5 More Green Tips for Time-Starved Family Vacation Planners

Vacation time is upon us all! And, whether you planned your vacation six months ago or six days ago, there is always that last minute distressed feeling of how is this all going to come together?

My last vacation planning tips article hopefully provided some helpful insight to selecting a vacation destination that would be both adventurous and relaxing for the whole family.

Now that you have decided where your family will be spending some quality together time, here are some specific travel logistics tips that can make your vacation a bit greener.

Eco-Travel Tip #6 Your Renaissance eco-castle awaits: Given that there are millions of places designed to accommodate tourists both typical and sometimes, extremely original, why not consider an unusual and green accommodation. You can treat yourself to a night in an old country house, a hunting lodge even a comfortable agritourism farm.

The Rainforest Alliance, It’s a Green Green World and Farm Stay US websites list beautiful, eco-friendly accommodations that fit all budgets and that have been verified as responsible. If there are no eco-lodgings available at your destination, review the list of eco-hotel criteria against the available options and ask the hotel’s management if you have questions or concerns.

Eco-Travel Tip #7 Support local communities: Genuine green travel organizations understand that tourism can be utilized as a tool for poverty alleviation as well as achieving community economic and social goals. Therefore, a crucial distinction for green tourism is not only the use of local employment and resources, but local ownership of the business.

If you are looking to participate in eco-friendly activities while on vacation, use the Green Key website to select awarded hotels that offer activities. If you prefer to have a handy list of kid-friendly and inspiring vacation ideas that can be used at a moment’s notice, download the Blue Flag’s Environmental Education Activities Book.

Eco-Travel Tip #8 Eat locally produced foods: Aside from the fact that one can truly immerse themselves in the travel experience when sampling local foods and delicacies, the practice of eating locally can also help the environment. A great resource is World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms WWOOF, which lists organic farms as well as organic farm volunteering opportunities around the world.

To find sustainable food restaurants in the United States and Canada, two great resources are Eat Well Guide and Local Harvest, which provides a comprehensive U.S. directory of farmers markets, farm stands and other sources of locally grown food.

If you or a family member suffers from allergies, Select Wisely portable translation cards, which can also be downloaded to a smartphone, cover all manner of food allergies and medical conditions including nut and shellfish cards, restaurant chef cards, gluten-free cards, smoke-free cards and low-salt cards among others.

Eco-Travel Tip #9 Embrace the sun: Travelers today are loaded with MP3 players, smartphones, e-book readers, game players, camcorders, laptops and other electronic necessities that are indispensible even if you are going on vacation to unplug. Not only do the travel gadgets take up a lot of room in the travel bag, the cords and batteries weigh it down even further. However, using a solar-powered charger, even one that is embedded in a backpack or laptop bag, can really help lessen the load. These chargers are becoming more powerful, dependable, cost effective and portable each day.

Also, if you tend to over pack even without the travel gadgets, look into some packing tips from OneBag.

Eco-Travel Tip #10 Don’t just tour, voluntour: Voluntourism is different from a volunteer vacation in that there is a balance struck between the tourist offering a volunteer service, for a conservation project for example, during the trip and the tourist enjoying the natural surroundings and wildlife habitats through ecotourism activities such as kayaking and hiking.

For a different experience while on vacation, look into volunteer experiences and, check out our eco-certified green vacations that feature awesome adventure, culture, nature & wildlife and culinary experiences.