Grab your luggage (and passports) and get ready to start travelling – once we are allowed to. We all love to travel and want to travel as much as we can. However, travelling and the tourism industry can hurt the environment. Therefore, when the doors to travel open again, we should all be responsible travellers. Let’s start our journey to learning how to be a responsible traveller.
1. Take care of yourself
First and foremost, remember to take care of yourself. We always feel invincible and that nothing bad can happen to us. While a good and positive thought, real life is unexpected. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Let someone know where you are even when you are travelling alone. Other than that, always keep your belongings safe. Don’t flash your money around and lock the door to your room when you leave.
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Just because you are on a vacation, doesn’t mean that your good, sustainable habits should too. Bring a water bottle with you and refill them while you are out exploring instead of getting a bottle of mineral water whenever you are thirsty. A stainless steel bottle is a good travel buddy.
Other than that, bring your own reusable bags and refuse plastic bags when buying things. Keep your trash with you if you cannot find a trash can. You can also find if there are local eco-bricker communities nearby and turn your trash into something useful!
A big part of travelling is getting from one place to another. Therefore, it is important that you make good transportation choices. Travel by public transport when you can. It will surely allow you to see places that you don’t know or didn’t think to visit. If you are travelling in a group, carpooling would be a more sustainable way rather than travelling in separate cars.
When planning for activities to do, be sure to choose activities that not only are entertaining to you but do not harm others. Do not support activities that involve any form of animal cruelty or forced animal labour. These activities can be things such as taking close photos with tigers or riding elephants.
Moreover, include activities that allow you to engage with the locals. Learn a traditional dance, join a cooking class to make local dishes or take a bike ride to explore the city with a local tour guide. This way, you can contribute to the local economy, get an in-depth perspective of the tradition and culture of the place and have fun!
5. Research, act and continue learning
Lastly, always continue learning and doing as you continue travelling. Start conversations with fellow travellers and share your experiences, knowledge and tips. This way, more information on how to travel responsibly will be shared with people who are new to the concept and those who are already practising it.
Another great way to share your adventures and experiences with others is to leave honest and informative reviews for the businesses that you engage with. That way, others will be able to make an informed and smart choices and this will benefit your favourite businesses as well.
We can all then have fun while being mindful of our actions and their impacts at the same time.