Join Us in Committing to Responsible Travel in 2023
Slowly but surely, travel has started to return to its pre-pandemic numbers. In some cases, it’s actually exceeding 2019 levels for domestic travel in the U.S. As we enter the new year, most countries are fully open and Covid-19 restrictions dropped in many locations. People are eager to get back out there and rediscover the world again, but with new and improved intentions.
In 2023, it’s all about meaningful and responsible travel. After losing the ability to travel freely for so long, trends show that travelers are becoming increasingly aware of how they travel. Whether it’s committing to trip sustainability, forging a deeper connection with a community, or pursuing passion through discovery, 2023 promises to be a stand-out year for both domestic and international travel.
Join us in making a New Year’s resolution to travel with more meaning in 2023. Here are a few of our favorite new sustainable travel trends:
While tourist hubs across the globe are brimming with travelers again, make it your mission to leave the bustle behind and forge your own path. Getting off the beaten path doesn’t mean a hardcore off-grid adventure; it could be as simple as staying in the suburbs, taking the backroads during a road trip, or visiting a less popular destination. France, Spain, and Italy are the most popular destinations in Europe, but why not give the naturally-blessed Azores, affordable and charming Estonia, or rugged and wild Mongolia a try? If you do find yourself drawn to destination hot-spots like Italy, it’s still possible to veer off the tourist track and visit some lesser known yet equally beautiful places – like Le Marche and its UNESCO-listed city of Urbino, the vineyards of Lombardy, and the quaint canals of Grado.
Sustainability is the founding principal of HYDAWAY and we’re excited to see more and more people joining this cause! We’ll be the first to admit that travel is a driving force in our lives, but we also recognize the negative environmental impacts it produces, like increased air pollution, land degradation to support tourism infrastructure, and strained natural resources. Some of these results are inevitable, but you can help offset your carbon footprint in a number of ways. One of the best things you can do is commit to trip sustainability, a trend that is becoming even easier thanks to a worldwide commitment to ecotourism. Costa Rica, a destination well-known for ecotourism, offers countless eco-lodges committed to nature conservation, community development, and regenerative agriculture. Popular destinations like France are also doing the responsible thing. With the help of a €50 million government investment, the country is promoting natural attractions and countryside eco-lodges (like these island accommodations in Brittany, France).
Traveling sustainability is more accessible than ever before, so consider checking out the places you can stay and experiences you can gain that support both nature and the local community.
Supporting the local community goes hand-in-hand with ecotourism. Community-focused travel means having more meaningful and immersive experiences, hiring local guides, or supporting locally-run businesses. Instead of staying in an eco-lodge, you could take it one step further and seek out a homestay. The experience of living in a local family’s home, participating in their daily lives, and eating home-cooked meals results in a more genuine and meaningful connection. Find a hole-in-the-wall cafe or street stall to enjoy your next meal–it’s pretty much guaranteed that it will be cheaper and better tasting than anything in a chain restaurant. It also ensures your money is going directly back into the community. Similar rules apply when shopping: hit up the local craft markets to buy directly from the makers, or purchase your produce from farm stands and food markets. If you decide to book tours or hire a guide, do some research first to make sure you book with a company that hires locals, pays fair wages, and respects the environment.
Do you have a passion that you could pursue in another country? Chasing your beloved hobby across the globe can give your trip a greater purpose. Whether you want to visit the filming location of your favorite TV series or movie (like Game of Thrones in Croatia or Harry Potter and Braveheart in Scotland), following your favorite team to the game of the year (like Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona, or FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand), or surf the wave of your life in Bali, pursuing your passion in other countries is sure to make your trip a whole lot more exciting.