Responsible travel

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Leave nothing but footprints from your stay by following Andrea’s essential tips for travelling responsibly.

Responsible travelling means having a positive impact on the local environments and communities we visit when on holiday. The curse of the modern traveller means that we are continually competing with our friends and families for the one-upmanship of having the ultimate travel experience. Airfare deals and a reduction in the time it takes to reach destinations on the other side of the world means that more people than ever are travelling, but sadly this is placing extraordinary wear and tear on our planet.

However, with careful planning and awareness of these impacts, we can ensure that our travel is a little more sustainable, so that we can enjoy our holiday with a clear conscience.
 

Before you go

  • Research your destination and the different options available to you.
  • If you choose to join a tour, choose a tour company that is green-minded.
  • Ask questions about their operations, for example do they employ local staff and use local produce.
  • Check your accommodation. Is it a certified green organisation? Most accommodation providers will include information on their website about how they are making a difference to the environment, e.g. how they dispose of waste, heat or cool the property, and do laundry.
  • Consider taking a few longer holidays closer to home, to produce less greenhouse gas.
  • When flying to your destination, try to secure the more ecologically friendly direct flights, rather than booking connected flights.
  • Remove as much outer and excess packaging as possible from the products you are carrying with you. Some countries do not have the same standards of recycling as we do.

While you’re there

  • Use public transport as much as possible once you reach your destination.
  • If you can’t get by with public transport, rent the smallest vehicle possible for your needs.
  • Purchase locally produced souvenirs, but avoid anything made from, or with, endangered materials or animals.
  • Don’t waste water. In developing countries the amount of water used by 50 guests during a month-long stay at a luxury hotel would support the same number of families for a year and a half.
  • Buy local produce to support the country’s farmers instead of imported goods.
  • Hire a local guide. Not only will you discover more about the local culture and people, but they will earn an income.
  • Tread carefully in nature and do not disrupt the habitats of the local wildlife. Do not litter or remove any vegetation, and do not feed the wildlife as they can lose their ability to fend for themselves.
  • Immerse yourself in the community by trying local home stays or becoming involved in community-based tourism initiatives.

Travelling responsibly doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a memorable holiday. In fact, more contact with locals usually means a far better experience. Be conscious of the impact you are making, follow our tips and use your common sense to respect the culture and traditions of the destination you are visiting.

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Written by Andrea

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