The Importance of Being A Responsible Traveler

Sometimes, we get excited about ourselves going to places too much that we tend to forget we are actually entering somebody else’s home. We think we can get away with doing just about anything, convinced by thoughts like “They don’t know me anyway” or “I’m only going to be here once after all”. Although it’s just us immersing in the whole experience, we should also pay mind to what marks we are leaving our travel destinations. Are we being a great experience to the place and its locals just as they are to us?

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Be open-minded to different cultures and traditions.

Study beforehand what cultures and traditions are being practiced in the place you want to go to. That way, you will know the rights and be able to avoid the wrongs. Being the visitor, you have to be respectful of the social and cultural practices that may be different from yours. To be respected and welcomed, you also have to respect.

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Preserve and care for natural environments.

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Leave things and places the way you found them – or better. Leave places clean and help protect wildlife as well as animal habitats. Do not buy products that have been made out of endangered plants and animals. Doing so will only promote or encourage further production of such.

Help the local economy.

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Especially in developing countries, help is what they need. Purchase local products and handicrafts through fair trade. Should you wish to bargain, do so with an understanding of fair wage. Of course, be cautious enough so as to not fall victim to product overpricing scams. If you have, well, think of this as consolation: that merchant most likely needs the money more than you. Being a responsible traveler is definitely not hard. Just get into the mindset of leaving a place much better than when you first arrived. It will transform your travel experience for sure!

Responsible Traveler Photos by Dietmar Temps, Tom Jutte, demoshelsinki and Du Tran.

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