The world has become a much smaller place, meaning we are more easily connected to family members living at other ends of the world and more direct flights and accessibility to exotic destinations means we are able to travel with ease. However, with said changes, it is more important than ever that we embrace local cultures and travel to new destinations in a responsible, appreciative manner.
Here are our top tips on how you can be more ethically, economically and socially responsible on your next journey.
Preparation is key
Preparation is key when you are traveling to a new place. Be it a certain dress code you need to abide by, local or religious traditions you need to respect or different laws that are implemented in the destination. For example, in Morocco you will need to keep your arms covered and your trousers and skirts below knee length when you are visiting mosques, while in China, many social media channels such as Facebook will not be available. Read up on your destination before you go or ask your Travelling Concierge if you’re concerned about anything throughout your trip.
Respect the local wildlife
While travelling to new, certainly more exotic destinations, you’re sure to come across fascinating creatures you may not have gotten up close to before. While it can be tempting to get closer to them, it is important to be respectful. At Insight Vacations, we do not include any experiences that may cause harm or discomfort to an animal, including camel or elephant rides.
Respect the locals
Everywhere you go, you should make sure you respect the locals, as this is their home. Ask permission if you want to take pictures of local people and their houses, and where possible ask questions about their lives and take an interest in their culture. What better way to learn about a country and its culture than through its people?
Cut down on plastic
You would recycle in your own country, so why not while traveling? Where possible, refill your water bottles. This may be difficult in certain countries, where the water may not be clean, but where tap water is safe to drink, try to think about the environment. It’s also a good idea to carry an ethical bag around with you for your souvenir purchases, to avoid further plastic consumption.
Invest in the local economy
Give back to the area you’re visiting by buying locally produced products. From souvenirs to local delicacies, by buying from local shops and markets, you know the money is going to those who worked hard for it.
Don’t limit your responsible travel to the days you are away: bring it back and let it influence your daily life. From the fascinating animals you have seen to the different cultures you have experienced and the social structures you have learned about, don’t forget your travels — they are developmental and will teach you more about how you want to live in your own society. Share your journey with others and support people as they travel responsibly on their own journeys.