With Earth Day approaching, it's time to think about the ways we can all help support this incredibly important mission. Protecting the beautiful planet we have been gifted while getting to go on vacation sounds like the perfect pairing and will keep your carbon footprint low this spring.
Blooming flowers, migrating birds, and milder climates allow you to enjoy this picture-perfect season. While tourism produces 5% of the world's carbon emissions, committing to ecotourism can help sustain and protect all of those natural wonders across the globe.
Go green along with the season, and read on to find your perfect eco-conscious accommodation for a spring escape!
Iceland holds some of the most stunning natural scenery in the world. It's location in the mid-Atlantic ridge means the country produces an abundance of geothermal energy that powers almost the entire country. Their use of renewable energy makes Iceland one of the greenest countries in the world.
Interested in seeing how the geothermal energy is procured? Head to the world-famous geyser sites throughout Iceland. These natural hot springs are impressive both in beauty and in practicality.
Costa Rica produces 93% of it's electricity from renewable sources—prioritizing keeping the country's carbon footprint as low as possible. In fact, in 2017, Costa Rica broke its own world record and ran on renewable energy for 300 days! What's more? Their goal is to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, as well as eliminate single-use plastics entirely.
Heading to Costa Rica in spring is the perfect opportunity to see nature come to life. With a little more rainfall this time of year, the country's ample landscapes come out to play, creating magnificent views for miles. Over 25% of Costa Rica is home to wildlife refuges and national parks, so there is no shortage of stunning backdrops and exotic animals.
New Zealand has a plethora of places that will coincide with your commitment to the environment. From the marine reserves and natural caves to the protected national parks and breathtaking mountains, the country's sensational landscapes are sure to take your breath away. Through geothermal energy production, even New Zealand's cities are green, with electric modes of transport and sustainable accommodations.
The mix of rainfall and sunshine in spring allows a diverse ecosystem of both plants and animals to thrive in New Zealand—a true nature lover's paradise! Hike through the evergreen forests to see the vivid flora or catch a glimpse of the native birds soaring through the skies, as well as soak up some rays along the beautiful coast.
A few favorite eco-friendly accommodations
We love how so many of our hosts make sustainability a priority at their glamping sites—from the products they clean with and the amenities and toiletries they provide guests with to the accommodation structures themselves...and more! Here are a few of our favorite eco-friendly rentals from across the globe.
This eco-friendly elevated cabin in North Carolina makes for the ultimate environmentally-friendly vacation. Utilizing recycled paper products, solar lighting, a composting toilet, and so much more, this cabin does the utmost to protect it's beautiful surroundings.
Located on Phillip Island in Victoria, this glamping tent offers off-grid solar power, and all of the utilities throughout the accommodation are energy efficient. Here, you can guarantee minimal environmental impact on your getaway, while still having all the necessary comforts of home!
High in the trees, surrounded by vibrant greenery, near Villersexel, France, this tree house stay comes with biodegradable plastics and is committed to using organic waste for compost. Past the trees, you'll also have a beautiful lake view to wake up to!
Feeling inspired? Check out more of our eco-friendly accommodations in the U.S. and abroad!
As the Earth rattles through space on another epic orbit at nearly a million kilometers an hour and the northern hemisphere begins to warm up, spring brings with it a time of rebirth, regrowth, and revitalization.
While the birds return, the flowers start to bloom, and newly-born animals take their first steps, spring is also the perfect opportunity for us to head out into the glittering wilderness and enjoy the milder climate. These fabulous vacation destinations are the perfect way to inspire you to take that first big trip of the year in spring 2019.
If astonishingly clear lakes and seemingly impossible mountain paths indulge your senses, the pristine beauty of Slovenia's Alps is the place to head this spring.
Triglav National Park is quickly becoming a prime tourist destination, and it's no wonder why. With the majestic peaks rising up to 2,864 meters, the area is full of incredible views and mirror-like lakes, making it ideal for both a relaxing escape and outdoor sports alike. Lake Bled, which lies in the the heart of the park, offers the perfect spot to wind down after a day in the mountains and take a romantic boat trip to the fairy-tale church located at the center of the iconic waters.
Returning to your whimsical tent secluded in the forest and taking a dip in the bubbling waters of the hot tub will leave you feeling at true peace with this alluring area of the world.
2. Greece, Crete
Steeped in ancient history and Greek mythology, Crete, Greece's largest island, is famous for its fine sand beaches, rising mountain ranges, and captivating archaeological museums.
With the astonishingly beautiful coastal areas of the Balos Lagoon, the iconic pink sand of Elafonisi Island, and the Neolithic city of Knossos dating back to 7000 B.C., it's no surprise that this enthralling island is regarded as the birthplace of Zeus.
What could be better after a day spent walking in the footsteps of the Olympian gods than retiring to your own beachfront paradise to watch the sun make its descent over the vast Aegean Sea? By the beard of Zeus, make Crete your next adventure!
Generally accepted as one of the best value destinations in Western Europe, the breathtakingly beautiful coastline of the Algarve in the south of Portugal is a beach lover's dream.
In contrast to its Spanish neighbor, the charming coastal towns of Lagos, Portimão, Praia da Marinha, and Carvoeiro offer a more rugged territory, full of jaw-dropping cliffs, hidden coves, and, of course, spectacular golden beaches. The foodies in the group will love having their pick of freshly-caught seafood and traditional Portuguese delicacies in the inviting bars and restaurants.
4. Catalonia, Spain
Those looking to combine a beach getaway with a location brimming with culture and tradition need look no further than the Catalan region of northeastern Spain. Tarragona's Costa Dorada, or Golden Coast, with its 15 kilometers of sandy coastline, offers the chance for lazy beach days at sites like El Miracle, L'Arrabassada, and Playa Larga.
Meanwhile, just an hour's drive up the coast will lead visitors to the winding streets and Gothic cathedrals of Barcelona. Antoni Gaudí's fascinating Sagrada Família and Park Güell are sure to evoke your creative side, while the feisty Catalan culture is an experience in and of itself.
There's nowhere quite like the barren terrain of an alien-esque landscape to put life's tribulations into perspective, and Morocco during springtime is just the place to clear your mind and remember what's really important.
Exploring the endless deserts of the Agafay and Sahara by camel, traversing the steep cliffs and canyons of the soaring Atlas mountains, and soaking up the rich history of the ancient city of Aït Benhaddou are voyages that will be remembered a lifetime over.
If sleeping in an enchanting tent under a crystal clear sky sparkling full of distant stars and galaxies is your thing, don't miss out this spring, as, after all, the sands of time wait for no man or woman!
1. Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head Island is a prime location for those who are looking for a relaxing getaway full of water sports and picturesque sunsets. The area comes to life in the spring, and the opportunities for jet skiing, fishing, waterskiing, and parasailing are endless.
Booking a chartered tour will bring you close to the brimming sea life in the area, with many tour companies offering dolphin and whale watching cruises to get up close to these magnificent aquatic beasts.
The many pristine golf courses, historic buildings, and museums also offer a way to soak up some culture and mix with the locals. With a charming Southern getaway just a few blocks from the beach, pool days will also be on this South Carolina vacation's agenda.
2. Texas Hill Country
Full of great vineyards, small-town charm, and enchanting natural attractions, the wide-open views and gorgeous hills of Texas allow visitors to leave their city stresses behind and enjoy a fun-filled family getaway.
Garner State Park located in Concan, offers 1,774 acres of rolling hills, making it ideal for a day of hiking or kayaking on the winding waters of the Frio River. Evenings can be spent at the award-winning wineries of Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow, which also boast picture-perfect vistas.
When evening rolls in, there's nothing better than heading back to your own magical tree house nestled high up among the sights and sounds of the surrounding wilderness.
3. Vancouver Island
Located off Canada's Pacific Coast, the mild temperatures of Vancouver Island make it an ideal spring destination for nature lovers, beach-goers, and food connoisseurs alike. Port Hardy, found in the northern part of the island, is a haven for whale watching, salmon fishing, and kayaking, as it boasts a wild terrain of forests, lakes, and misty mountains.
After some exploration, get your taste buds tingling at one the “boat-to-table” food events held during Feast Tofino from May 3-5, where renowned chefs use local ingredients to make dishes that pay homage to the region and its famous fisheries.
At the end of your day out and about, retire to this unique cottage for a cozy evening curled up around the fireplace, cold drink in hand.
4. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee need no introduction and its endless mountains make an exceptional place to take in the resurging beauty and color that springtime kindly brings with it. As temperatures rise and the frosty ground thaws, trekking through the entrancing terrain offers beautiful awakening wildflowers, powerful waterfalls, and a wide variety of wildlife.
The friendly towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge also hold a number of spring events, ranging from arts and crafts shows, wine tasting weekends, and even trout tournaments.
With views like this from your very own private hot tub back at the cabin, a getaway in the Great Smokies is one heck of a catch this spring.
5. Southern California
Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat surrounded by the soaring mountains of the San Jacinto or a week of wild partying in the Colorado Desert, Southern California makes a fantastic spring getaway.
Easily accessible from Los Angeles, families will love the nature trails, diverse desert wildlife, and one-of-a-kind stargazing opportunities in Joshua Tree National Park. Alternatively, the party animals out there can make the annual homage to the Colorado Desert for the hipness, bohemian outfits, and popular music of one of America's most famous festivals—Coachella.
Be it recovering after a week of dancing the night away or just a quiet family retreat, this stunning cabin is the perfect spring respite.