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Iceni Magazine | August 9, 2020

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Do You Travel Responsibly?

travel,escape, explore, experience, responsibly

We love to Escape, Explore and Experience new countries when we travel.

But do we always do it responsibly? Remember, we are a visitor and guest in these countries when we holiday there – we should all take a little bit of thought in to how we behave.

Entertain Yourself
It’s such an important thing to make yourself happy & fresh in a journey. Do you know to keep yourself entertained music can be an most magical way? Maybe you know or maybe you don’t. If you are traveling with your own car, then you can make your time more entertaining. Make sure you fix your stereo system & also the speakers. Also make sure you select the best car speaker brands which can perform perfect in your car.

Educate yourself
Before leaving home, learn a little about the country you are visiting, the religion, culture, and the local rules and values. You don’t need to know everything, but the basics such as how to dress, greet locals, and behave will not only make your experience more responsible but also, allow you to see a different side to the country you are visiting. This includes learning a few local phrases, you’d be surprised how far just a please and thank you in the local language can get you.

Know your customs
Learn what’s appropriate behaviour and body language in the country you’re visiting. Do a bit of pre-trip research to know which gestures are ok and which ones are offensive. These do change all over the world even between neighbouring countries so be aware. Go local in what you do Support locally owned businesses, restaurants, and other services whenever you can. These are the businesses that benefit from your tourist pounds the most, not the big-name chains that you can find back home. Eating local food and drinking local brands not only helps a local business but enhances your experience of where you are. Use public transport where possible, you’ll meet local people and get to know the place much better than behind the window of a private car or taxi.

travel,escape, explore, experience, responsibly

Know what your supporting
It’s difficult to make a blanket statement about all tourist activities all over the world, but in general, check out the experiences you may be doing before-hand. A little bit of research goes a long way. You may find that cute little Tiger cub who were hoping to visit is actually living in horrid, completely unethical conditions. Be wary of tours that allow you to hug wild animals, ride wild animals or photograph indigenous people for the sake of an interesting photo. Many of these activities are presented to tourists as conservation efforts or animal-friendly fun, but the reality may be far from the truth, with animals being bred in captivity, mistreated, and neglected. Always be aware of where your money is going as you travel.

Dress Appropriately
Dress respectfully to where you are. Dress modestly at religious sites and check what swimwear is suitable for pools and the beach. When in doubt, cover up. You may find out later (this has happened to me numerous times) that you didn’t really need to wear long sleeves or trousers at that temple, but you’ll be far more comfortable than if you hadn’t and it was expected. I always travel with a scarf or shawl in my bag as it’s acts as a perfect cover up when needed.

Always ask permission for photos
Always ask first before photographing or videoing people. How would you like it if people just kept taking your photo without asking? Not only is it rude but in some places, it’s also a violation of their spiritual and cultural beliefs. Plus, asking them before you click gives you a chance to have a conversation and to connect, and that’s what travel is all about, right?

Dress respectfully to where you are

Leave only footprints
Take care of the environment as you would your own home. The World is, after all our home. Say no to plastic bags and straws in your drinks, recycle wherever possible, and try to keep your waste as low as possible. If you do have any trash, take it back with you to dispose of at your hotel. Use re-fillable toiletry bottles instead of buying new travel-sized samples every time you take a trip, it’ll save you a lot of cash in the long run. And of course, never take pieces of coral or other endangered plant life home as a souvenir.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
This applies to everything, it’s easy to slip into “holiday mode” and do things outside of home that you wouldn’t usually, if this means you’re keen to try new foods, great! But try not to do things that may insult the locals.

These tips aren’t just for when you are travelling to far flung destinations but can be used much closer to home in some of our most loved and visited destinations. Please, just think ‘would I do this at home?’ before acting.

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