Travel is the greatest gift in life that one can give to self. Exploring new places, witnessing different cultures, knowing different people and having new adventures gives a new meaning to life. It changes your perception of life.
It is important though to ensure that your experiences create a positive impact on the places you are visiting. Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are important to know right now.
What is a Responsible traveler?
Why one wants to be a responsible traveler? If you are breaking your head for these questions, then this blog post is all that you need. It is believed that whenever you travel to explore new places, responsibility comes along with excitement and fun. Your responsibilities as a traveler make you a socially aware individual. This is something that everyone should consider before they get on that plane for their next holiday.
We can create a positive impact on the communities that are not fortunate like us by the ways we travel, the regions we decide to visit, and the choices we make on how we spend our money throughout the trip. In other words, this can be termed as ‘responsible travel’.
List of 8 Ways to become a responsible traveler:
1. Volunteering some time:
Volunteering a portion of your time to worthwhile causes with different social organizations can make a big impact on the society. If you are going for two weeks or 1 month, utilizing your skill for the development of the society is always precious.
If you have a skill such as an engineering background, medical care experience, there are many places where you can pursue to help by putting your experience.
But even if you are not highly qualified, you can still find beneficial ways to volunteer. If you love children, spend a few days by teaching English or other subjects in rural schools. Another important way to volunteer is to contact a local NGO and ask if they need any supplies brought over.
However, you should take proper information about any organization before engaging yourself as a volunteer.
2. Shop Locally
While traveling to a new place, one should experience local shops when it comes to eating, buying souvenirs etc. By this, you can actually get to know about the local authentic culture, taste of the people. You can have a massive impact on the community by choosing where you spend your money.
Because you are investing money and directly increasing the economy of the local people. Besides creating a wonderful travel experience for yourself, you are also helping someone to create a better life.
3. Respect The Local Culture
Learning about different cultures while traveling is one of the best experiences in life. Every place holds a different story to tell. The diverse world and the different traditions and customs are really fascinating. It is amazing to witness the different cultures and being privileged enough to experience it.
We should remember that it is so imperative to demonstrate regard to those nearby traditions and conventions when we travel.
Many places are more conservative with their dress sense, and wearing shorts are considered to be inappropriate. Before embarking on the journey, take some time to read about a few aspects of that place.
It will be an added feather to the cap if you can just say ‘Hi/Hello” in their local language. This makes you connect them easily and try not to offend anyone.
4. Minimize Your Waste
Waste management can be a major concern in many places, and we as travelers contribute to them sometimes unknowingly.
When you are helping in minimizing the waste, you are helping the environment to remain free from harmful and toxic substances. Thus, you are making yourself free from getting any disease. It is important to take your own steps to help out the environment.
Instead of plastic bags from shops, take your items in a backpack or any biodegradable bag. Eat and drink in the cafe instead of taking those tin cans with you, this will help to create proper waste management.
5. Choose Sustainable Accommodation
When it comes to finding a place to rest after exploring a new place, you can find a number of service providers. They are available with a lot of tour packages. Along with that, they can also offer a local guide to help you throughout the journey. It is necessary to find some accommodation where you can be guided by the locals in order to explore the places.
For Unique stays across India, Check Funstay.
6. Always Ask Permission For Photos
This is an important act that should be showed by all travelers to the local community. This falls more under the category of ‘respect’ rather than ‘responsibility’. If you are willing to take some snaps of local shops, villages, you should ask for permission first.
If you’d like to take a picture of a local resident portraying the occupation or life of that place, ensure to ask them first.
Because nobody likes to have a camera on their face without their concern. You can politely ask them and if they agree you can take the snap and they will gladly pose for your shot. If they are not willing to do so, just respect their decision.
7. Minimize Your Carbon Footprint
One can be a responsible tourist by minimizing the carbon footprint. As climate is changing vigorously, we can start by traveling over land. If we have time, then choosing by road transport is more efficient than by air.
Airplanes emit a lot of carbon so traveling by road is more environment-friendly method while traveling. If you are exploring one place, then renting a bicycle instead of motorized bikes is a good step. This will definitely help in reducing the carbon footprint.
8. Educate Others to Be Responsible Travellers
If you have become a responsible traveler, it’s your time to guide the other people to follow the same path. While traveling to a new place, it is necessary to learn the responsible traveler guidelines nowadays. If you see someone unintentionally doing something detrimental to the environment, make them understand in a friendly way about the negative impact.
You can start discussions about responsible travel with people in your group, hotel or the family. Let them know the beneficial things that we can get by becoming a responsible traveler.
It is only through education that we can spread the message about responsible traveling among the people of a place.