Think outside the box

Get creative with alternative methods of transportation. Whether its renting bicycles for an adventure through the city, kayaking to pristine beaches or skiing through alpine terrain, try something new and discover the culture outside tourist hot spots.

Use local public transportation

When traveling, utilize the city’s trademark public transportation. In New York take the subway. San Francisco use the MUNI, street and cable cars. Seattle hop on a ferry to the San Juan Islands. Every large city has a public transportation system, take advantage of it during your travels.

Here is an interesting fact:

“20 percent: Carbon monoxide emissions saved if one in five Americans rode public transportation daily; the savings would be greater than the combined emissions from all chemical manufacturing and metal processing industries.”

Do your homework

Before you go, do some research on hotel locations, attractions and events near by. Finding accommodations near attractions, museums and restaurants will allow you to walk or take a short transit ride. Smart location is an essential part of reducing CO2 emissions and will save time and money too.

Discover the world on your feet

You never realize how beautiful and interesting a place is before you use your feet and start walking. Traveling the world in a car or plane allows you to miss the true character of the places you go. Our dependence on cars reduces the time spent exploring the world.

For example, living in Seattle, I used to mostly drive from place to place and never realize what was in between. Recently, I decided to put my car keys away and walk through my city. Downtown Seattle has so much to offer to pedestrians, from boutiques to unique coffee shops to wine bars. There are an endless supply of museums, shops, restaurants, theaters and bars within walking distance in Seattle.

Just last week I took the bus to see “South Pacific” at the Fifth Avenue Theater. From the theater was a short walk to shopping at H&M and dinner at Pike Place. After dinner I ventured a few blocks down to the Seattle Art Museum to see some amazing installation art. Discovering the true essence of Seattle was only possible for me by walking through the city. Every street has its own story to tell and unique character. Walking is the most valuable way to explore a location and truly enjoy your vacation.

What would you add to the list? Do you have examples from your travels?

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