Tread lighter – responsible travel tips  

Before you go  

  • Do research before departure about your destination's social, political, and environmental issues to increase cultural understanding and sensitivity.  
  • Seek second-hand travel gear or borrow unused gear from friends or family for your trip instead of purchasing new items. 
  • Know the do's and don'ts of interacting with a culture different than your own.  
  • Go digital: save your travel documents on the cloud to avoid paper waste.  

Transportation  

  • Choose local transportation like buses or trains when traveling short distances in place of flying.  
  • Offset carbon emissions from your flights to lessen your carbon footprint.  
  • When flying, book in economy class and choose the most direct or non-stop option.  
  • Planning an inflight meal? Choose the veggie option.  
  • Pack a reusable bottle for times in transit to reduce plastic waste.  

 

At your destination  

Money matters  

  • Eat in locally owned restaurants and stay in locally owned accommodation.  
  • Book activities and tours with local guides – make sure they are licensed and live locally.  
  • Purchase locally made handcrafted products.  
  • Never purchase products made from protected or endangered animals.   
  • Pay the fair price – don't engage in overly aggressive bargaining.  
  • Avoid giving money or other handouts to children – this can perpetuate a cycle of which children are late to pitch rather than attend school. If you want to donate, find a local organization that supports youth and their families.  

Cultural Sensitivity  

  • Always ask for permission before entering a sacred place, homes, and private land.  
  • Ask for permission before taking photos of individuals. Ask a parent or guardian for permission before taking any photos of children.  
  • Learn a few words or phrases in the local language to better navigate and interact with locals.  
  • Understand local customs and dress appropriately.   
  • Always remember, you are a guest at a destination and should always respect the privacy, traditions, and local community at each destination.  

Be Environmentally Aware  

  • Always remove your trash and dispose of it properly.  
  • Recycle and compost items when possible.   
  • Bring your own reusable water bottle, bags, straws, utensils, and takeaway containers.  
  • Be mindful of food waste by skipping the buffet and opting for proportional single-person servings.  
  • Be reminded of the resources you are using during your stay such as water and electricity. Especially in a water/resource scarce destination.  
  • Choose local transportation whenever possible.   
  • Always stay on designated trails when hiking or trekking.  
  • Observe wildlife from a safe distance and never engage or touch with wildlife.  
  • Only participate in ethical experiences with animals (i.e. no elephant riding, don't support circuses, animal parks, or take photos with exotic wildlife)  

After you get home  

Share your responsible experiences  

  • Encourage responsible travel by sharing your experiences that promote sustainability and responsible practices to your friends, family, and on social media. Your network will benefit from learning about your travel choices.  

 

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