Ways to Responsible Travel

Ways to Responsible Travel

You've probably heard of responsible travel, but do you know what it entails or what to think about before embarking on a responsible travel adventure? Let's have a look.

BY Palitha Weerawansa

Many volunteer abroad organizations' programs are built on this sort of travel experience.

In fact, since they've done so much of it personally, the professionals participating in these sorts of international adventures are typically specialists in responsible travel.

Are you interested in learning how to travel responsibly? So, let's go more into what responsible travel entails and how you may get started.

What is Responsible Travel?

Responsible travel entails traveling in a way that is both environmentally friendly and beneficial to the nation you are visiting.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sustainable tourism is defined as follows:

“tourism that addresses the demands of tourists, the industry, the environment, and host communities while taking full account of its present and future economic, social, and environmental impacts.”


Because sustainable tourism options aren't only a wonderful way for visitors to travel.

They also provide local residents with the opportunity to participate in the tourist industry in a way that will benefit them both now and in the future.

Let's have a look at the various ways you may participate in sustainable tourism and contribute to global goals.

How to Make an Impact as a Responsible Traveler?

01. Let's Start at Home

It's a good idea to start planning your responsible travel experience at home.

This is because it allows you to learn about appropriate travel activities and practice incorporating them into your daily routine before leaving.

As a result, once you get to your destination overseas, you'll find it a lot easier to transition into being a responsible tourist.

While you're still at home, here are some "responsible living" activities that can help you reduce your environmental impact:

  • When you aren't using an appliance, turn it off and disconnect it.
  • Turn on your geyser about one hour before you'll need hot water.
  • Put your newspaper subscription on hold and read online instead.
  • Start composting and recycling your organic waste, as well as glass, paper, and plastic.
  • Make the switch to electronic billing.

02. Choose a Homestay or Eco-Friendly Accommodation

Living in the community is the best way to travel responsibly. In this manner, you may contribute to the community's growth on a daily basis while also learning about the country's culture by immersing yourself in it.

If no homestays are available, you can stay at an environmentally friendly hotel. This is one of the first stages towards putting your knowledge of responsible travel into practice on the ground.

So, can staying at a hotel be considered environmentally friendly? Yes, however, you should double-check before putting down a deposit.

You may look into the hotel's facilities and activities to see whether they are energy and water-efficient.

You should also be able to determine whether the hotel accurately and ethically incorporates the culture of the nation you're visiting. Local people being part of or partnering with the institution is one element that favors this.

And staying at a hotel that is ethical and ecologically friendly may contribute to your responsible travel experience.

Reading internet reviews is a fantastic method to get a sense of how environmentally friendly and culturally aware a business is.

03. Reduce your In-Flight Carbon Emissions

Airplanes released 705 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2014.

This greenhouse gas contributes to rising global temperatures, but there's a lot you can do when traveling to decrease your carbon dioxide impact.

Booking direct flights and avoiding connections is one option. However, it is often unavoidable to contribute to global carbon emissions when traveling.

To combat this, you may give to carbon-mitigation initiatives that aim to reduce the impact of climate change while also assisting the communities that are most affected.

04. Buy Local

It might be tempting to look for stores or restaurants that remind you of home when traveling.

While there's nothing wrong with it, keep in mind that you didn't go on vacation to feel like you were at home.

Where is the thrill in that?

New locations and experiences are at the heart of travel. So get out there and get started!

Support local souvenir stores, dine where locals do, and sample new regional food every day.

This is not only a terrific way to contribute to the local economy, but it's also a fantastic opportunity to learn about the culture, traditions, and even the language of the nation you're visiting.

05. Think Before you Bargain

Negotiating for a lesser price at a local market might be enticing. Although negotiating is a part of certain cultures, it's vital to think about the broader picture and ask yourself if saving that additional dollar is worth it.

That $1 off the initial price may not seem like much to you, but it might mean less food for the vendor's family the next day.

Paying full payment is one way to contribute to global development initiatives wherever you are for those of us who are able to travel overseas.

06. Read Up on the Local Laws and Culture

Before you board that airline, do some research on Google to discover as much as you can about local cultures, traditions, and health and safety issues.

Learn about the customs and traditions unique to the place you'll be visiting, as well as national norms. Find out which hand movements are regarded flattering and which are deemed impolite, for example.

Check the regulations about where visitors are permitted to travel and even how you should dress.

By keeping these in mind when traveling, you will be able to connect with the local population in the most effective manner.

This is also a fantastic method to guarantee that you have a good experience throughout your visit.

07. Minimise your Everyday Environmental Footprint

When traveling abroad, think carefully about taking that plastic bag or styrofoam cup. Instead, use reusable things such as metal straws and cloth bags.


Well, in certain nations, waste management is an issue, and tourists can significantly contribute to the problem by using single-use products.

You should also consider your environmental effect when you travel from one location to another.

Can you get there on a mechanical bike while avoiding the carbon emissions caused by taking the train, bus, or taxi?

Here are some things you can do to reduce your environmental effect while traveling abroad:

  • Carry a shopping bag with you wherever you go to avoid the usage of plastic bags.
  • To prevent accumulating single-use containers, opt for sit-down dinners rather than takeout.
  • To see the local sights, opt for walking or bike excursions rather than bus or motorcycle trips.
  • Reusing your plastic water bottle is a good idea.

08. Volunteer Abroad

Do you want to make a difference with your travels?

Volunteering is an excellent method to learn about a nation while also contributing to global goals.

Whether you have two weeks, months, or years to volunteer, you will profit from the cultural experience and contribute to socio-economic efforts.

Your travel experiences will be shaped by chances that you would not have had as a tourist, such as helping with children in a mountain town!

And, at the conclusion of your journey, you'll have a far better knowledge of the place you visited.

09. Research Any Animal Activities

Is riding an elephant still on your Thailand bucket list? It's time to take it off.

Being conscious of how ethical the leisure activities you participate in are part of traveling responsibly. This is particularly true for animals.

Because animals cannot express how they feel in a given circumstance, we must take extra precautions to protect their well-being, especially if we choose to engage with them.

It is critical to respect the ecosystems in which animals exist, to collaborate with them in acceptable and constructive ways, and to avoid circumstances in which the animals themselves become attractions - such as elephant rides.

If you want to participate in any animal care, marine, or wildlife conservation initiatives, learning more about how these activities are managed is critical.

When it comes to animal encounters, many organizations are upfront and transparent about their policies. Others, though, are not.

So, what should you look for to guarantee that you are becoming involved with an organization that has the best interests of the animals at heart?

Here are some characteristics to look for in an operator:

  • They provide animal interactions that are both necessary and not just for fun.
  • They have a firm grasp of what ethical animal contact entails for them and how they incorporate it into all of their actions.
  • They are a legally recognized organization.
  • They are open and honest about their work on the project.

10. Contribute in Ways That Encourage Community Development

Contributing to sustainable initiatives may not be as simple as it appears once you get to your destination overseas.


Because seeing a youngster or adult on the side of the road asking for money may make anyone want to provide them whatever they can spare.

However, part of traveling responsibly is remembering that long-term initiatives are better for community development.

So, while donating money to someone may make you feel better, contributing to long-term activities is more likely to benefit the entire community.

Do you want to know what kinds of activities count as sustainable community development efforts? They are as follows:

  • Supporting local women in gaining greater social and economic equality.
  • Taking part in activities that benefit children's education.
  • Participating in recycling programs, as well as water and environmental conservation activities.

By participating in these sorts of international activities, you will ensure that you are making a significant contribution to community development.

11. Use Public Transport

Taking public transportation is another option to decrease your carbon impact.

Instead of getting a taxi alone, buy a bus ticket and travel with locals.

It's a wonderful way to visit the area you're staying in while remaining within your trip budget!

Do you want to explore the nation at your own pace? How about renting a bike and going for a ride?

12. Take About Responsible Travel with your Friends and Family

Traveling properly heightens the awareness of any international experience.

After you've experienced responsible travel for yourself, you'll have a wealth of knowledge and suggestions to share with those who are just getting started.

Discussing your trip with friends and family is one way to educate them on the importance of responsible travel and raise their awareness of the value it adds to your time abroad.

So, what are some of the greatest methods to get started on the path to becoming a more responsible traveler? That's simple.