When travelling, it can be hard to find a balance between having the authentic experience you want, and becoming part of the insane tourism machine that some countries have been consumed by. Wherever we end up choosing to go, we try to limit our impact by traveling responsibly, and thought we’d share some tips that we use.
1. Respect destinations + local cultures. Obviously. The best way to understand a culture is to immerse yourself in it. You don’t have to agree with the lifestyle or beliefs, but try to understand that you are the guest, and learn how locals live.
Be considerate of your noise level and your surroundings, especially in residential areas.
Make sure you have permission to take photos of people, art, or of culturally significant sites.
2. Support local. It is easy to decide to shop in the big retailers to save time or money, but it can be incredibly rewarding to go to small businesses as well. This ensures that travel dollars go into the pockets of locals.
3. Respect the environment. Minimize your impact. You are most likely already travelling in cars, busses, boats, or planes, so why not do some environmental good too? You can choose to offset your carbon, pick up some stray rubbish, or use biodegradable toiletries.
It is also a good practice to avoid using plastic shopping bags, or single-use bottles of water (why would you buy water in any country that has good tap water anyway?) and to properly dispose of any rubbish you might have.
When out and about in nature, stay on marked tracks, do not remove objects from the environment, and be aware of and protect vulnerable landscapes and wildlife.
4. Give back. There are always amazing local volunteer opportunities, ask around in the places you’re spending more time. What better way to show appreciation for a place than to help out the locals who feel passionate about it.
Have fun, and set a good example for other travellers.