. Oftentimes local means cheaper, so food costs are kept low because they aren’t charging for gas and hefty shipment fees. They also tend to be tastier; there’s nothing better than unique recipes reflecting the tastes and culture you’re visiting.
When visiting these local restaurants and destinations try to use local transportation. If there isn’t options for affordable and dependable transportation try renting a gas efficient or hybrid car. While the Prius isn’t very likely to impress just anyone, there’s always the chance you’ll catch the eye of the cute girl at the local vegan bakery you now secretly love!
Upstate New York does not come to mind when most people think of a vacation, but it is an alternative to a tropical destination and has a whole lot to offer. While in upstate, be sure to make your way to Syracuse to visit Destiny USA, one of the largest green shopping malls in the world. They’re LEED certified and offer many unique shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences. Just a short drive from Destiny you will find the Finger Lakes region. The Finger Lakes are some of the most beautiful pristine lakes in the world. Enjoy the scenery while you’re hiking or boating, but also make a stop to one of the local wineries. These wineries have a great atmosphere and delicious wines for the tasting!
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous why not take a trip to Mexico! Mexico is home to many eco-friendly resorts offering lots to do. Pueblo Bonito’s eco friendly resorts and spas are found in several different locations in Mexico. They support, and follow, many green initiatives in and out of their resort. While in Mexico make sure you do try cave exploring. They offer tours through caves for as little as $60.00. Also be sure to check out the Xplor Park. This park offers everything from zip lining, underground river swimming, rafting, and more.
Take it from me folks: traveling can be a drain on the pocketbook but don’t let it be a drain on the environment. There’s nothing wrong with helping the environment and saving a little of your own green at the same time.
Cliff Barre, of Vermont, lives with his wife Tiffany and son Steven. He would like to think of himself as an eco-friendly, responsible traveler who supports all things green. He says it’s never too late in the game to go green. Cliff feels his Responsible Tourists Blog, and other ‘Green Bloggers’, can be pro-active about spreading the news about green initiatives we can all get involved with!