You have heard about sustainable traveling but what about as a Muslim traveler?
While we may all love to travel to the most viral cafes, the latest museums, and Instagrammable locations, tourism can often cause more harm than good.
For example, Mount Everest is now labeled as the “World’s Highest Garbage Dump” due to the amount of trash scattered across the mountains. This can cause serious health issues for the locals who survive on snowmelt as their water source.
Here is how you can approach traveling responsibly the Halal way:
Yes, overtourism is a real thing.
The holiday season is when we see traffic congestion in popular locations, emitting more carbon emissions. Trains may break down, which was what I experienced first-hand during Easter in London, and this will cause an inconvenience to local communities.
Consider taking additional leaves and traveling during non-peak seasons. It’s a bonus if you choose underrated destinations such as Lombok, Indonesia. Not only will you get cheaper fares, but also a more peaceful experience without the overwhelming crowd!
While single-use cutleries and disposable toiletries are super convenient, it is not convenient for the environment.
Try to bring a reusable water bottle and a reusable shopping bag to avoid using disposable items. You can also pack your own shampoo and soap in your reusable travel-sized bottles. This will reduce your overall waste as most of these disposable items are wrapped in plastic, causing more trash.
Also, purchasing a new water bottle every day can be costly.
Choose public transportation such as the train or bus to get around the city. If you have time, explore local attractions by cycling or on foot. You can burn some calories along the way too from all the walking you’ve done. I ended up burning 600 calories on a 20,000-step walk in a day around the city!
Noticed a nearby cafe that has few Google reviews? Why not show some support to these local communities?
Rather than waiting in long queues to try a restaurant’s viral dish (which can sometimes be subpar in flavor), be adventurous and explore the surrounding neighborhood around you. This was how I discovered Hayat Paddington, a family-owned Halal restaurant that serves authentic Mediterranean meals.
You will definitely enjoy your trip more as you are not only giving back to the community but also saving time to explore other attractions!
While it can be easy to lose track of time when you are constantly moving to different places, prayer is still a No.1 priority. Think about seeking out locations with nearby mosques or places of worship so you can conduct your daily prayers with ease.
Research in advance what are the Halal restaurants and Halal food available in the area or if advanced booking for Halal requests is required. That way, you can make informed decisions without sacrificing your values and principles.
Sustainable traveling is being conscious of the social and environmental impact while visiting different communities and countries.
It focuses on long-term efforts to protect our surroundings for future generations as natural resources continue to deplete and pollution becomes rampant. This could also mean choosing to take transportation with lower carbon emissions.
We hope that you have picked up some practical guidelines on how you can become a sustainable Muslim traveler. Most importantly, always practice kindness whether it is to strangers or animals. Choose activities that do not exploit communities but preserve them.
Ready to join in the movement? Learn more about HalalTrip’s Responsible Tourism Framework to get started traveling right.
Share this article with your friends to live and travel sustainably!