Traveling is one of the most enriching experiences of life and probably you have already experienced this feeling. We all need to understand that traveling in a responsible way is to do a compromise with you and the destination where you go, however you might be wondering what you can do concretely to be a responsible tourist anytime you travel.
Here it’s the answer:
Responsible tourism, conscious tourism, and ecotourism are concepts that surely you have already heard, but in which you may not have deepened. Don’t worry if not, we are sure on some of your trips you will have already worked as a responsible tourist.
Responsible tourism seeks to minimize the negative impacts on the ecosystem, economy, society, and culture of the place where the tourist activity takes place, not only from the point of view of the traveler but also taking into account the businesses or institutions involved in the offer and promotion of tourism services, meaning both a tourist and a hotel or a City Council can carry out responsible tourism measures.
We facilitate these ten tips with which we do not doubt that you will be a responsible tourist.
How to be a responsible tourist?
1. Start for yourself
Yeah! Being a responsible tourist means that you have an organized trip, planned in advance and with everything you need to avoid mishaps, covering your expectations and without the unforeseen expenses, if you book transport and accommodation in advance you can obtain them at advantageous prices for the dates you were considering and with the quality you expected.
Another way to be a responsible tourist with yourself is to take out travel insurance that covers certain expenses in case of related problems or unforeseen events that affect your trip, for example, transport cancellation, lost luggage, healthy.
2. Choose good transport
Think about the ways to move to your destination and also those that you will use to move during your stay. If the destination allows for ecologic transport, go for eco-sustainable or zero pollutants emissions transports. Try using public transport, and if is feasible, move by bicycle or on foot.
3. Stay in sustainable accommodation
Depending on your destination there are many eco-stayings that are responsible for the environment, the materials with which they are built or the type and use of energy. Stay in a rural house that works with solar energy, booking in an eco-hotel that reduces water consumption or stay in a bioclimatic cabin which is an insulated wall with natural or recycled elements, as a responsible tourist there are ways of contributing to the environment.
Try always to have reservations, tickets, maps, guides or invoices in digital format on your smartphone or tablet. They are a way to reduce paper consumption and avoid generating extra waste.
5. Save energy
When we stay in a hotel or rent an apartment we tend to not worry about the cost of water or electricity with the excuse that we already have paid the stay. Who has not ever left the card in the room and the air conditioner has been running for hours? In addition to the business accounts, with this energy waste, we are damaging the territory we have traveled to and the planet in general.
We understand you are in relax mood when you are traveling, but try to use the same habits that you use at home, 10 minutes showers, sort the garbage, turn the lights off.
6. Respect the flora and fauna of the area
Try not to degrade the ecosystem of the area you visit, natural spaces, animals and plants. You may be surprised to know that some people take plants, shells or corals to take home as a souvenir. Also avoid buying objects made of materials obtained by methods such as illegal hunting as ivory and exotic leathers, If you want to visit a zoo, look for centers that have rescued animals from abuse to start reintegration processes in nature. At lunchtime, keep in mind the closed seasons of certain seafood or game animals, as there are places that do not respect them in order to increase their pockets.
Take always biodegradable personal care products. If it contains one of the following ingredients it is not biodegradable: Octocrylene, Benzophenone, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Hexyldecanol, Dimethyl Apramide, Cetyl Dimethicone, Methylparaben, Polyethylene, Propylparaben, Butylcarbamate. If it contains one of the following ingredients it is biodegradable: Titanium oxide and zinc oxide. Once at the destination, it is very easy to find these products in a pharmacy or a convenience store.
7. Support to the local economy
Look and buy products and services typical of the area and that boost its economy, local companies that involve other people and shops in the territory. For example, eat in restaurants that offer typical food, buy jewelry made with native products, look for a craft souvenir, enjoy local parties and traditions, or stay in establishments managed by the local community. Also, look online for the local tour-operators organizing excursions and day-trips, and go for one operating in a responsible way.
8. Meet and know the local population
Traveling involves relating to the people of the place you visit and for this, it is necessary to know, understand and try to adapt to your character, habits, norms, and customs. We must avoid imposing our lifestyle wherever we travel. ¿Examples? Find out about uses when paying such as tips, learn about ways to greet or mealtimes, respect dress in places of worship, etc.
9. Minimize waste generation
It is true that when we are traveling, it is difficult for us to carry elements that we can reuse, then many of us we still take the option to “use and throw”. In order not to generate extra garbage, it is good that, as in our daily life, we use reusable bags or bottles and avoid plastic bags, glasses, plates, straws, etc. Also, look at how it is recycled in the destination or in your own accommodation so that each waste is in its proper container.
10. Join and share: Responsible Traveler
Once you are back from your trip, reflect on what you have known and learned on your journey as a responsible traveler, and about your achievements as a responsible tourist. Tell and share to your friends and family the practices and advantages of responsible tourism.
Dear traveler before embarking on a new trip/adventure use and rare awareness about the advice mentioned in this post.
We have a question for you: Do you consider yourself a responsible tourist?
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