From time to time, it’s worth reflecting on the positive ways in which we can all travel more responsibly and sustainably, while also supporting local environmental and community initiatives. Take a look at our guide to responsible travel to make a difference each time you plan a journey.
Research the Destination First
Before even leaving your house, positive steps can already be taken by researching the destination you’re travelling to. While giving locals a better impression of the visitors to their country, this simultaneously enhances the experience for the traveller, giving them an immersive and rewarding stay.
Embrace the Local Culture
Of course, it’s not just the knowledge you acquire before arriving that ingratiates you to the local people. Being sensitive towards local customs – particularly religious beliefs and political issues – ensures there are no cultural misunderstandings. This includes dressing in the appropriate manner for any monuments you visit during your stay.
Leave a Minimal Footprint
In the same way we strive to live sustainably and be environmentally conscious at home, we need to apply these principles overseas. Leave a minimal environmental footprint by walking or cycling between sites, recycling litter whenever possible, and minimising the water you use. Carrying a reusable water bottle around with you is a great way to begin.
Support Environmental Initiatives
Alongside the TreadRight Foundation, Trafalgar strives to support initiatives that help preserve the local wildlife in each country we travel to, from working towards tackling poaching in Africa in collaboration with WildAid, Wilderness Foundation, and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, to helping preserve our planet’s oceans with initiatives such as the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Trafalgar guests can gain insight into this work by visiting sites such as Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka, which is run by the Born Free Foundation.
Support the Local Communities
In equal measure to this conservation work, Trafalgar also places importance on improving quality of life within local communities. An example of these partnerships is Just a Drop, whose mission it is to deliver clean and safe water to the remote villages of northwest Cambodia. See some of the work being carried out and meet the people who benefit from these efforts by visiting Aung Myay Thuka Monastic School in Myanmar.
Take Further Steps Back Home
Of course, people can make a difference after returning home, too. While each of the initiatives Trafalgar works with benefits from each traveller who joins us on a trip, these organisations appreciate support at any time.
Image credits: Cover photo of Thailand © iStock. Cycling through Milan © iStock / Simone Becchetti. Reusable water bottle © iStock / Paolo Cipriani. A Rhino in Kruger National Park © iStock / Utopia_88. Aung Myay Thuka Monastic School © Trafalgar.