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Travel Tips

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For many individuals, emissions from travel comprise the largest portion of their personal carbon footprint. At Stanford, emissions from collective student, faculty, and staff travel are equivalent to the annual energy use of nearly 20,000 homes.

Want to reduce your travel footprint and help the university do the same?

Here are some tips for traveling more sustainably.

  • Consider attending conferences and events virtually if you do not need to be there in person
  • Fly economy instead of business class
  • Take nonstop flights! If a nonstop flight is not available from your primary airport, consider expanding your search to other nearby airports.
  • If your airline or search engine provides carbon estimates in flight searches, pick the lowest emissions option!
  • If you need to take multiple trips to nearby destinations, try to combine them into a single trip with multiple legs.
  • Take the train whenever possible. Amtrack has a station in San Jose with train routes to many California and western state destinations.
  • Consider sustainable driving options. While driving alone may not be more efficient than flying, if you drive with a friend going to the same place or use an electric vehicle, it definitely reduces emissions!
  • Pack light! The more weight you add to the plane, the more you increase carbon emissions!
  • Carpool, take public transportation, or consider rideshare options to get to the airport. Reference these maps for public transit directions from main campus to SFOSJC, and OAK
  • If you’re a student, consider staying on campus during breaks and over the summer and explore Bay Area professional opportunities and activities.

To be reimbursed for university-sponsored travel, faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and students must use Stanford Travel when booking airfare.  Complete policy details, including limited exemptions, are available in the Business and Travel Expense Policies overview. For important updates about infectious diseases, travel warnings, and other public health issues, please visit Travel Health Alerts before booking travel.