Now is a great time to ask yourself how you can be a better traveller. What could you do differently in your future travels? Is there anything that you’ve learned from this time at home? Here are seven ways that you can be a better traveller in a post-COVID-19 world.

Be more conscious of the environment

It’s a bit of a conundrum – we can’t help but look forward to flying around the world again, but we are also aware of the environmental impact of travelling. There are plenty of ways that you can be a better traveller, but the number one thing you can do is to fly less. If it’s possible to reach your destination by rail, road or boat, take the alternative mode of transport. If you do fly, try to travel with minimal baggage and book economy class to minimise your carbon footprint. You can also ensure that you don’t litter and that you use less plastic and reuse sheets and towels in hotel rooms.

Get off the beaten track

Don’t travel to places that are struggling with over-tourism or have a spike in COVID-19 cases. Plan trips to destinations that will be thankful of your tourism, getting off the beaten track and visiting roads less trodden. Do your research prior to travelling, looking into whether there are environmental or cultural implications to visiting your destination. There will always be an alternative – think Slovenia instead of Italy, or Montenegro instead of Croatia.

How to Be a Better Traveller - The Wise Traveller - Slovenia

Walk or cycle around your destination

When you’re getting around your holiday destination, spend as much time as possible walking or cycling. Not only is it better for the environment, but you’ll also get much more of a feel for a place. When you explore the streets on your own two feet, you’re free to wander wherever your attention takes you, seeking out interesting alleyways and intriguing paths. Leave the map at home and set out exploring!

Support local businesses

Stay away from chain shops and restaurants – you can enjoy those back home. When travelling, make an effort to invest in the local economy, spending your money in local shops and markets. If you’re heading out for a meal or a drink, seek out the places where the locals dine for an authentic experience.

Take more staycations

We’ve all learned to appreciate what is on our doorstep during the past few months. Once the pandemic is over, there will be the temptation to travel to farther flung destinations – but don’t stop exploring closer to home. Make an effort to take a couple of staycations or short road trips to neighbouring destinations a couple of times a year to learn more about your own area.

How to Be a Better Traveller - The Wise Traveller - MusicianPay attention to what is around you

Don’t forget that quality matters over quantity when you travel. Rather than rushing between destinations trying to cram in as much as possible, take it slowly and pay attention to the sights, sounds and smells of the places you visit. Linger over meals, stop to smell the sea air and take a moment to listen to a street musician.

Book the adventures you’ve been dreaming of for years

Don’t book a trip just for the sake of it – book the adventures that you’ve been dreaming about for years. Make your holidays memorable by planning experiences that you’ll never forget.

Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.