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Woman in a flower shop

Photographer: Monika Manowska

5 tips to make your holiday more sustainable

Travelling sustainably is about much more than sorting your rubbish and keeping the same towel at the hotel for a few days. Here are 5 tips for simple things you could consider doing to make your holiday more sustainable.


Tip 1 – Stay longer at a destination

Many tourists make the mistake of squeezing in far too many destinations and sights during their holiday. It’s not just stressful for you as a visitor but also creates an unsustainable work intensity for employees, as well as putting a burden on permanent residents of the area.

When you stay several nights at the same place the hotel can also save a lot of electricity and water that would otherwise be used to wash sheets and towels every day.

So take it a bit easier and plan just enough stops, then everyone will have a much nicer holiday experience.

Photographer: Marcus Helmer Gustafsson

Tip 2 – Holiday “off season”

At certain times of year some places are full of tourists, which puts great strain on the area. Visiting these places “off season”, in other words out of high season, can lead to many positive effects. 

A hotel with guests all year round can, for instance, employ full time instead of seasonal staff. A smaller holiday resort welcoming tourists twelve months of the year can support open-all-year-round food shops, which benefits the local community as well. Nature along a busy walking trail has a better chance of bouncing back if not all hikers come at the same time.

What’s more, you can often find better prices and avoid the crowds if you choose to holiday off season.

Photographer: Jonas Ingman

Tip 3 – Get off the tourist trail (with a local guide)

There’s so much more to discover in West Sweden than in the images you normally see in tourist brochures or on Instagram. Have a good look at vastsverige.com and find the less touristy treasures you want to explore on your next holiday, and what time of year would be the smartest to visit them.

The best way to escape the classic tourist trail is to let someone local show you around. Then you also get a more genuine impression of the area. Meet the Locals is a West Swedish initiative where ordinary people open up their homes or take guests to their favourite places nearby. You can, for example, check out Ann-Sofie’s favourite jetties for crab fishing in the Gothenburg archipelago, pick autumn apples on Sara’s family farm outside Lidköping or let Claes in Uddebo show you two wooden objects that have appeared in the Guinness Book of Records (!).

Tip 4 – Choose smarter transport methods

We can’t ignore the fact that the actual transport to and around your chosen destination is one of the biggest polluters of all.  Consider therefore choosing the most sustainable travel alternative you can. In West Sweden there are excellent train connections and convenient bus services. Alternatives for shorter journeys also include trams, boats, and bike or electric car hire.

When you get home do let your friends and acquaintances know how you travelled and which sustainable alternatives you discovered.

Check out these suggestions for sustainable holidays:

Photographer: Jonas Ingman

Tip 5 – Eat and shop locally produced

Make sure your money supports the local community as much as possible. If you order food and fika from the area you won’t just be helping the restaurant or café but also local farmers, growers, hunters and breeders, to name but a few.

Consider also choosing local alternatives if you want to buy souvenirs or clothes. Do some research and decide what kind of places you want to spend your money in.

Top tip! If you’re not very hungry you can always order a half portion (most restaurants are flexible if you just ask). And if you can’t finish your meal, ask for a doggy bag so you can eat the rest for lunch the next day.

Photographer: Anna Hållams

Travel sustainably in West Sweden