Here are 10 simple ways that you can be a responsible traveller:
Buy Local Items
One of the best ways to make a positive impact on the lives of the residents in the country you’re visiting is to purchase products that are locally grown / made.
One of the best things we’ve ever done while travelling abroad was to volunteer our time and donate some money to reputable causes. To us, responsible tourism means giving back to the destinations that have given us so much.
Watch Your Waste
Now, I realize it can be hard to eliminate all plastic from your life, and especially difficult while travelling. But fear not, there are some simple things you can do to manage your waste and ensure you’re doing your best to be a responsible traveller.
- Pack Reusable Bags
- Use a reusable bottle
- Use Natural & Plastic Free Products
- No Straws
- Reusable Containers and Cutlery
Leave No Trace
It is also important to note that travellers shouldn’t leave any footprint in the natural places they visit.
- Walk on The Path
- Carry in and Out the rubbish
- Bathroom Etiquette
- Leave it Alone ‘Don’t bring shells back from the beach, plants from the forest and definitely don’t bring any artifacts with you.
- Respect Wildlife
- Do not Deface Property
Be Mindful of Your Carbon Footprint
If you travel on a direct flight, you’ll reduce the carbon emissions (taking off and landing are the worst). If you fly with carry-on luggage, you will be bringing less weight onboard and thus, the plane will use less fuel. Not to mention, you won’t have to pay those hefty checked baggage fees. Once you arrive at your destination, taking a train, bus or metro line is a much greener way to get around than taking a taxi. Better yet, if you can, opt to walk or cycle.
Respect the Culture & Customs (the most important part of being a responsible traveller)
If you’re visiting temples and religious monuments, make sure you’re dressed accordingly. In Bali, this includes wearing a long skirt, in Thailand you must cover your knees and shoulders. When visiting mosques, both men and women should wear long pants and longer sleeved tops. Women should wear a headscarf.
Choose Sustainable Tour Operators
These days, there are endless choices when it comes to tour operators. It’s important to do your research and choose a company that respects the environment and works with the community to provide jobs to the locals. Better yet, opt for a locally owned and operated company.
Stay in Sustainable Accommodation
There are numerous options when it comes to choosing accommodations around the world. If you’re not sure how to pick a sustainable place to lay your head while on the road, here are a few tips:
- Look for places that have the stamp of approval from companies like Rainforest Alliance, Green Globe and Earth Check.
- Opt for Local Guesthouses
- Choose Eco-Lodges.
The first (obvious) option is to visit lesser-known countries and cities. Simple as that. It will help to balance out the number of tourists across the more popular destinations. If you really want to visit a popular tourist destination, consider checking out the areas that aren’t so famous and visiting the popular spots outside of the peak season.
10 Don’t Bargain So Hard
As a tourist, you can be a responsible traveler by not over bargaining.0