Guide to responsible travel

“Leave no trace.” This is a common phrase campers and mountaineers are expected to adhere to when they set out to nature. While you bask in the beauty of the outdoors during your holiday, don't forget to clean up after yourself and leave no trace behind. Here are some tips on responsible travel...

Tips for responsible travel

Preserve nature by leaving natural environments the way you found them. Observe cleanliness when you camp out and refrain from activities that may harm wildlife and their habitats. If you're travelling in a remote area, it's best to take your rubbish with you and dispose of it in a town - even if bins are provided.

Never buy products made from endangered plants and animals.

Respect social and cultural traditions. Responsible travel not only applies to the physical aspects and conditions of the country you're in but also to the social and cultural practices of its people. Since you're a foreigner, you're expected to adhere to and respect cultural differences. In India, for example, public displays of affection are frowned upon and considered a taboo, so if you're travelling with that special someone, keep the PDAs to a minimum or to nothing at all.

Conform to the laws of the country you're in. Make sure you know them in the first place so you won't accidentally break them.

Support the growth of the country's local economy. On your trip, contribute something good to the country you're visiting by buying local handicrafts and applying the principles of fair trade.

Always ask before taking someone's photo. In some cultures it's considered offensive to capture someone's image, while in most countries it's considered at least a little rude not to ask.

Don't give money or sweets to child beggars. This can be difficult, but responsible travel also involves discouraging bad practices. It's often the case that children are kept away from school by the parents who think that they will earn more money than an adult would begging.

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