Before you go booking hotels and pedicures in a top-of-the-charts destination, consider volunteering. There are many volunteering programs around the globe that are much more fulfilling than lying on the beach. Giving back to a community that is in need is a great way to help repair and rebuild while immersing yourself in another culture and experiencing a new and beautiful landscape. This can also be a great way to begin learning a new language.
Hiking or trekking through places like the national parks is a great way to go on holiday while living in a minimalist manner. "Take only pictures, leave only tracks" is a popular saying amongst those who have found some of their best vacations to be ones where they traveled light and traveled on their own two feet. Leave No Trace (LNT) principles are a must for any wilderness adventure.
Air travel can often be the most polluting part of your trip. If you opt to travel by train, bus, bike, public transportation or even horseback, you will make leave a smaller carbon footprint. There are so many modes of travel that are often forgotten. If you do have to include air travel in your trip, strive to conserve as much energy (such as water and electricity) as possible when on the ground.
There are thousands of different tours around the world that enable people to view local wildlife. This can be in the form of whale watching, bird watching, turtle watching or even gorilla watching. Hiring a recommended local guide to take you on a wildlife viewing trip is the best way to do this.
Personal Growth Trips
Going on vacation doesn't mean you need to book tours on every hour. There are many ecotourism retreats and centers, such as holistic centers or yoga-themed tours that encourage new ways to live and explore. These generally support personal growth.
Activities such as kayaking, sailing, horseback riding and backcountry skiing are all considered ecotourism. Anything that doesn't use a motor but is human-, wind- or solar-powered is much friendlier to the environment. No matter where you go and what you do, choose tour operators that strive to protect the environment.