Maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in the surroundings of your travel zone is a definite and necessary form of etiquette. Keep the washroom clean after using. Be careful to drop waste only inside the bin and do not loiter stray things around. Keep your personal belongings tidy and close to you. Avoid smelly foods and cologne. Traveling is already a difficult task and being untidy only will add to the ciaos.
The reality is that travel is inherently un-green. Think of all the exhaust we emit into our air and the extra consumption we require. We drive hundreds more miles than we normally would or climb aboard a jumbo jet to zip off to some destination, where we proceed in having someone else make the bed, clean the room and leave fresh towels every day. We eat out and use enormous amounts of throw away containers.
But travel can be green, or at least greener, and cheaper at the same time.
Here are some examples:
Print your Mapquest directions on recycled paper. Better yet, use a GPS to get you there and let the kids learn to navigate following the route on an old-fashioned reusable paper map.
Pack your snacks in reusable containers.
Bring a refillable water bottle and, unless the water at your destination is unsafe to drink, refill it regularly rather than buying and throwing away plastic water bottles. ( This is a good practice at home too.)
Turn off the TV, lights and air conditioning when you leave your hotel room. It will only take a few minutes to cool the room when you return. (This is a good practice at home too.)
Repeat this motto: Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.
Drive 55. It saves gas as well as lives. Did you know that going speeds over 60 on average wastes gas!
Pack light. Whether you’re flying or driving, the extra weight increases fuel consumption. Besides it’s easier to pull a small roll-aboard suitcase than lug a huge over packed one.
Shop and eat locally. Stay in a locally owned bed and breakfast (an increasing number accept children) and eat in restaurants that use locally grown foods and support the local economy.
Think about ways to help. Consider bringing things you can donate to a local charity, particularly if you’re traveling to a place plagued by poverty, such as a Caribbean island. Maybe you can leave the books you finished reading or the summer clothes your kids will outgrow by next year. Ask the kids to come up with other ideas about how your family can help. They might surprise you.