Travelling and touring the world is an enriching and fulfilling adventure. Family travel is an even better experience where you get to open up your child’s imagination. The opportunities to learn new things and become a better global citizen are multiplied by striving to be a responsible traveller.
What does responsible travel entail? As a traveller, your daily actions have an impact on the world and local communities. Being a responsible traveller means doing what is right by treating the people and places you visit conscientiously. You want to set a good example for your kids at all times, including when travelling with them. And travelling responsibly will ensure you do just that. Children are conscious beings; most of what they learn, they do so by watching the people around them. As you get ready for your next adventure, you can practice the following ideas on being a responsible traveller. Let’s get things underway.
Choose Local Businesses
Do you know that you can impact the local economy of your target destination? As you choose your summer family travel, it’s important to consider using a company that’s involved in the community’s welfare. A tour and travel company run by locals is a good start. Using their services injects money directly into the local economy.
Another way of ensuring what you spend ends up in the hands of the locals is by staying in a locally owned hotel. Local hotels are invested in the wellbeing of the community. If you’re looking for cheap family travel, staying at a local hotel will also help you cut down on expenses as opposed to booking accommodation in an expensive, well-known resort. There are no doubt assurances of going to a reputable resort. But if you’re confident of your safety while staying in a local hotel, you’ll save quite a considerable amount while also ensuring your money goes to the local economy.
Some areas can be sweltering hot, but exposing your shoulders or knees isn’t recommended, especially if it’s not part of the local culture. Being sensible and responsible when it comes to how you dress shows respect for the local community. It also instils valuable lessons in your child about being mindful of other people.
Consider the Environment
There are many ways to ensure you’re watching your carbon footprint, for instance, not packing any material harmful to the environment, such as plastics. As you’re doing a bit of research for the best car seat protector for leather to hit the road with your kids, you can also research the destination as you look for ideal family travel packages. That will help you understand their approach to environmental challenges. In some countries, plastic use is banned, and you want to be on the right side of the law when you get there.
Be Mindful of You and Your Family’s Actions
While on your best family travel adventures, it’s always advisable to be thoughtful of the people you meet. Activities such as taking photos of the locals you see, speaking in an insensitive way about their culture, can make you a lousy tourist. Respecting the locals and asking for permission before taking photos is one way of being a responsible traveller. Encourage your child’s curiosity but respectfully.
Show Gratitude and Tip as Much as You Can
One way of showing appreciation is through tipping. As the locals go out of their way to do everything they can to help you tick all the boxes in your family travel checklist and then some, it’s good to remember to show your gratitude. You may be assisting workers in augmenting their salary as some companies in various parts of the world do not pay their employees well.
Learn Some Local Words and Phrases
Learning a few key phrases and words such as “thank you,” “please,” “good morning,” and “hello” in the local language is not only courteous, but it’s also respectful.
Beware of Over-Tourism
Overtourism is a big issue affecting the ecosystem. It refers to the adverse environmental impacts of tourists flocking popular destinations. When planning your trip, you can do a bit of research as you look for family travel ideas. This will help you contribute to conservation by visiting famous locations during off-peak seasons or choosing similar destinations that are less popular. Teaching your kids early about the importance of preserving the ecosystem will go a long way in instilling important values as they grow up.
Use Water Sparingly
Water is an essential resource and usually scarce in many tourist destinations. So, if you’re being requested to control your usage, it’s for a good reason. And if the hotel you plan on booking has a golf course and several swimming pools in a country with drought issues, you might want to reconsider your options or consult with a family travel expert. Water is a fundamental human right, and sadly, tourism is one of its significant exploiters.
Spending Your Money
In tourism, it matters how you spend your money. You want to ensure you are using companies that support ecotourism. You can check your family travel association to identify businesses that treat their workers and the environment with the utmost respect. Also, once you’re on vacation, don’t give money to children or beggars. This includes giving sweets to kids and buying from them or using them as models in your photos. All these actions could be encouraging child exploitation. Instead, you and your family could volunteer in local charities where you can teach a skill or two. That can make a significant difference.
Family travel takes you to places and countries that can appear strange. From the languages spoken to cultures practised and religions followed, you’ll be exposed to new things every day. Showing courtesy and respect for people’s different ways of living throughout your stay is one of the best ways of being a responsible traveller. You can be sure that once your children are grown, they’ll follow suit.
Even as you learn family travel hacks to help you have an unforgettable experience, remember, a responsible traveller makes a better global citizen. While on vacation, support local businesses as much as you can, express gratitude at every opportunity. Also, be mindful of the environment, as you take care not to flock areas with a tourist influx.
Other than having the time of your lives, all the above tips and ideas will go a long way in making sure your money goes to the local population and community. Besides, the least you can do as a traveller when visiting any destination and being welcomed by the locals is leaving nature how you found it, if not better. All it takes is positively impacting the world, one destination at a time. Leave us a comment and let us know which of these tips you’ll want to use on your next trip.
Amalia Liberman is a wife and a mother of two as well as a novelist and writer, the author has been featured in Women’s Health magazine and also written different articles in lifestyle magazines. Her passions lead her to search out knowledge with all her searching and she doesn’t mind sharing her findings.