How to respect the community and culture of the places you visit

Font Size:

We all love heading off on a holiday, and whilst experiencing new cultures, environments and traditions is a lot of fun, it’s also important to treat your destination with the respect it deserves. Here are 20 tips to help you do just that.

Respect the community and culture

1. Do some research before you fly (or sail) and learn a bit about the language, religion, culture, food, local laws and etiquette.

2. Find out how to dress like a local and make sure your attire isn’t offensive.

3. Even learning a few phrases of the native tongue will go a long way with the locals. Train yourself on the basics with an app such as DuoLingo (I personally recommend it), and don’t be afraid to use it.

4. Try to eat at locally owned restaurants and shop at stores that are environmentally conscious and don’t promote exploitation (i.e. use of slave labour).

5. Try to buy locally owned brands and use locally produced products, to support the destination’s economy.

6. Always ask before taking photographs or videos of the locals.

7. If you feel the need to haggle, be reasonable about your price, and be aware that, to the vendor, every dollar may be the difference between eating that day or not.

8. Support the community by purchasing locally produced crafts and handiwork direct from the artisans and not from retail outlets.


9. You don’t wash your towels every day at home, so hang the towels in your hotel room unless you really need them replaced.

10. Try to use a reusable water bottle and, whenever possible, take your own reusable shopping bags.

11. As at home, unplug all hotel room appliances and turn off lights and lamps when you’re not using them.

12. Switch off the air-conditioning when you’re not in your hotel room.

13. Be water conscious – many countries don’t have the same water supply that we enjoy in Australian major cities.

14. Those little shampoo bottles may be cute and nice to use, but they also create a heck of a lot of waste. Bring your own toiletries whenever possible to avoid creating this waste.

15. Did you know that most of a plane’s emissions occur during take off and landing? Booking direct flights helps to eliminate a lot of unnecessary emissions.

16. If you go on a long walk or nature hike, stick to the designated paths. It’s not only safer, but it also ensures that nature and precious structures remain intact.

17. There’s a saying ‘take only pictures and leave only footprints’, which means that you should never take souvenirs, such as stones, wood or flora, from the natural environment. You never know what the effects of such pilfering could cause down the track – besides, they won’t be allowed into Australia.

18. Use public transport as much as possible; you can also hire a bicycle to ride and/or walk when feasible. Not only is it better for you, but it’s also better for the environment.

19. Recycling is a universal thing, so do your best to separate your plastics from your paper for easy recycling.

20. Holiday brochures can also be reused and, so long as you keep them in good condition, there’s nothing stopping you from popping them back in the display shelf. If you can’t do that, at least recycle them.

These tips can just as easily be applied on our own home turf, so it won’t hurt to put them into practice within the local community.

Do you have any tips for respecting the places you visit? Why not share them with our members?

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Top 11 travel tips you need to know

How many of these make-or-break travel tips do you already know?

10 quick travel tips

Stay safe, sane and in possession of your credit cards while you focus on having fun

10 best travel tips of all time

Become the savviest traveller around with the ten best travel tips of all time.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 1
  1. 0

    Don’t smoke. Especially in countries where smoking is almost non-existent, such as Peru and Bolivia. It instantly labels you as an unthinking, uncaring foreigner.



continue reading


Friday Funnies: The barista and the spoon

Enjoy these caffeinated jokes from Readers Digest while you sip your morning coffee. They may even improve the best part...


What chickens can tell us about living with COVID-19

Professor Amir Hadjinoormohammadi As the world grapples with rolling out various vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, there...


Vaccinations, transmission, contact tracing: COVID questions answered

What do we know about COVID-19? Given how new the disease is, how much has been learnt in the past...

Mental Health

What is agoraphobia and how is it treated?

Popping to the shops, picking up a coffee on the way to work, queuing up for entry to a gallery...


Benefits of kefir and what to look out for

Forget kale and nut butter: fermented foods are the one big health trend we'll all be spooning into our diet...

Age Pension

CPI figures point to an increase in the Age Pension in March

After pensioners were denied an Age Pension increase in September last year, due to a rare case of deflation in...


MND breakthrough offers hope damaged nerve cells can be repaired

There is hope of a breakthrough in treating motor neurone disease (MND) after Edinburgh researchers found a way to repair...


Avoid these common mistakes people make with bleach

Bleach is one of the most effective and least expensive disinfectants around, but it pays to remember it's not an...