How to travel sustainably… Stay in a hostel!

Travelling with a clean, green conscience. Can it really be done? It’s no secret that explorers are becoming more aware of the impact that travelling has on the planet, and everyone from gap year-ers to silver surfers wants to know how to travel sustainably. With nearly 70% of hostel travellers claiming that climate change is particularly close to their heart*, planet-friendly tourism is high on the agenda!

After a crazy couple of years, we know you’re itching to get back out there. But the question on everyone’s lips is- how can I explore the world and protect it, too?

Palmar Beach Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

 

Slow, steady, and sustainable

In a recent survey, 53% of hostel travellers said that sustainability plays a key role in deciding where they want to go and how they want to get there. Where flying was once the top way to country hop, bus and train travel are on the up, with 58% of our customers choosing to travel over ground this year rather than by air. Yes, it might take a bit longer (it has been coined slow travel after all) but think of the stories you’ll tell! Chickens can be decent fellow passengers, and, trust us, Roti Canai from a Malaysian service station is the BEST mid-afternoon snack.

So, you’ve boarded your bus, taken your train and floated your boat. Where can you find an eco-friendly place to rest your weary traveller’s legs? You guessed it… at a hostel!

Over 80% of our customers believe hostels to be more sustainable than home rentals and hotels, and they’re not wrong. Booking a hostel when you travel isn’t just a great way to meet other worldly wanderers and pinch a few pennies, it protects the planet, too! And we’re here to tell you how…

Palmar Beach Lodge, Bocas Del Toro, Panama

 

Our hostel heroes

We all know that hostels go above and beyond for their communities and the environment. Whether it’s through water recycling, waste management or only using locally sourced ingredients and materials, hostels come up trumps time and again for eco-friendly initiatives.

Our hostel partners around the world are making the planet a priority, with 56% of hostels surveyed already working on sustainability initiatives and a further 37% interested in getting involved. We’re working with our partners to sign them up to the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) and to reduce their plastics over the years to come. They’re doing amazing things and are already flying the flag for sustainability in the tourism industry.

Madama Hostel and Bistrot, Milan, Italy

 

Low-emission leaders

Nearly 30% of our customers choose to book dorm rooms over private rooms because they believe them to be more sustainable, and we are SO excited to be able to say, officially, that they’re right. A new report, released by leading sustainability and compliance specialist Bureau Veritas, has found that hostels produce 75% less carbon emissions than hotels! The research, ‘Understanding the Carbon Impact of Hostels vs Hotels’, conducted in partnership with Hostelworld, is the first research of this kind to EVER be done. Pioneers? Us? Well, if the backpack fits…

Not only are hostels a way to meet new pals and share awesome experiences, we also now know for sure that they’re a more sustainable accommodation choice in when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a win, win, win!

Whale Tail Hostel, Uvita, Costa Rica

 

Want some eco-friendly hostel recommendations?

We’re working on a brand-new framework to help you find awesome sustainable accommodation wherever you roam, and we can’t wait to share it with you soon! Until then, why not check out the amazing hostels that were shortlisted for our ‘Eco-Warrior’ and ‘Community Champion’ HOSCAR awards this year? They’re a great place to start!

If you want some more information on our climate commitment, take a look at our sustainability page. We update it regularly with information on the projects we’re working on and progress we’re making towards building a better world.

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* Insights taken from Hostelworld’s Sustainability and Trip Planning survey which surveyed 7,000 people across 10 countries including The UK, US, Canada, Ireland, Germany and Australia in March 2022.

 

 

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