Responsible travel is not a strange term among travelling lovers around the world. You can have a great holiday, create deeper and authentic connections with people and places just by being aware of your impacts on the local community. However, how many percent you think you are a responsible traveler? Do you know how to travel responsibly?
Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you become a responsible traveler
In any places, littering is unacceptable and this bad behavior will definitely leave a bad impression on locals. One of the most popular rubbish left by tourists is plastic bags which can be highly polluted, take them with you and just leave your footprints. When you go to pristine environments, littering can even give you much more trouble. So, remember that the only place to put your rubbish is in a rubbish bin or other proper waste receptacle.
2. Disturb natural habitat of wildlife animals
Adventurous tourists or animal lovers might want to get close to exotic animals by ridding an elephants or taking photos of tigers. But by doing so, you are indirectly causing suffering to them. Be more mindful and responsible before engaging in any animal- related entertainment activities. When you explore wildlife environment such as national forests or visiting city zoos, refrain from feeding animals there your food.
If you are really want to get on a wildlife tour, choose an acclaimed operator which has a protective animal tourism policy instead of going by yourself.
3. Make noise at religious places
Noise can be a very sensitive issue among foreign tourists especially when they visit scared places such as Asian pagodas or temples. But due to lack of knowledge, some tourists do not know that keeping quite at these sites is a must. However, you as a responsible traveler can completely equip yourself with some basic knowledge about the place you are going to pay a visit, for example, dress code or things can bring and things cannot, and noise restriction rule is not an exception. You can be considered as impolite when making noise at these places so do not let others have negative thoughts about you just because you do not self- prepare well for your visit.
4. Be a picky person
If you are at home having your dinner, you can be freely to choose what you want to eat. But you are in a different country which means you do not have many choices. So please remember: Respect and Adapt. You can still politely refuse to eat things you do not feel like to eat but in most cases, if the local can, you can. Let’s try stepping out of your comfort zone and do something extraordinary.
The same suggestion when it comes to accommodation. During your journey, things don’t always happen as the way you get used to. So, the importance is to adapt to the new environment.
1. Asking before taking photos of people and situations
Interact and ask people if you could take some pictures of them. When you want to capture a child, you should ask the adult with them for permission first.
Some religious and cultural sites do not allow photographs so be sure to ask your tour guide.
2. Dress properly
Wherever you go, dress respectfully with an awareness of local standards. Dress modestly or wear long sleeves or pants at religious sites. For women, it’s a good idea to always travel with a scarf or shawl. Throw it in your bag and you’ll have it handy for any time you need to cover your shoulders or head.
3. Support locally made products
Your spending in a destination has a great impact on local economy so when making purchases, remember to choose products of local business. This lets you interact with locals as well as infuse money into local economy. Being a responsible tourist, shop locally to support local crafts. Make sure to spread your shopping out and buy from several vendors instead of one.
Regarding bargaining, try to find a balance a good price and one that is fair, or even generous, to the vendor.
4. Inspire your friends to travel responsibly
A responsible traveler is also a person who stimulates others to perform in a responsible manner when travelling. Promote responsible travel and experience that you have had by talking to your families and friends. Having accurate feedback on the destination you have been through and telling the true story based on your own feeling are how you can encourage people to do the same as you do. Words of mouth and social network are the great channels.