There are three main areas to cover to make sure you are travelling responsibility. These are environmental, ethical and cultural and we have created a list of our top tips to make sure you know what to expect when heading out on your next adventure trip.
Global warming is a real, current issue, and in the words of Leonardo DiCaprio ‘Climate Change is not hysteria – It’s a fact!’ It is more important now than ever before to make sure we are looking after the world we live in. This includes the places we go and visit when we are travelling around the world!
Here are our top tips on how to be environmentally friendly when travelling abroad:
- The classic – don’t litter! Treat where you are staying as if it is your own – you wouldn’t litter at home so don’t do it abroad either.
- Did you know most coral reefs were formed somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago and can be destroyed in seconds if you catch a fin on them scuba diving or exploring the underworld!
- Taking biodegradable shampoo and shower gel with you will help to not contaminate the water around you, which other people may use to drink out of!
- Pack sensibly – taking unnecessary items that are hard to recycle can be avoided.
- Don’t feed the wildlife and animals – especially in underdeveloped countries as many animals carry diseases.
- Preserve energy – if you won’t need the lights on, don’t have them on! If you don’t need the air-conditioning on, don’t have it on! The same as you would at home.
No one travels abroad with the aim to be disrespectful to the locals but sometimes this can happen accidently if you are not aware of the correct etiquette on how to behave. Being ethical comes in many forms but essentially it means being respectful and taking local people into consideration.
Our top tips to being ethically aware on your travels:
- When travelling to developing country, try not to flaunt your affluence. Your one piece of jewellery could be equivalent to several years’ worth of wages to them, so keeping this to a minimum is advised.
- Use local transport and support local businesses whenever possible.
- Get involved – try their local food and traditions! They will love you for it!
- Always try and give a fair price – remember what may seem like not a lot of money to us could be a significant amount to them so don’t try to rip people off!
- Tip whenever necessary.
- Good will gestures such as giving presents and toys to under privileged children is a great thing to do – over the years Rock and Rapid have helped refurbish schools and donated toys to children in various countries across Africa and Asia – we love doing it and it’s great to see the children so happy with what they receive!
- Ask before you take photos! Imagine how you would feel if you were hanging out your washing and a bunch of tourists got up in your face, taking photos with “oohs” and “aahs”. You’d probably feel a bit uncomfortable! So, make sure you ask permission before taking any portraits of people. Often, this will lead to an interesting conversation and a genuine connection with local people.
Experiencing the culture of another country is one of the best reasons to travel! There is no better way to experience life, give yourself an open minded viewpoint and gain memories that will last a lifetime!
Here are our top tips on how to be culturally aware when you are in a different country:
- Do some research on where you are visiting and learn as much about their culture as you can, this way you will be prepared and not get yourself into any unfortunate situations!
- Learn some common phrases in their language such as ‘hello’ ‘thank you’ ‘goodbye’ – This will show you have made an effort – and impress locals!
- Look up the dress code before you pack your bags! Some countries have different values on what is respectful – you may not be able to wear that designer swimsuit on a beach or your new Levi shorts in a temple!
- Be aware of your body language and behaviour. In many countries public displays of affection is disrespectful.
- The more effort you put in to trying to learn and adapt to the culture of where you are staying, the more you will get out of your visit. Remember – we are guests and in most cases lucky to experience what we do!
If you are unsure on any of the above for the country you are planning to visit – we advise checking the foreign travel advice before you leave on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and it will tell you everything you need to know so you can prepare yourself!
For any other advice or support, feel free to contact us on 0176 930 9007.