What is Responsible Tourism?

Also published on Global Help Swap.

Travel is an incredible life experience and it’s more attainable now than it’s ever been. However, the more we travel the more we may unknowingly cause damage to the environment. But we humans are curious by nature and it would be impossible for us to stop exploring altogether. So it’s important to be an informed traveler, especially when it comes to traveling responsibly and sustainably.

The good news is that it’s a lot easier than it seems. The first step is to be mindful of the trips you take and choosing your destinations carefully. More sustainable modes of travel are by train or bus, as they typically produce less carbon emissions than flying. However if you do need to fly, consider buying a carbon offset (just be sure you’re doing this in addition to other eco-friendly travel changes). Limit your plastic waste by having a travel-ready kit of reusable products like toiletries and cutlery.

Keep in mind you’re engaging in a cultural exchange when you travel. Read up on the destination you’re traveling to, learn about the customs and respect them, support local businesses, and make sure you’re not littering in or damaging the natural environment you temporarily inhabit.

It’s easy to be a sustainable and responsible traveler, and hopefully many of you already are. Adopting these values could allow us to protect the world and its people. After all, isn’t the whole point of travel to discover and connect with this beautiful planet we call home?

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