Category Archives: Volunteer Travel

Volunteer Travel

Sustainable Tourism: The Future Of Travel Depends On It

With growth comes prosperity. With prosperity comes an increase in travel and tourism. With an increase in travel and tourism comes pollution, ecological damages, and pandemics.

No, this post is not about Coronavirus. This blog is about the future of travel. This blog is also about how you can practice and promote sustainable travel.

Sustainable Tourism

By 2050, with all other economic sectors having greatly reduced their CO2 emissions, tourism is likely to be generating 40% of global carbon emissions.

The main cause is an increase in the average distance traveled by tourists, which for many years has been increasing at a faster rate than the number of trips taken.

In other words, more people are traveling to faraway international destinations than they did in the past.

Travel and tourism is related to traveling for leisure, business, or visiting friends and family. Tourism also involves primary transportation to the general location, local transportation, accommodations, entertainment, recreation, food and dining, and shopping.

Approximately, 72% of tourism’s CO2 emissions come from the transportation aspect of travel (moving from point A to point B), and 24% from accommodations related activities, and roughly 4% from local activities including eating.

Airline travel alone accounts for more than half of all travel-related CO2 emissions. Do whatever you can do to minimize this part.

How To Promote Sustainable Tourism

The world is massive and has endless possibilities. There is so much that we haven’t seen, and if we don’t travel, we aren’t going to either. Looking at Instagram photos and YouTube videos can only do so much for our wanderlust.

Traveling is adventurous, exciting, and stimulating, and I believe that everyone should make an effort to reach out beyond their borders. That said, it is important to be environmentally conscious while you are traveling. Hence, the promotion of sustainable tourism is essential.

In today’s post, I am going to discuss 10 practical ways to promote sustainable tourism.

Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting somewhere as a tourist and trying to make a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy.

This can be done either by staying at a place longer than a few days and visiting adjacent countries, attractions, cities in a single trip instead of making multiple long-distance round-trip flights.

The future of our planet and climate change is in our hands

When Possible, Take Direct Flights

Planes are responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions, and they are an essential part of traveling, yet we can start moving on sailboats to avoid these emissions.

So, how can we make our travel more sustainable and decrease the impact we have on the environment.

Did you know? Planes emit most of their carbon emissions during takeoff and landing. This means that connecting flights are more damaging to the environment as compared to direct flights.

Therefore, whenever you have the option, choose a direct flight, these flights maybe a little more expensive than connecting flights. Still, they are more convenient and use less fuel as well, which is also suitable for sustainability.

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Find Sustainable Accommodation

Mykonos, Greece

If you are planning to stay at a hotel or a hostel while you are traveling, make sure that the place you chose is environmentally conscious. This will allow you to decrease your carbon footprint. Moreover, you should try to be sustainability-conscious as well.

For example, try not to waste any energy, water, or food. Make sure that you don’t cause any noise pollution, either.

Finally, you should also try to find accommodation that is locally owned so that you can support the local economy.

Only Use Reusable Stuffs

Reusable coffee cups

While you are traveling, you should try to minimize the use of disposable items such as plastic cups, bottles, and straws.

We know that plastic isn’t good for the environment, therefore, when you are traveling, make sure that you keep some useful accessories with you, like a grocery bag for shopping, a glass water bottle, a travel mug, etc.

Leave the Place As You Found It

A clean beach in Greece

This is an essential rule to follow when you are traveling in nature; for instance, if you are hiking or camping. You should try your best to have no adverse effects on your surroundings.

This means that you shouldn’t damage any local plants or trees and be as eco-friendly as possible. In short, you should leave the place as you found it.

Support the Local Food Vendors

A local fruit seller

If you are a foodie like me, you can appreciate the local cuisine and street food or exotic locations. Whenever I am traveling, I take some time to check out the local street foods, and when I’m visiting a restaurant, I choose one that is locally owned.

Instead of eating at fast-food restaurants owned by global conglomerates, I prefer eating at local establishments so that my travels can benefit the local economy.

Moreover, trying out local foods allows me to experience a whole new array of flavors and cuisines. So, make sure that you give it a try as well.

Pack Light and Smart

Carry only the necessities 

One of the first lessons to becoming a master traveler is to pack light. You should always aim to travel with a single backpack or small trolly case.

If you do have a large bag, then traveling in the local transport will be more difficult for you. You will have to take a taxi or use an online ridesharing app, which can result in extra carbon emissions.

Moreover, this is bad for your budget, and if you are using ridesharing apps like UBER, you are once again benefiting large companies rather than the local economy.

Therefore, pack light, but more importantly, pack smart. This is a skill that you will develop with time, so keep making an effort. For instance, once while traveling, I got a painful ear infection; luckily, I knew how to treat an ear infection at home.

Now I always keep some medications with me, because it can be challenging to find a good doctor sometimes, like when you are on a camping trip.

Volunteer to Help Local Communities

A group of UN Peace Corps Volunteers in Ukraine

One of the best ways to travel on a budget and have a significantly positive impact on the world is to volunteer with organizations like the peace corps. Not only will they fund your travels, but you will get a chance to help communities in need all over the world.

If you don’t want to make a long-term commitment with the peace corps, many other non-profit organizations will allow you to volunteer for a shorter time.

Use Sustainable Transport Wherever Possible

A bike parked in Amsterdam, Holland

When you are visiting another country, you will need to move around. Now, what form of transportation should you choose? Your objective should be to minimize your carbon emissions; therefore, for longer routes, choose public transport vehicles like busses and trains.

You can also use public transport to move around locally, but these days, most big cities have electric scooters that everyone can apply through an app. These are quite affordable and convenient as well. You can also consider renting a bicycle for the day.

Respect the Practices of Local Culture

When you are traveling to a foreign country, you will encounter different religions and cultures. To be a sustainable traveler, it is also essential that you respect the practices of the local people.

This means that you should try to be discreet when people are praying or doing cultural rituals. Also, make sure that you follow the appropriate dress code when you are visiting places of worship.

In short, don’t be insensitive and do some research.

Gondola in Venice / Climate change and its impact on Tourism

Raise Awareness About Sustainable Travel

Lastly, apart from following all the tips mentioned above yourself, you should always try to raise awareness in others.

This can be achieved by sharing your sustainable traveling experience with others through vlogs and your social media accounts. Moreover, you should talk to fellow travelers about sustainable traveling as well.

Author’s Bio

Katherine Joseph writes this article. She has been wearing hearing aids for over twenty years and still is a veteran of the audiology industry. She gives a holistic view of the hearing aid industry and the equipment available at DoctEar.

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9 Smart Tips to Travel on a Student’s Budget

Young people around the world like to travel around and see new things, meet new people and create memories. That said, we all know that traveling requires ‘time’ and ‘money’.

Students often have the luxury of free time but the number one issue that most students face is the lack of bank balance for such excursions into the unknown.

Traveling on a Student’s Budget

Luckily, there are ways to travel at relatively low expenses and still see the world and experience everything it has to offer. Plus, traveling only makes your resume and background story for a future career more interesting.

1. Hitchhiking

The most popular way of traveling cheaply (or even for free) is hitchhiking. Finding a Good Samaritan every once in a while shouldn’t be too difficult. All it takes is raising your hand next to the road and hitching a ride to wherever the driver is headed and is willing to take you.

Paying for lunch or for drinks along the way is a great way to repay their kindness and keep moving on. Just remember to be careful about hitchhiking and don’t be afraid to be picky about your drivers – some people might want to do you more harm than good.

2. Volunteering

Many student organizations offer free travel and accommodations for their volunteers, offering you a great way to travel cheaply. While you will have to do some volunteering along the way, it still beats paying for your own expenses.

You will not only see new places but also learn new skills and meet new friends, which is a whole other benefit to volunteering that you should consider.

Also Read: 7 Smart Tips to Make a Perfect On-budget Vacation

3. Cruising and crewing

Many oversea cruise lines look for bartenders, housemaids, chefs, etc. All the time. Yes, these jobs exist and they offer a great way to travel the sea and earn some money along the way.

It’s a great way to travel around at literally no expense and even end up in the positive when you are done with cruising. If sea or homesickness is not a problem for you, definitely think about cruising.

4. Travel internships

There are agencies and firms out there that pay for people who travel around and promote their brand. Just imagine traveling the world in a Coca-Cola minivan. It offers the company cheap publicity and marketing and it gives you a chance to travel around the world at no expense whatsoever.

While you will have to take photos of everything you are doing and abide by the contract of the company that is financing you, this is a minor issue when you take into account everything that you are getting.

5. Flying smart

Not all flying companies have high costs. You can easily find cheap flights all around the world if you look in the right places. One such website is Ryan Air and while you can’ travel to literally any location, you can still find a huge number of cheap deals on offer.

Look for cheap flights and providers that can help you travel to your desired location as cheaply as possible. You will probably have to adjust your dates accordingly and travel light, but it’s a great way to spend as little money as possible and still see the world.

6. Freelancing

While not a method of travel itself, freelancing gave birth to a type of people you may have heard of – digital nomads. These people travel around the world with nothing but their backpacks and laptops. They work wherever they end up sleeping that night and travel around for very low prices.

They can afford all of that because they are freelancers – all of their work is done online and there’s no need for a static job placement. Supreme Dissertations is now hiring students, take a look at the website in order to take a peek at what it means to be a freelance translator and write for a living. Think about freelancing the next time you are thinking about traveling the world at an affordable price.

7. Trade labor

You can combine hitchhiking with trading labor wherever you travel. Some inns, hostels and family businesses will happily offer you food and shelter in exchange for labor. You can work a couple of days in each place and move on along your journey, hitchhiking along the way.

This is a cheap and effective way of travel if you are in going through a rural village area where people are more welcoming and willing to trust strangers.

8. Travel Contests

You and your friends can apply for a travel contest that pays for all of your expenses in exchange for meeting certain criteria. These are usually racing around the world with little to no support from the organizers, apart from the media coverage and an instant way out if you give up.

These adrenaline-fueled races and competitions are a wonderful way of bonding with your friends and creating memories that will last a lifetime. How many people do you know that took such a challenge? It’s risky, exciting and most importantly – you get to travel the world cheaply.

9. Couch surfing

Perhaps the oldest trick to traveling cheaply, Couchsurfing has been around for a while. You can sleep at someone else’s place provided that they allow for couch surfers in their home and then move on once you get some rest.

Couch surfing is also a great way to meet new people and pay very little for your travel expenses when you put everything on paper. While not many people will let you stay the night because they don’t know you, those that let couch surfers crash for a night have often been couch surfers themselves.

Yes, You Can Travel

Traveling for on a small student budget takes some ingenuity but it’s certainly possible. The important thing is to always stay in touch with someone back home and have a way out should you get stuck. Traveling completely isolated from your real life can have huge consequences and it’s quite risky.

While it’s smartest to travel in groups, traveling this way is one of the best experiences you can have. Being a modern nomad and traveling around with only your backpack at hand is a wonderful experience that everyone should try at least once.

Author Bio

Ashley Kornee is a blogger and freelance writer. She always tries to write about ordinary things in a creative way.  You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. She’s now working at Supreme Dissertations as a content manager.

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Story of an American Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine

Sara Arielle Sherman, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen has decided to change her life and became a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine for two years. Did she have any doubts? Fears? Sure, yes. So, what made her make this important decision?

Read her story as she shares her experience from her peace corps volunteering time in Ukraine.

“Despite how difficult it may be, all volunteers succeed in their service.” – Sara A. Sherman 

Why did you decide to become a Peace Corps volunteer?

I wanted to give an international impression of what an American stands for, and provide my help and services to any other community, neighborhood, organization, or individual person in need.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering?

I mainly work with children here in Ukraine, so my personal favorite part about volunteering is making children smile.

Was it difficult for you to decide to change your country of residence and all your lifestyle for over two years?

As it is for most volunteers, yes. However, if you have the heart and giving mentality, a change of place in order to make a difference doesn’t seem that long.

How did your friends and relatives take the news?

Most of my relatives were extremely supportive, and some of them worried about my safety. Keeping in touch with them regularly helps smooth those tensions!

Why did you choose Ukraine as your destination?

Back in America, I kept up with Ukraine and their current situation in the news. To see the pride and love that the people have for their country is inspiring. I wanted to be a part of the change that Ukraine is undergoing now.

What do you like the most about Ukraine?

The locals here have welcomed me with open arms. So willing to care, support and love me – I have felt as if I was home the whole time.

What is different from what you expected?

I can’t clearly pinpoint what I expected to see here in Ukraine because I wanted to come in with an open mind and heart. However, the overwhelming pride and dedication to volunteer or serve their country even if it is from their own homes.

Is there something that surprised or even shocked you?

I was aware of the history of Ukraine and it being that war has affected almost every family in Ukraine. I understood what they went through in history and how it affected the lives of their children and their children’s children.

However, seeing it in person on the rainy Victory Day this year – the extensive line of men, women, and children all holding flowers to lay on the war memorial stone in the center, most of them crying, most of them elderly, was such an impact to see the effects of the war-torn country.

I was moved by the amount of love and care the people had for each other.

What would you say to people, who are thinking about becoming volunteers?

Peace Corps has always put an emphasis on resilience. The key is, no matter the struggle or hardships you experience, the reward will always turn around to be greater.

The act of resilience – despite how difficult it may be, will allow any volunteer to succeed in their service, and end up making a difference in someone’s life. I would not have chosen another way to live my life at this moment.

If this example encouraged some of our readers to also make the important decision to become a volunteer and see the world while making a difference, check out our Travel Resources page for opportunities to volunteer abroad.

 

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