If you prefer connecting with people to shopping for souvenirs and waiting in long lines at tourist attractions, an eco honeymoon may be right for you. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), defines ecotourism as: Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of the local people.
As you and your new spouse embark on your future together, do it in a way that leaves the Earth intact for the next generation. Who knows…you might be creating the next generation on this very trip! Here are 20 fantastic eco honeymoon ideas that are romantic, fun, and Earth-friendly.
1. Honeymoon locally. A honeymoon is all about spending quality time together as newlyweds. Why travel halfway around the globe if you’re barely going to leave the hotel room? A cozy spot that you can drive to in less than a day, is eco-friendly and inexpensive.
2. Choose a hiking adventure in a national park. For the outdoorsy couple, a hiking adventure in one of the many gorgeous U.S. national parks, could be the perfect way to celebrate wedded bliss.
3. Forget the gigantic resort and drive to a quaint lakeside Bed & Breakfast. B&B’s provide a much more intimate setting than a huge impersonal resort. There are tons of B&B’s in historic homes or locations.
5. Green your wheels—rent an eco-friendly electric car. Car Rental companies are doing their part for the environment by offering hybrids like the Chevy Volt or Toyota Prius.
6. Plan a bicycling adventure holiday. If you and you’re a couple of fitness buffs, there’s no better way to bond than riding side by side, taking in the view. If you really want to test your marital bond, try a tandem bike.
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7. Camp out under the stars. Just imagine snuggling in your sleeping bag counting falling stars in the night sky. Get in touch with nature, cook s’mores, and revel in your wedded bliss.
8. Use local transportation whenever possible. No matter what your eco honeymoon destination is, once you’ve arrived use local transportation, like buses, subways, or trolleys. Even better, rent bicycles or walk to take in the sights.
9. Try wind or people powered activities like sailing, snorkeling or paddle boarding. What is more eco-friendly than harnessing nature’s power? Plan fun activities like sailing, snorkeling or paddle boarding that only require you and a cool breeze.
10. Register for carbon credits for your honeymoon travel. If you can’t give up your dreams of jetting to Paris and staying in 5-star hotels, make it an eco honeymoon by asking for carbon credits as wedding gifts. By offsetting your carbon footprint, you can travel guilt free.
11. Stay in certified green hotels. hrough greenhotels.com or treehugger.com
Check out the Green Hotels Association website for a list of their certified green hotels. These are: “…environmentally-friendly properties whose managers are eager to institute programs that save water, save energy and reduce solid waste—while saving money—to help PROTECT OUR ONE AND ONLY EARTH!”
12. Eat local food and take advantage of regional cuisines while traveling. Make a it a point to visit farmer’s markets and research restaurants that specialize in serving locally grown foods or sustainable fishing methods.
13. Visit local artisans for souvenirs. Look for craft fairs or small shops featuring local artisans.
14. Make your eco honeymoon a volunteer vacation. The Sierra Club offers a range of service trips in honeymoon-friendly locations like Maui or an archaeological site in New Mexico. It’s a fabulous way to give back, learn about the local history first-hand, and celebrate your new union.
15. Book your trip through Elevate Destinations. Elevate Destinations creates personalized, eco-friendly, and socially conscious itineraries for a range of destination around the world. It’s luxury you can feel good about!
16. Go Glamping! Eschew a large resort for an eco-lodge in an exotic locale or a romantic and private yurt! Glamping is the ultimate luxurious camping trip. After an easy kayak ride down a lovely river, arrive at your destination to find your campsite already set up and dinner cooking.
17. Fly Nature Air—the world’s first carbon neutral airline. Nature Air, a Costa Rican airline, uses biodiesel fuel, gives back to the community, and is striving to become carbon positive in the near future through their comprehensive sustainability efforts.
18. Book a travel package through an eco travel agent. Find a travel agent who specializes in ecotourism. TravelSense has directory of reputable companies to plan your eco honeymoon.
19. Hang out the Do Not Disturb sign. Give housekeeping a break and save energy by making your own bed (assuming you’ll leave it on your honeymoon!) and reusing your towels.
20. Turn down the AC. Everyone survived before the advent of ice cold air conditioning so try turning it down or even off. Open the windows and breathe in the fresh air.