Gone are the days when people would save for a year or so just enough to plan a holiday to their favourite destination.
Now whether you are single or have a family. There are certainly no bounds what so ever when it comes to traveling.
You can easily save up a few bucks, find cheap flights and cheap hotels/hostels and you are on the go. Whether you are a backpacker going solo, with friends or with family, Vacation is just another excuse for a quick getaway.
But have you ever wonder, that once you plan for the vacation of your dreams. How many times do we even give a thought to plan ahead for things other than the transportation, hotel and the popular tourist spots? I guess, only A few!
Here comes our responsibility as a traveler, how we can manage our trip at the same time plan wisely and thoughtfully.
Being a Responsible Tourist/Traveler.
Recently I was approached by Maliha of @Heradventureswithhim on Instagram about sharing thoughts on this very topic among other great travellers. She is also the founder of #RespectFirstTravelSecond. Which indeed clarifies the means in all aspects.
So on a span of few days, a number of us shared our thoughts and this actually gave me an idea on why not I write something here as I had a lot of things in my mind but I couldn’t share because of the limits of the platform.
So here I am just pointing out a few things which might be helpful for us while travelling abroad. As the number of tourists is increasing each day.
1. Understanding the culture:
We as human beings should be making places liveable for people and invest in places to make them more habitable.
Thorough research beforehand is a good option. It also depends on how you are going to travel to that country. If it is a family vacation and you are opting for a guide and staying at a resort. Perhaps this won’t matter much. But if you are travelling for a purpose and are going to get involved with the local people then you should learn a few things before you plan to leave.
This cultural learning can be through the internet, or meeting people of similar background.
Remember not to stereotype and obviously each one of us is unique and possess different qualities.
2. Purchase locally made goods:
Remember some countries are dependent on their tourist industry! A major part of their population earns their bread and butter from it! Try and help them in whatever way possible. Do charity and buy local products. Get some nice local souvenirs from the local handicraft stores. Eat some local food and try out their cuisine, instead of relying on Fast Food.
3. Think about the environment:
Do not forget to protect our environment. If you are staying at a hotel, try not to waste too much water. Turn off the lights before you leave your room because sometimes you are out the whole day. Try to conserve wildlife, plants and local culture.
4. Do not litter:
A lot of us travel to the third world countries, as they are rich in culture, traditions and history. One major mistake which we all make is that instead of bringing change to such places we tend to make mistakes as the locals. We may be trashing the places just because we see trash everywhere! Also, a lot of tourist spots are full of litter, which obviously is created by us. So let’s not make these mistakes. A small action can play a major role!
5. Privacy of locals:
It is a matter of self-education and tolerance. We invest in such activities and yet we forget to invest in adapting the diversity.
Taking pictures with local people can be fun, but it could be intimidating for them. We do like to bring a flavour of different cultures with us back home but not to invade someone privacy. Ask for permission before you want to take a photo. Even if you want to sit and chat with someone at a cafe or a bar.
6. Respect indigenous people:
Few countries have very strict laws when it comes to indigenous people as they are the original settlers of a certain region. Hence they should be respected irrespective of their lifestyle, language, colour and other attributes. Such as Aboriginal people of Australia, USA, Canada also a lot of indigenous people can be found in parts of Africa.
You can also contribute your efforts in terms of some volunteer work. It can either be enrolling yourself in a volunteer program organized by different organizations or doing it on your own. Basically, helping the locals in some way. Providing your expertise in some way, which could benefit society. A lot of people go and help in establishing free schools and teach underprivileged. Provide free health facilities, help in an orphanage and there are endless possibilities and opportunities.
8. Keeping in mind the Rules and Regulations:
Remember not everything is allowed everywhere. Few things might be allowed in one country but not in another. Such as Alcohol restrictions in a few Muslim countries. Be careful of drugs and dangerous items, some very strict rule applies.
So next time when you travel, you might want to check one or more of these things in your list. I am sure you will enjoy your travels more than before.