Responsibility… Yuck. When I hear that word it makes me think of all the things I had to do as a child: chores, homework, parents lecturing about cleaning my room. So when we talk about Responsible Travel it’s important to talk about how traveling in this way also means travel experiences that are more exciting and more fun! We want everyone to engage in responsible travel no matter the budget, type of travel or the destination.
First of all, what is responsible travel. Here at Travel Life Adventures we like to use the terms revolutionary travel, fair trade travel, and conscious travel when we talk about these things. What this means is traveling with the knowledge that we as travelers influence the people, places and environments we travel in. That whether we know it or not, our act of travel impacts the places and people we travel to and with this comes the responsibility to ensure that impact is a positive one.
We truly believe this style of travel is the most fun, exciting, meaningful, and transformational type of travel there is. In fact, here are 5 ways revolutionary travel is fun and also benefits local communities.
- Go Local: Instead of staying at the chain hotel or resort, why not try out a locally owned bed and breakfast. Maybe grab an AirBnB or vacation rental from a local. Where you stay when you travel can be fun and gives you a chance to get to know the locals and make new friends. This also injects money into the local economy and supports locally run business.
- Seek out adventure activities: Go trekking. Take a local tour. Skydive. Scuba dive. There are limitless opportunities to connect with local activities that will make your travel an adventure to remember. When arranging activities like this it is important to understand when to cut costs and when not to. Often times activities operators will cut corners with their employees or sacrifice safety practices to give you a lower price. The lowest cost provider is not always the best. Spending a few more dollars is good when it creates a positive dynamic between traveler, company, and the local people who work there.
- Get those photos: Capturing your travel experience is always a great way to bring home memories of the people you meet and places you go. It’s also a great way to share with friends and family the things you saw and learned. The key thing to remember here is to always ask permission before photographing people or even certain sites. It is always good to just be sure before snapping that selfie in front of that building or capturing the beautiful people working at the local market. This also gives you a chance to connect with people too! Double win!
- Preparation is half the fun: The spectrum of planning when it comes to travel is large. Some people like to have every detail planned out. Others like to just let the experience take them where it will. Both approaches are great and offer different ways of experiencing a place. No matter where you fall, it is always good practice to at least educate yourself on local customs, practices, and ways to respect the culture and people you will meet. This will actually ensure your travel experience is even more meaningful and fun!
- Learn the local language: By learning even just a few words of the local language a whole new world of travel experiences will open up to you. Connecting with people will happen more often and ease of movement will increase as well. In addition, travelers who take an active role in trying to speak the local language create a positive relationship with local people and the tourism industry. People feel respected and validated when you attempt to speak the language. It goes a long way to creating a more positive travel experience for everyone.
At the end of the day what we at Travel Life Adventures most desire is that travel is a positive force for change in the world, and that more people can have deeper and more meaningful travel experiences. Travel is a privilege and those of us who are lucky enough to get to choose it need to be conscious of these things. In our eyes this makes travel much more fun and exciting and send us home with an experience that will stay with us forever. Responsible, conscious, revolutionary. These concepts and ways of travel will give you those experiences when done in the best way possible. Now get out there and have some fun!