The difference between going on holiday and travelling is as much about giving back to the country you are visiting as it is about yourself. This means undertaking to be a responsible traveller and provide benefit to the locals.
Visitors to a country can be positive or negative, so make sure you fall into the first category. Responsible travellers leave no trace of their trip, except for smiles and memories. Do not leave behind rubbish or even a trail of empty plastic water bottles. Think about your actions and how they will affect local communities and modify them accordingly.
One of the best things about travelling is finding out more about the local culture and this in turn should lead to respecting it. Interacting with local people will help in this, but be sure you are aware of the customs before you set off. This can be anything from dressing appropriately to knowing how to greet people – handshakes or kissing on the cheek can be well-meaning, but are not necessarily the right things to do.
Many people like to take souvenirs home from their travels, but it is vital to ensure they are not made from unsustainable materials, such as hard wood, shells or natural sponges. Buy the right products, which have been made locally in an eco-friendly manner and make sure that the money is going to those who need it most.
Travel is a huge learning experience, so be sure to keep your eyes open to all the opportunities coming your way. Being a responsible traveller involves talking to local people and discovering their points of view and knowledge. Make sure any mistakes or mishaps you have along the way teach you something and lead to even better experiences in the future.
There is no point in you doing everything you can to be a responsible traveller if you haven’t booked your trip with an operator that shares these values. At Large Minority, we believe in meaningful and sustainable travel. This can be seen in the ten per cent of each and every trip we sell going towards charity projects and campaigns to plant trees in areas where they are much needed. On top of this, we use local services and amenities throughout our challenges, so that your money goes back into the community, whether it be in Sri Lanka, Cambodia or The Philippines.
Check out which Large Minority adventure challenge is right for you.