The pros and cons of travel


As summer approaches, many people are thinking about travel and summer plans. Luckily, America has many opportunities for both in and out-of-state travel. However, travel often comes with a range of consequences, including environmental pollution, economic challenges for locals, tourist traps, and general travel fares. Traveling is not inherently bad, but we must be aware of the issues surrounding travel and tourism.

Firstly, pollution is bound to occur with any type of travel. Because of this, it is important to be conscious of what you do and try to decrease your travel pollution where possible. Although planes and cars are sometimes necessary, there are still ways to be more mindful of your emissions and travel more sustainably. Of course, this depends on what is available, but taking a train or biking when you can is an easy way to reduce your emissions. When people pollute certain areas, those places face the heavy impact of this pollution, so it is important to respect the environment and the people who live there. More tourism leads to more pollution, so something as simple as picking up trash or making sure to buy a certain food can help the communities more than some may think. Much of this trash, if not picked up, can accumulate in places like rivers and beaches, harming the wildlife. 

Many cities and countries that have high rates of tourism rely on the tourism industry, and residents struggle to pay their bills due to the inflation of local costs due to tourism. As a result, many residents who have lived in their homes for generations are being forced out due to rising prices. Often in metropolitan areas, people are moving away due to the heavy amount of tourists and high rates of pollution partly due to tourism. Because of this, many countries are speaking out about how tourism is harming the locals, making this a very complex situation.

Another drawback of travel is the prevalence of tourist traps in popular tourist destinations. Doing research beforehand can help to narrow down the best travel locations, but most of the time, they will be overcrowded, with thousands of people taking pictures. Another way to avoid crowds is to travel to less popular or well-known places, to get an authentic view of the place that you are traveling.

Overall, tourism impacts areas both positively and negatively. The industry allows people from all over the world to see different cultures and areas, but that does not mean all tourists are respectful. On top of that, tourism is often harmful to both the locals and the environment. When traveling, it is important to keep in mind things that are in your control to make your impact on the environment, locals, and your own experience a positive one.