How to be a More Responsible Traveler in 2021

1 4 » Roaming Sparrow » 2024

How to be a More Responsible Traveler in 2021

Every traveler has his or her own set of ethics and or creed they abide by throughout their many journeys. In order to become a responsible traveler not only in 2021 but for years to come, it is important to consider the future of the environment and the consequences of your actions. For example, what are the best ways to reduce the need for plastic water bottles? How does a traveler make sure that their waste doesn’t end up in the ocean or on a beach? What are ways to reduce e-waste pollution? Let’s explore this topic.

Responsible Tourism Meaning

Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make a positive impact on the environment, as well as the local society. It is not about taking, but rather giving. Sustainable tourism includes visits to ethnic regions, eco-tourism, heritage tourism, and seeing tourists as a catalyst for positive social and economic change. Sustainable tourism focuses on the region, the society, and the economy. You should only visit an area if it has the capacity to meet your needs.

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Lower Your Carbon Impact

As a responsible traveler, it’s important to realize traveling inherently can generate sizable carbon footprint. One of the best ways to lower your environmental footprint is by walking. This is a great way to get some exercise and it’ll save you money too. The next way is to when available choose to ride public transport, this is also a good way to conserve energy, and you can get to your destination faster if you don’t need to worry about traffic. If you have the option, it’s always worth it to ride on a bus because you can enjoy the scenery and get a glimpse of the culture. Personally I have taken many nice photos while on the bus traveling somewhere. Lastly, consider renting bicycles. A bike is a nice way to inject yourself in the culture get to your destination quicker while still having the flexibility to explore side streets and other destinations.

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Respect the Local Customs and Traditions

Travelling is a great way to experience new cultures and make new friends. Of course, As a responsible traveler you have to be respectful of the customs and traditions in the country you’re in. When you’re abroad, your behavior can have a real impact on the surrounding people. You need to respect the customs and norms of the countries you visit, or you’ll risk offending someone. But being privileged to experience the world and learn about different cultures is an astonishing feeling.

One of the greatest rewards we can give ourselves as a responsible traveler is the opportunity to learn. Take the time to interact with people from these cultures and you will find that they will open up to you for being willing to learn. In the grand scheme of life, language is one of the keys to unlocking the doors to other cultures-so take the time to learn a bit of the local language. You will make more friends and you will enrich yourself.

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Be a Responsible Traveler and Choose to Buy Locally

It’s important to keep in mind the impact your spending has on your community. Shopping locally is a great way to support the mom-and-pop shops in your neighborhood and to show them that your neighborhood cares about them, and you care about them as a responsible travel. Do you eat at the local restaurant? If not, you might want to reconsider. Similarly, take a moment to think about where you spend your money, because it can have a massive impact on the community.

When you spend locally, you’re giving somebody else a chance to create a better life for themselves. Supporting local business is important to a community. Locals are the life blood of the community, and that’s why it’s vital to choose where you spend your money wisely. So as a responsible traveler, think twice before buying a box store but shop locally.

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Volunteer and Help Better Lives as a Responsible Travel

There’s no better way of travelling or being a responsible traveler then volunteering than through a non-governmental organization (NGO). These organizations send you to places like India, the Middle East and South East Asia, where you’ll have the opportunity to work with people who need your input. The best way to volunteer is through your skills. Maybe you have medical training, or you’re great with IT? These are the types of skills we need that will make a real difference, and increase the ways you could be a responsible traveler. Volunteering with a NGO is an opportunity for you to help a local community or cause, make new friends, and the sea aside culture that you may not normally experience. Volunteering while you travel is an awesome way to feel like you’re actually making a difference in the world and not just taking selfies of natural landmarks.

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Be a Responsible Traveler and Don’t Give to Beggars

Giving money to beggars and those on the streets can have a negative impact. This is due to the downward spiral that once you give them money, they will continue to beg. This can lead to neglectful behaviors and may end up with the beggar selling drugs or committing other crimes. This has a negative impact on the local community.

I wrote a larger article about this that you can read here :

Should I Give Money to a Begging Child When Traveling?

If you’ve done a lot of traveling, you have probably seen a lot of beggars near you and feel really bad for them. As a responsible traveler you want to help them, but giving the money is not the answer, it’s hard to say no. If you want to lend a helping hand, there are a few things you should consider. First, find local organizations that work with underprivileged people in your neighborhood, go volunteer time or donate your money to that group. Let them know you want to help out and see if they have anything for you to do. This is not an option really want to help out, offer to buy food or water for the person in need and leave it at that.

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Really Consider Before Doing Wildlife Activities

Cage animals for the purpose of tourism, or go pet a lion, or ride an elephant… For the most part is never good. If you’re looking for something different to do on your vacation, then you can consider the possibility of wildlife tourism. This sometimes involves visiting a sanctuary to interact with wildlife. The problem is that sometimes the operator’s will think about the profits before the well-being of the animal. The best thing you can do is do your research and make sure the place you are visiting has a good reputation. If you’re still not sure, then just say no and find another activity for the day. Missing that one self photo could save an animal lifetime of pain.

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Summary

We all enjoy traveling, seeing new places and taking in the sights and sounds. In the process of enjoying these areas, the excitement of adventure and exploration, it’s important we do not lose sight of our privilege and how we can impact the local area both positively and negatively, on our actions, spending habits, and mindfulness. You are in another culture may not be able to support the way of life you’re used to, we must be mindful of this.

What do you think?

  • What is the best way you can be a responsible traveler in 2021 when traveling?
  • Have you engage in any of the topics above?
  • What is your best advice to lower your impact and help communities when traveling?

As always thank you for taking the time to read this article hope you found it citable and interesting.

Much love

Tim on a Rock
Tim on a Rock
Roaming Sparrow is a project by Tim Mack. It is a life on the road, an adventure to gain knowledge and share genuine experiences.
Find some great experences, check out Viator!

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