(LOS ANGELES, April 21, 2008) – Travelers are increasingly seeking out ways to visit faraway destinations and experience new adventures while minimizing the impact of their trips on the environment. The Automobile Club of Southern California’s AAA Travel Agency has several tips and vacation ideas for travelers that will help them enjoy their getaways while staying environmentally friendly.
“Many travel providers in the U.S. are offering options among their products and services that reduce or mitigate the impact of travel on the environment,” said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. “In addition, eco-tourism policies are spreading in popularity at travel destinations around the world.”
AAA Travel offers the following tips and ideas to make your vacation a “green” one:
1) Destination choices: Eco-tourism is a concept which emphasizes exploration of natural environments without harming them through pollution or excessive development. Several countries have adopted eco-tourism policies. The AAA MemberVacations catalog features “adventure and active vacations” to several eco-tourist destinations including Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and Tanzania.
Also, when choosing a hotel, cruise line or other travel provider, you can ask for information on their ecology efforts. Some travel providers donate money to community projects supporting preservation of natural resources. Others incorporate recycled material into their construction or furniture to reduce usage of raw materials.
Even without visiting eco-tourism destinations, travelers can create their own “eco-vacation” by choosing a walking or biking tour of a region.
2) Getting there: If you’re taking a driving trip, use the vehicle you own that gets the best gas mileage, or if you’re renting a vehicle, consider those with good fuel efficiency. Hertz, for example, offers a “Green Collection” of rentals that include Toyota Prius models and other fuel-efficient cars. For each “Green Collection” rental, Hertz is donating $1 to the National Park Foundation to preserve U.S. national parks. AAA members receive discounts and special benefits on all Hertz rentals.
3) On your trip: Travelers can make almost any vacation more eco-friendly with a few easy changes. In your hotel room, you can save energy by turning off lights and air conditioning and shutting the drapes each time you leave. Some hotel chains allow you to re-use towels and sheets without laundering them on a daily basis, to conserve water and reduce energy usage.
Also, whenever possible, you can save energy and see more of your vacation destination by choosing to walk or take public transit during your trip.
For more information on these and other “green vacation” ideas and bookings, visit the Auto Club online or at any office, or call (888) 874-7222.