Whether you're headed to the beach or the mountains, to get lost in nature or visit a big city, our simple guide will help you have a great vacation while protecting the environment at the same time.

Empty sun chairs with yellow umbrella at the Seminyak beach, Bali, Indonesia. rel= © iStockphoto/21TORR archives GmbH

1. Select an appropriate destination
Choosing your holiday destination © Private

- How far will you need to travel? Most forms of transport contribute to climate change. To minimize your holiday emissions, choose a destination closer to home and/or one you can reach by transport other than plane.

- Look at eco-tourism options. Many travel companies now offer holidays which support sustainable development, do not impact negatively on the environment, and provide financial support to local communities.

Eco-tips for different countries, including green spots to visit.

2. Choose the best way to get there
Getting there © Private

- Choose the most environmentally friendly form of transport. Can you drive or take the train to your destination instead of flying? Try to especially avoid short haul (< 500 km) flights, and if you must fly, choose airlines with higher occupancy rates and more efficient aircraft.

The WWF Travel Helper helps you make an informed choice about the best way to travel. 
© WWF/routeRank
The WWF Travel Helper helps you make an informed choice about the best way to travel.
© WWF/routeRank

Use the WWF Travel Helper to make an informed choice about the best way to travel.

3. Choose the right place to stay
Choosing the right place to stay © Private

- Choose environmentally friendly accommodation. Look for hotels and other accommodation with effective waste treatment systems, that recycle, that are energy efficient, and, where possible, that use environmentally friendly energy sources such as solar energy or hydroelectric power.

With Check Out for Nature you and every guest staying at a Leading Hotel of the World have the opportunity to make a real difference for our planet.

4. Be responsible guest
Whilst you are there © Private

- Respect the local environment. Stay on trails and public footpaths; do not remove plants or feed animals; and never litter.

- Choose reputable, conservation-minded tour operators and suppliers.

- Conserve water. Take showers rather than baths; use a refillable water container, sterilizing water when necessary rather than buying bottled water. Minimize your use of personal care products and detergents to wash linen, and reuse your hotel towels and bed linen.

- Limit energy use. This includes your use of air-conditioning and hot water. Turn off all lights and taps when you leave hotel rooms.

- Dispose of sanitary waste properly. Don’t flush cotton buds, condoms, tampons and plastics down the toilet.

- Recycle and reduce. Recycle newspapers, magazines and your beverage containers (many can be returned for refunds), and reduce the number of bags, napkins and disposable cups you use when you eat fast food.

- Choose environmentally friendly transport. Rather than hiring a car, choose other ways to get around like taxis, trains or buses. In many places you can also rent bikes. And don't forget your feet!

- Avoid damaging recreational activities. Avoid sports which have a significant harmful impact on the environment, or choose more progressive establishments (e.g. golf courses which recycle water).

5. Coming home…
Money © Private

- Watch what you buy for a souvenir! Think twice before you buy any products made from any endangered species, including animal hides and body parts, tortoise-shell, ivory, or coral - they could be illegal.

And finally...

Enjoy nature and the environment. There is so much out there that stands out on this planet as amazing, astounding, and downright breathtaking...

Have a great vacation!

The One Planet LIfestyle guidebook
© The One Planet LIfestyle guidebook © WWF / One Planet Living