Travel with care. Help the communities in your chosen destination with these tips.
Exploring places affects travelers in life-changing ways, but it’s important to remember that traveling also has an impact on the people and places one visits. Just like must-sees and must-dos, sustainable tourism should be on every traveler’s checklist. Traveling responsibly means finding ways to preserve the destination and give back to its community. Here are tips you should consider:
1. Minimize your footprint.
As much as possible, don’t leave traces nor take away from places you visited. Pick up your litter and don’t carve on trees. Cut back on plastic by bringing your own reusable tumbler and eco bag. Avoid taking home seashells or sands from beaches. Turn off the lights and faucets in your hotel room before leaving. Taking public transport makes for a cheaper option, while renting a bike offers the best views of the countryside.
2. Handle wildlife with care.
While interacting with exotic creatures seem like a unique way to be one with nature, animals found in these attractions are abused most of the time. So if checking them out is quintessential to a place, it’s best to look for tourism agencies that practice ethical treatment and promote wildlife protection—especially endangered species—rather than just making money out of them.
3. Buy local.
Looking for pasalubong? Forget mass-produced key chains, fridge magnets, or mugs. Choose locally made handicrafts that promote native makers. Buy from local souvenir shops and avoid haggling too much. Instead of eating at tourist traps, opt for dining spots where locals go for an authentic gastronomic experience.
Make a genuine impact through your trips. Volunteering is a great opportunity to give back to local communities, share your skills, exchange cultures, and experience the place in a realistic perspective. Find a charity or organization that fights for a cause you’re passionate about. It’s another way to meet fellow travelers, too.