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Healthy travels: Green vacation tips

Posted on April 06 2012

Planning a memorable vacation can mean hopping in your car and heading to Las Vegas. However, vacations you remember and can share photos from for years to come require extensive research to ensure you and family or other traveling companions get the most out of your holiday escape. While in the planning process, there are a few extra (and simple!) steps you can take to lessen your impact on the planet. Depending on your chosen destination, consider researching green or eco-friendly hotels in the area. We found Travelocity.com and other websites offer this as a search term when booking hotels. These hotels and motels provide everything from dual flushing toilets (don't worry, there are directions) to hypoallergenic or organic bedding. And if you do want to reduce your guilt for heading to Vegas on the fly, check out these green hotels on and off the Strip. Most hotels will have an explanation about their towel and bed service, but in case you are distracted, opt to not have your room made up each day. By keeping the same towels and sheets for multiple days through out your stay, you help the resort or motel reduce its already high water consumption through laundry services. Depending on where you are heading, choose your food very carefully. While tradition may call for you to pig out, consider what the local culture eats, or even try being a vegetarian. When in your room, and if it's safe to eat, snack on local fruit instead of junk food. Make sure all of your shots are up to date too. While we're on the subject, bring your own water bottle as well. Most retailers will sell water bottles with a filtration system inside or in the cap so you do not have to worry about contaminates. If you plan to be traveling for an extended period, make sure to bring a replacement filter. For excursions, try walking or bicycle tours instead of a diesel-fueled bus. Not only will you keep yourself healthy, but being outside gives you more energy (and vitamin D) to have more adventures, in addition to saving the atmosphere. If you want to be ultra-committed to an eco-friendly vacation, consider purchasing carbon offset credits from Terrapass. This organization allows individuals and families to purchase credits to offset the effects of certain activities or type of traveling on the plane, much like larger corporations. The proceeds from your credits go to cleaning up the environment and reducing mankind's imprint on the planet. Happy green travels! Photo credit: Flickr user JoelK75. Used with permission through Creative Commons.

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