Take nothing but memories, Leave nothing but footprints! Check out tips on how to be a responsible, ethical traveler.
Ethical travel is about being responsible, sensitive and well-informed whilst travelling.
It is important for every traveler to be aware of the footprints they leave behind, and ensure that the impacts are faint ones. We at Unusual Escapes encourage travelers to travel ethically and with sensitivity to the environment, local culture and people.
Here are some of the ways to travel ethically.
Eat where the locals eat for inexpensive and authentic food. Eating the local food in a small, family owned restaurant help the local economy.
Respect local traditions, culture & religion
Remember you are a guest in someone else’s place. Every place has its traditions & culture. It is important as a traveler to acknowledge and respect local traditions, cultural behaviors and religious sensitivity of the local people who may follow beliefs and behaviors that are different from what you are used to at your place.
Respect the local culture and dress like a local, perhaps even more conservatively especially in villages and holy places. Buying and wearing a local dress not only help the local economy but creates a bonding with the locals.
Speak the language
Learn a few words of the local language that you can use for wishing people and the locals will really appreciate it. Just a few words can go a long way in bridging cultural gaps and forming new connections.
Respect local’s privacy
Ask before taking pictures of people and places. Be sensitive; take their permission before taking pictures of them.
Don’t throw your thrash away. Instead bring them back to your place to dispose. Recycle where possible.
Purchase local products
Be careful about what you take back home. Avoid buying souvenirs and products made from threatened or endangered animals or plants. By purchasing locally made products, you ensure that the benefits stay with the locals. Be careful not to exploit the poverty and need of the locals and bargain too much on the price.
Avoid disposable plastic water bottles
It is advisable to carry your own bottle and refill it with pure water instead of buying disposable plastic water bottles. In many places, tap water is very much safe to use for drinking.
Use public transport
Public Transport is not only the best mode of transportation but also an experience in itself. It’s a great way to meet the locals, interact with them and observe the real life of the locals. You can also consider bicycling or walking to move around – both of these are not only environment friendly but extend an opportunity to mingle with the locals more closely.
Always carry comfortable dresses while traveling. Remember, you don’t need to wear something different every day. You have the option of buying locally wherever you go as well. It is advisable to carry a small backpack (in addition to your main backpack or bag) so that the same can be used during day outings for carrying camera, water bottle, etc.
Use resources sparingly
Many places have extremely limited supply of water and electricity. Keep your use of resources such as water, electricity, and general waste to a minimum by being aware of your consumption and aim for alternatives. Take short showers, turn off the tap while brushing, switch off the lights and other electrical items when not in use.
Make a difference
If you feel inclined, donate to a program that supports the community you visited. Do thorough research on the program before you donate.