4 Experts on Making More Conscious Travel Choices – Condé Nast Traveler

Many of us aspire to be better travelers. We want to reduce our carbon footprints; to spend our time and money in exactly the right places. Sometimes, though, it can feel hard to know where our efforts are best directed, and how, exactly, other travelers are thinking about these bigger questions. 

We tapped four travelers who already exude conscientiousness—from a travel expert and a chef, to a hotelier and an environmental activist—and asked them how they’re trying to make more conscious travel choices in the future. Plus, where they still have room to grow—after all, the path to self-improvement never does have an end point, even for the best of us. 

Paula Franklin

Franklin is a cofounder of Travel Is Better in Color, a platform that celebrates the work of BIPOC storytellers in travel.

Are you proud of any changes you’ve made as a traveler?

“There’s a lot of greenwashing in the industry. Before booking a trip, I try to really understand who and what my travels can benefit and spend money there.”

What are you still working on?

“Travel is not environmentally friendly, so I’m looking to minimize my impact by taking more fuel-efficient planes and traveling by train.”

Any travelers you’re learning from?

“A new spotlight has been cast on Black travelers. I love what we’re creating, from Sarah Greaves Gabbadon amplifying the real Caribbean to Ayomide ‘Mimi’ Aborowa focusing on African cities.”

Raul Leal

Leal is CEO of SH Hotels & Resorts, whose portfolio includes 1 Hotels and Treehouse Hotels.

Has COVID-19 changed the way you think about your place in the world?

“Definitely. The fragility of our little blue planet has never been more evident. Our role is now clear if we want to survive and not fade away like other civilizations have: We must take care of each other and the earth.”

What does being a conscious traveler mean to you?

“People who work in travel are under intense pressure right now. We need to be kinder than before and realize that they are doing their best. Being a better traveler isn’t only about following proper protocols—it’s also about recognizing those team members at every opportunity. A word of kindness goes a long way.”

Matt Stone

Stone is a food- sustainability advocate and co-executive chef at Oakridge Estate in Australia’s Yarra Valley.

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