Feburary 6, 2019 - When someone tells me that they want to travel to Montenegro, I immediately get a feeling of excitement and happiness rushing through me. Today it's easier and cheaper than ever to get to this side of Europe, and I'm thrilled that more and more people are taking the opportunity to discover this beautiful country. However, easy and cheap often means that the environment pays the bigger price. Once we get to our dream destinations, we forget what impacts our holidays have on them. We often neglect the fact that we leave a huge footprint behind which endangers the environment. This guide shows you easy ways to travel to and through Montenegro responsibly and sustainably.
1. Choose an alternative way of getting here.
We are so used to Ryanair & co. that we usually don't think of alternative ways to travel from A to B. We need to ask ourselves whether it really always has to be the quickest way. Why not rent a car and do a road trip to Montenegro? This way you are flexible and you can have small stopovers at other destinations on your way here. Or you could take a bus. Many places in Europe offer bus trips to Montenegro and its neighbouring countries. Have a look at Rome2rio for bus and train routes.
2. Stay with locals.
It doesn't always have to be a luxury hotel chain to enjoy your stay in a foreign country. Why not choose to stay with locals to experience the domestic culture firsthand? Montenegrins are extremely hospitable people and they will give you insider tips on where to go, what to eat and they will most likely treat you to a shot of homemade Rakija (the local spirit). There is no better way to experience a city than by staying with locals who know every corner of it. Check out portals such as Couchsurfing for a unique experience.
3. Travel by bus and train.
Montenegro is such a small country that you can easily get to the beach and the mountains in the same day. Every city is reachable by either bus or train and the tickets are relatively cheap. A return ticket is usually cheaper than buying the tickets seperately. If you are a student you will also get a discount. This way you don't have to rent a car and are still very flexible as busses and trains run frequently.
4. Discover places by foot.
Instead of taking a taxi (these are very cheap in Montenegro) or taking public transport you should choose to walk through each city you visit. You won't find yourself in a place where it's impossible to reach everything by foot.
5. Collect your rubbish.
This especially applies for summer holidays at Montenegro's beautiful beaches. Always collect your rubbish and put it in the closest bin, do not throw it in the streets or leave it at the beaches. Unfortunately, Montenegro has a big problem with plastic pollution and waste management so it is important that tourists don't add to this problem.
6. Choose eco-friendly actvities.
Montenegro offers a range of fun activities such as hiking, rafting and skiing, always depending on the time of year you come here. Choose these eco-friendly nature adventures or book a walking tour with a local guide.
7. Support the local community.
Instead of eating at a restaurant chain why not try a local one which in many cases will be family run. Ask locals for recommendations on where and what to eat and buy locally made souvenirs.
8. Fill up your water bottle.
Tap water in Montenegro is of very high quality which means that you don't have to buy plastic bottles in the supermarket. This way you save money and avoid more plastic pollution.
9. Bring your own shopping bag.
You will soon discover that you always get a free plastic bag when shopping in Montenegro. An easy way to avoid this is to bring your own bag or carry small things such as chewing gum or cigarettes (yes, you also get a plastic bag for small items like these) in your pockets.
10. Offset your holiday travel.
Even with all these things in mind, it is sometimes difficult to avoid some unsustainable behaviour. If you can't avoid flying or other critical activities during your stay in Montenegro, make sure to offset them. This way you will make a good impact by supporting climate protection projects. This should always be the last solution though.
If you follow these easy tips you will be able to experience Montenegro in a sustainable and guilt-free way.