Anyone who has been lucky enough to get a chance to explore the world would know that travel is indeed a great privilege. Now, picture that one spot you’ve always wanted to explore or your favorite place to travel. Imagine how you would interact with the people and that place when you’re there. Next, visualize that everyone else who visits that same place acts exactly as you do.Four easy things that you can do to become an ethical traveler.In this article, you will learn about responsible tourism.
Fast forwarding twenty years, what does that place look like now? Is it still beautiful or littered with garbage? Do the locals smile and greet tourists with open arms or avoid them at all costs?
Regardless of whether we think that one person cannot make a difference, here’s the truth – it is your actions that decide how your favorite vacation place turns out. Every time you plan a trip, your choices of accommodations, eating and commuting preferences — each one changes the world in tiny increments.
To us, therefore, travel is all about being ethical, which means exploring your favorite destination respectfully and not carelessly or feeling entitled. To get you started, here are some essential ethical travel tips that you must consider on your next adventure:
Responsible Tourism – How to Be an Ethical Traveler
1. Dine Consciously
You don’t fly halfway across the globe to eat at McDonald’s, right? Therefore, you must ask your tour guide, taxi driver or hosts about the local cuisine and the places where you can enjoy them.
Also, do a little research of your own to see if you could locate any nearby restaurants that support a good cause. This way, you will not only enjoy some fantastic food and beautiful dining ambiences but also do your part in addressing an important local issue.
2. Indulge in Environment-Friendly Practices
If you love exploring the vibrant coral reef or relaxing at a white sandy beach, you must make sure that they remain that way. Thus, don’t litter the place with empty plastic bottles, bags of chips or fruit peels. All the trash should go into its designated collection bin.
Moreover, you must make sure that you indulge in the practice of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. Instead of buying plastic bottles of water, purchase a reusable water bottle.
Also, if you’re planning to go off on a diving excursion in the ocean, make sure to pack reef-friendly sunscreen. Studies show that most sunscreen brands can have a detrimental effect on the coral reefs, even in small amounts. Therefore, check the constituents of the sunscreen you’re using, or even better, be sure to pack an extra t-shirt to protect you from the sun during your excursion.
3. Contribute in Protecting the Wildlife
You may not know this but going on an elephant safari is fun only for you, not for the elephant. Same goes for the orcas and dolphins in captivity at the water world. Now, this doesn’t mean that you avoid any interactions with the local animals!
Instead, you must seek wildlife tours, safaris and interactions offered by local organizations that are sanctioned by the authorities. These organizations offer up-close experiences with the exotic fauna of the place without harming the creatures. For example, the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica is one institution, where all stray or injured animals are lovingly cared for until they regain their health and can be released back into their natural habitat.
4. Dress Appropriately
Every place in this world has a distinctive culture and values, especially when it comes to the choice of clothes. For example, people are not allowed to wear revealing clothes in public in East Africa. Even in majority-Muslim countries, it is deemed to be inappropriate for people to wander about in the streets in shorts and skimpy sundresses.
Remember, you are not endearing yourself to any place and its people, by openly going against their cultural norms. Therefore, it is always advisable to spend some time researching the local traditions of the place that you intend to visit and imbibe those values when you are there. By embracing the local culture and its nuances, you can easily get the people to open up to you and have a much more enlightening experience.
Traveling is About Embracing New Experiences!
When you travel to a new place or indulge in an experience you’ve never had before, it opens your mind to an array of unforgettable memories. In other words, traveling gives you a chance to broaden your horizons and look beyond your own beliefs and prior life experiences.
Therefore, it is crucial that you visit new places and countries without any prejudices. It is also vital that you understand your responsibilities as a tourist and don’t indulge in practices that tarnish your reputation. Instead, embrace the different cultures and traditions with open arms.
So, the next time you are going on a vacation, take time to understand the local culture of the place you are visiting, prepare an itinerary and purchase the best travel insurance plan. While the itinerary will help you manage your accommodations and bookings, the travel insurance will act as a contingency plan for you, making sure that no mishaps derail your travel experience.
While choosing the best travel insurance plan, take ample time to compare from the available options. Select the one that is cost-effective and yet offers the maximum number of benefits.