We know a lot of you are already planning holidays for when the pandemic is over. Responsible travel has become more important than ever. With more than one billion travellers each year, we all need to do our part. When destinations start becoming victims of their own success, travellers must question their old approaches. Here are our simple and effective responsible travel tips to help you get the best out of your travels, and leave the world a better place.
Respect locals and their culture
When visiting a foreign country it’s important to remember that you’re a guest; so behave like one. Respect that other people and places may view the world very differently to you and that their customs might feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable as you experience them. So much of the beauty of travel is found in discovering the rich tapestry of religion, language, and customs that make up our world and respecting each of these for their individuality is key. Treat locals how you’d wish to be treated as a guest, take your cues from how they behave and dress, and always travel with respect at the heart of your adventures.
The same rules for eco-friendly living exist all around the world. Don’t leave lights on in your hotel room, don’t leave water running and take public transport whenever possible. Resist the urge to take seashells or sand from the beach or leaves from the forest. Cut back on your consumption of plastic water bottles. In destinations where the tap water is not drinkable, consider buying large jugs of water and splitting with a group or purchasing a water sterilization tool.
Purchase locally made goods
Purchase products from the people who make them in order to directly support the economy. Opt for locally made handicrafts instead of mass-produced magnets, mugs or keychains. When bartering for goods, consider fair pricing rather than a “good deal.”
Respect dress codes
In many Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu and Orthodox countries, a fairly strict dress code applies, especially when visiting sights of religious significance, or within local villages. In most cultures, covering shoulders and knees is enough, however walking around in a bikini or shorts is frowned upon. Whether you disagree with this or not, respect the local culture.
The diversity of our world unites us, and gives us the chance to explore, engage and experience the best that local culture and communities have to offer. Respecting our world and all that makes us different and unique will enhance your travel experience. Whether your travels take you to a tropical beach, a bustling city or a tranquil village, you will gain more from your travel experience and earn the respect of the host communities. Following these practical steps will make your travels as rewarding and gratifying as possible for you, for the people you meet, and for the places you visit.
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