Low Cost, Eco-Friendly Travel Tips

Sat, Aug 18, 2012


Many consultants find themselves traveling for work. At times this can mean you’re footing the bill for all of your expenses, and although they can be claimed as deductions come tax time (unless you’re reimbursed by your client) you might still be keen to keep costs low. But if you’re also interested in practicing eco-friendly behavior when you’re jet-setting for work, you might be a little skeptical about making arrangements that meet both your green ideals and your budgetary restrictions. There’s no doubt this can be a dicey proposition, especially when you consider that there’s no easy way to avoid the steep prices and massive pollution associated with airlines. But there are at least a few good ways to cut your carbon footprint without breaking the bank.

  1. Seek out eco-accommodations. It’s not always easy to find hotels that live up to your environmental standards, but there are many levels to consider. For example, some hotels will only go so far as to let the guests decide how green they want to be (by, say, offering not to launder towels that are left hanging instead of thrown on the floor). But others in the hospitality industry are going the extra mile by conserving resources, building with sustainable materials, locally sourcing goods and labor, and more. As for finding these hotels at decent prices, you’ll be glad to hear that Travelocity offers up to 40% savings on green travel deals. Check out http://www.travelocity.com/TravelForGood/ to get started.
  2. Eat in. You might think it will cost more to get a room with a kitchenette, but lodgings at an Inn and Suites type of establishment are not much higher than competitors with fewer amenities. And making your own meals when you travel can save you a ton of money, easily making up the difference and then some because you’re not eating out three times a day. Of course, it’s also a better choice for the environment, especially if you seek out local and organic markets to shop at.
  3. Use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. These “all-one” soaps can go the distance when you travel. With organic, fair trade options for every toiletry you can possibly think of you’ll be in the green for sure. But their classic soaps (bar or liquid) are also multi-purpose, so you can use one product for your hair, body, and even washing your own clothes. Plus, the liquids come in travel-size bottles, and because they’re concentrated, all it takes is a few drops to work up an incredible lather.
  4. Opt for alternative rental cars. The wonderful thing about choosing a rental car company that offers hybrid or electric vehicles (often mixed in with their regular lineup of gas-guzzlers) is that the price is not only comparable to other vehicles of similar size (most won’t charge you extra for flexing your green muscles), but you’ll also save on refueling. So wait for a discount code for Travelocity, Priceline, or Kayak to pop up your inbox and then double dip by selecting an alternative vehicle as part of your travel package.
  5. Check out other transportation options. Just because you can rent a car doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Consider using public transportation if you happen to be in a city where reliable options are available. This could save you a ton of money while reducing the unnecessary carbon emissions created by a single person using a vehicle.
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