Travelling during your Erasmus exchange is among the things you will love the most. Make sure you do it in a sustainable way though! Your host city has cheap flight connections? Why don't you discover the region by land? While bus and train connections might not be good between different countries, domestic land connections are usually efficient. In some countries you can get cheaper tickets depending on your status (student) and age (usually under 26). The journey, not just the destination, matters: travelling by land means you can enjoy the scenic route and discover different landscapes and towns you pass by. Much better than an endless and unvaried bed of clouds, isn't it? Not convinced? Look at the emissions from different modes of transport for a motivational boost!
Actions you can take
- Travel by land! Discover the regions surrounding your host city. While there is not much to see from a plane, a bus or train trip will make you grasp more of the inner soul of a place. Organise a trip with your friends. It will be fun, easier and less stressful! Adieu to security check lines, overbooking, loss of baggage, and packing liquids into tiny bottles!
- Go wild! Have a look at the physical map or find some inspiration through a sports app, such as Komoot, Strava or Wikiloc. Rivers, lakes, forests, and the seaside. Depending on where you live, you might reach an attractive destination by local bus, bike, hiking, canoe/kayak or a combination of all of them! Keep in mind to behave responsibly during your outdoor activities. Few examples? Use the track path in a forest and do not shout. Do not pick something in a protected area and take it home. Sand included!
- Eating is a primary need and a very important cultural trait. Avoid fast food and opt for local dishes in local restaurants and taverns. This way you support the local economy.
- Use an eco-friendly booking site for accommodation or opt for homestays. Fancy a hostel experience? Have a look at Hostelling International, a worldwide network of not-for-profit Youth Hostel Associations advocating sustainable travel.
- Pack zero waste! Disposable plastics are harmful. To reduce plastic waste generated while travelling, make sure you have a reusable kit: water bottle, reusable shopping bag, reusable cutlery, toiletries in reusable, refillable bottles and/or soap bar. Be a Traveler Against Plastic!