13 Simple Tips for Travelling More Responsibly

How do you travel responsibly when travelling in another country? Becoming a responsible traveller is actually quite easy. Learn these easy and effective ways to travel more environmentally friendly and responsible.

Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash
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The Authentic Scandinavia Team

These are our 13 simple tips that will help you travel more responsibly when visiting the Nordic countries.

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1 Shop souvenirs made by local craftsmen

Sign showing the text Local
Photo: Erik Mclean, Unsplash

 

Buy locally-made souvenirs to support the local community and ensure that the money is used to develop the community and the region. 

 

2 Bring reusable items

A reusable water bottle. Background is showing the ocean.
Photo: Bluewater Globe, Unsplash

 

Do not buy plastic water bottles, bring your own reusable water bottle to fill with tap water which is very good in Scandinavia. Norway is said to have some of the best tap water in the world. Use reusable bags, refuse plastic bags in shops, and say no to plastic straws.  

 

3 Eat locally and prioritize seasonal products

Tons of apples lying in a wooden box.
Photo: Authentic Scandinavia

 

Support the local food producers and restaurants. Take reasonable servings at buffets and keep a good balance between vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals.

 

4 Keep nature trash-free

Rocks and a small lake surrounded by Swedish forest.
Photo: Nordic Trails

 

Make sure you collect your own garbage. A popular activity in Scandinavia is called plogging, which is a mix of the words jogging and picking up and is a popular fitness trend that combines jogging while picking up trash. Always follow the local recycling rules for your trash.

 

5 Give maps a second life

Phone in hand showing a route from A to B. Background shows a twisty road.
Photo: Tamas Tuzes Katai, Unsplash

 

Leave it at your hotel desk for future guests to use instead of throwing it in the trash. Better yet, download your location in Google Maps on your phone when you are in Wi-Fi, turn on your GPS tracking abilities, and you will be able to get your location even when you are out of cell service!

 

6 Remain on the trails to protect the local flora

Two persons walking on a trail surrounded by orange and green hills.
Photo: Davide Cantelli, Unsplash

 

For many, hiking in Scandinavian nature is an exciting part of the tour. It’s always a good idea to check the level of traffic on the trail you are considering. Look for less-traveled options, there are plenty of amazing hikes available in Scandinavia. To protect the local flora, stick to the trails. The trails exist for a reason.

 

7 Save water and electricity

Water running out from shower head.
Photo: Chandler Cruttenden, Unsplash

 

Prefer short showers over baths and turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Be mindful of your electricity usage, for example, switch off the lights and air conditioning when leaving your hotel room. Reuse the same towels when staying at a hotel several nights.

 

8 Use public transport

People sitting inside train. Train is driving through beautiful green Norwegian nature.
Photo: Sverre Hjornevik, Flåm AS

 

When visiting the destination choose public transport, hire a bike, or walk when convenient.

 

9 Support a non-profit organization

Trees on rocks next to lake.
Photo: Raimond Klavins, Unsplash

 

Find and support ethical non-profit organizations or community projects at your destination before you visit and support them by booking an experience or purchase any products that are produced.

 

10 Respect and accept local customs and traditions

3 women smiling and laughing.
Photo: Priscilla du Preez, Unsplash

 

Pay attention and respect local rules and signs, for example, do not take photos, do not climb, do not use drones, etc. Try to learn some simple phrases in the language of your host country: “Hello”, “Good Night”, “Thank you” etc. Be kind, smile, and treat everyone you meet with respect.

 

11 Seek out cultural experiences

4 people taking part in a Sami Experience sitting around a big plate on a bonfire inside a tent.
Photo: Treehotel Harads

 

Seek out cultural experiences in your free time, for example by joining a local tour, visit museums and local markets. Chat with locals to grow your understanding of the destination you visit – the Scandinavians might seem shy, but they are friendly and often up for a chat. 

 

12 Promote sustainable awareness

Purple flowers on a field posted to Instagram.
Photo: Authentic Scandinavia

 

Promote sustainable awareness through your social media by tagging your pictures and the destination with #responsibletravel #recycle #respectnature.

 

13 Offset your carbon emissions.

A close up on green plants that sprout.
Photo: Anna Olsson, Unsplash

 

Each traveler has a carbon footprint that can be calculated and compensated. It is quite possible to offset this footprint by participating in greenhouse gas compensation programs. Here is a list of websites that offer to offset your footprint:

 

My climate

Green Tripper

Chooose

 

Remember, no action is too small, and we all have the power to change our perspective, impact, and reality.

 

By The Authentic Scandinavia Team / Nov 08 2021

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