5 Responsible Travel Tips That Make a Big Difference

Shimla Kalka Train in Barog Railway Station

Has it ever crossed your mind that while tourism has the power to bring development to places, it can also destroy places? Here are 5 responsible travel tips that will make a huge difference and minimize the ill effects of over-tourism. You can’t always blame human malpractices or the growing population, because end of the day we all suffer.

1. Eat local

Spicy dahi aaloo chaat
Spicy dahi aaloo chaat- Local delicacy in Mathura

Insta-worthy food pictures from a decked-up cafe or a luxury hotel grab eyeballs. Your pictures garner millions of comments, and your fans make it to that fancy place, following your footsteps. The hotel or cafe generated enough buzz and rose to fame. Thanks to you. However, the farmers who grew the crop or vendors who transported the raw material, what did they get? Misery and one more night of sleeping hungry. So what good did tourism do? You can make a difference by eating locally grown food, cooked by locals. Your act will support farmers, local vendors and will generate local employment while you will carry home an authentic taste. Don’t we all look for authentic experiences?

A sweet apple jam in Himachal Pradesh
Apple Jam – A local delicacy of Himachal

2. Shop local

The colourful artistic local market in Hoi An
Responsible travel starts with supporting local business and artisans

A tourist not indulging in shopping therapy is a rare breed. Tourists flocking to flea markets or local handicrafts fests is a common sight across the globe. Stick to the ritual because that accounts for a responsible traveller. Buying hand-painted lamps or handwoven dream catchers and shawls from the local markets will support local artisans and craftsmen. This will help uplift small businesses and entrepreneurs, boosting their local economy.

The Flea Market in Goa Gajah Bali
Shop local and be a part of responsible travel

On your next trip, buy souvenirs made by the village residents or the underprivileged and not the fancy packaged ones from malls or shopping centers. Even those are made by the villagers, but often they don’t get the price of their labour. Thank us later for this responsible travel tip.

3. Choose homestays

Homestay in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Choose homestays to boost local economy and responsible travel

Local employment is of utmost importance for a place to boom. Remember, if there were jobs in small towns or villages, residents wouldn’t have migrated to cities. Wondering, how can tourism help in such cases? Think of a chain of people employed in running a homestay or hostel. Everyone from property owner and cook to cleaners and drivers play a huge role in boosting employment and the local economy. Homestays these days also give you an experience organic farming, picking vegetables from the farm, preparing special delicacies and giving a tour of hidden gems around. See, what a win-win!

4. Make sustainable choices

Eco Friendly Choices- Locally made cloth bag purchased from Handloom Association in Jodhpur
Cloth bag purchased from Handloom Association in Jodhpur

Single use plastic has been a menace all around the world. A responsible traveller not only refuses to accept plastic bags but also carries his own bag. Or may be you can buy one from local weavers or handloom shop.

Gandhi Road in Gangtok, Sikkim
Responsible Travel – Keep the roads clean like Mahatma Gandhi Road, Gangtok

While vendors may continue to sell beverages in plastic or paper cups, you can do your bit by carrying your own glass or straws. So, using collapsible cups and steel straws are among the most responsible travel acts. The local vendors will take time to switch to bio degradable clay glasses or supply reusable utensils. But you must make our choices wisely. More the sustainable choices, cleaner and greener the places become. And trash plastic responsibly. Often the lack of responsible trashing is the cause of choking a place.

The recylcled garden in Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim
Respect nature- Recycled garden in Rumtek Monastey, Sikkim

5. Eco friendly transport

Floriculture Institute in Chail, Himachal Pradesh
Responsible travel – Spend time walking amid nature

Responsible tourists prefer walking. It helps you save fuel and lot of money while it also is great for health. Also, walking lets you absorb the culture and beauty of the place slowly. Additionally, couples who walk and explore places make stronger bonds.

Responsible tourists support local businesses like the local taxi association in Himachal
Support local taxis and transport for responsible travel

Reduction in carbon emission is the first step towards responsible tourism. Henceforth, authorities promote walking in sacred places and forests like the Monkey Forest in Bali or the Floriculture institute of Chail in Himachal to let you enjoy slow travel and curb pollution. However, to travel long distances, its good to hire public transport or local taxis to reduce the impact of pollution. Its great to choose land transport instead of air wherever you can.

Walk in the Uluwatu Temple premises, Bali
The jungle walk- For good health and environment

The last word

There are several ways to preserve the sanctity of tourist places with your actions. If you don’t act, may be there will be nothing left for tourists in future. We are anyway headed to the end of the world, so why not be responsible for once? Go on that hike that you’ve been dreaming of, but don’t forget to clean up after you pack up. Indulge in lip smacking food for a hang of the culture but don’t add to the plastic pollution. There are tons of responsible travel tips available everywhere, provided you gear up and be a responsible traveller.

3 thoughts on “5 Responsible Travel Tips That Make a Big Difference

  1. Great tips! Really love the awareness you are creating for travelers to be more responsible! We need so much more of this…♥️

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