What is responsible travel, and what does it mean for your next journey to Asia? Check out this visual primer to responsible travel – and how you can make your next trip more sustainable!
We admit it – we talk a lot about responsible travel, and how it plays a big part in how we create our journeys. This year, we’re talking about all the ways we hope to change travel, and change lives. But when we talk about responsible travel, what are we really talking about?
Perhaps the biggest misconception about responsible travel is that it’s hard to do. Those two little words mean big things – but that doesn’t mean you have to be an activist to change lives through travel. Even the smallest changes to your itinerary can transform how it impacts local communities, wildlife and environment.
So what do you need to do to make your next journey more responsible? Check out this easy visual guide to the basics – and how each translates to your next trip!
Don’t forget to do your part in spreading the word. Tell your friends how they can be a part of it, too – share this!
With just a little extra research on activities involving animals, you can make a big impact on the welfare of animals both in the wild and in captivity in Asia. A trip to an animal conservation centre rather than a zoo, seeing animals in their natural environment rather than in captivity and travelling only with companies who have a strong wildlife policy are great starting points.
Saving Every Drop
Water is a precious resource in a place like Asia, so doing your part to limit water consumption makes a big difference. Shorten your showers by a few minutes and turn off your facet when brushing your teeth. Every little bit contributes to water conservation in your destination.
Changing Your Commute
Part of the fun of travel is experiencing all the great ways to get around! Skip the private cars and taxis for a few trips, and instead try out some of Asia’s coolest public transportation – including heritage trams, trains and ferries where you can travel like a local.
If you’re able, sample the local cuisine on a walking tour, explore the streets on a unique rickshaw ride, get your heart pumping with a cycling trip, or jump into nature with a countryside trek
Focusing on Culture
Responsible travel tours with a specific focus on culture are becoming more popular, and it’s obvious why. Culturally conscious activities, such as visiting villages off the beaten track, trying local cuisine and learning about traditional crafts, invite travellers to experience the authentic lifestyle of locals. Seeing this side of life is not only fascinating but essential to our true understanding of the country.
Asking questions can be one of the most rewarding parts of responsible travel. Finding out more about how other cultures work is not only interesting and exciting, it reflects how grateful we are to be welcomed by them.
Sharing Your Culture
Sharing our own culture can be just as intriguing for the locals we meet too, who love to hear how vastly different our two worlds are just as much as we do. This is one of our favourite things to do on our Local Life tours, which offers lots of opportunities to really connect with locals in a way that’s open, respectful and safe.
Investing in Local Culture
It’s not surprising that the economy of the countries we visit can largely affect our experience of them. Everything from the attitude of the people we meet to the quality of food we’re served is affected by local economy. You’ll be pleased to know that investing in the economy isn’t necessarily a matter of spending more though – it’s often a matter of spending in the right places. Swapping international restaurants for local eateries and buying responsible souvenirs are some easy ways to invest in local culture.
Investing in local businesses rather than international companies not only gives you a personal experience of local life, it also means that entire communities will benefit from your tourism. Buying goods from local businesses also supports the continuation of traditional, culturally-important skills that have been passed down through generations. You can even support the economy by learning fun, local skills in a class.
Donating carefully is one of the most important decisions you can make while travelling. Cash handed out randomly may be able to sustain someone for a few days, whereas a few dollars towards a vocational training programme can help an individual learn a skill that will support them for life. This isn’t just a matter of charity either, there are plenty of vocational centres with restaurants and shops to visit that guarantee some of your money will go towards a good cause.
Are you interested in making a change to the way you travel? Speak to one of our travel experts to plan a trip focused on responsible travel.