There’s nothing quite as life changing as traveling the world. What with the multiplicity of cultures and peoples to get to know, traveling the world is so much more than just sight-seeing vacation. Being that a trip around the world is such a monumental expedition, it’s important that you embark on your adventures responsibly. Here are a few main points to think about before you start packing.
Before going on your trip, try to do as much research as you can. Make sure you’ve got a bit of basic vocabulary learned so that you can interact with the local population. It’s unlikely you’ll become fluent (but it would be impressive!) — especially if you’ve got a number of countries on your itinerary — but even if you’re able to make a small effort this will certainly go down a storm with the locals. Even a little basic vocabulary such as “hello” and “thank you” along with a few other essential phrases can make a big difference.
When you’re planning your travel route, make sure you book your flights responsibly. Compare flights and see if the airline itself is environmentally friendly airlines. Remember that modern airliners use significantly less aviation fuel than older airplanes of even just a decade or two ago, and some airlines even offer a “carbon offset.” When booking your flight(s), there’s an optional additional contribution to offset the carbon dioxide produced, which usually goes towards planting trees.
If you’re planning to visit a World Heritage Site, don’t forget why these locations are so special! Why not learn something in advance about the location’s history, its culture, the natural environment, and any local customs. There may also be advice and warnings you should be aware of. Not only will this information help you get the most from your trip, it’ll also ensure you enjoy these sites responsibly and respectably.
There are some smaller things you can do when travelling the globe — most significant of which involves remembering and supporting the local communities. When choosing your accommodation, hotels and hostels may publish their environmental policy — including physical impact — and also whether they employ local people in their service. Environmental awareness has become something of a unique selling point in the travel and hospitality sector.
While traveling, consider using local guides. Get involved in local culture — shopping in markets, trying local foods, services and products to support local people. This should contribute to your enjoyment and enhance your overall experience. Avoid souvenirs made from rare natural resources, or those under threat. Report poaching and any other illegal activity.
Those are just a few tips on how to travel responsibly. After traveling, you may wish to pass on these along with your experiences to other travelers. It’s all good when it’s a question of saving the planet.
Image by snre, used under Creative Commons license.