How to be a Responsible Traveller...
Before you head out on your Imaginative Traveller tour, take a glance at our top tips on how to be a responsible traveller...
- Observing the local cultural sensitivities will help you engage with local people and avoid embarrassment or offence.
- Learning a few words in a local language will be greatly appreciated and can open the doors to a more genuine experience.
- Always ask if it is OK before photographing people. It is nice to offer to show them your picture on the display screen – it usually makes the children laugh!
- Dress respectfully with an awareness of local standards – the most suitable choice is usually loose fitting clothing which covers the shoulders and the thighs. Dress modestly at religious sites and check what is suitable as far as swim wear is concerned.
- Try to support community-run and locally-owned businesses. Shop for local food, eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands. This will help keep your money within the local communities.
- Help keep traditional crafts alive by shopping with traditional artisans. Bargain if that is the local practice, but be fair – what may be a small amount of money to you may be a significant amount to the vendor!
- Tipping can form the basis of the local economy and many rely solely on tips – do some research before you leave as to the appropriate amount to tip
- Take your own bag when shopping and say ‘No’ to plastic bags.
- We aim to reduce the use of single use plastic bottles. We encourage our customers to filter your own water rather than buying bottled water in single use bottles – see link to water to go.
- Please dispose of waste responsibly and wherever possible recycle – think about bringing home what can not be recycled locally such as old batteries.
- It can be difficult not to give money to beggars, but if a person earns more than someone who works for a living it may encourage the practice, cause problems for the local economy and giving money to children may dissuade parents from sending them to school. Supporting the community through a local clinic or development project may be more constructive.
- When visiting national parks and nature reserves keep noise to a minimum and respect the “personal space” of the wildlife. Stick to set paths in order to preserve natural habitats and leave animals undisturbed. - see our responsible guidelines on wildlife viewing.
- Relics and products made from endangered animals and plants were probably acquired illegally. Refusing to buy them is not only in the interests of the local people, the environment and future visitors; it could also help you avoid getting into trouble with police and customs.
- After returning home think how you can support programmes and organisations that are working to protect the welfare, culture and environment.
- Smile and be friendly! Your goodwill will usually be reciprocated and make for a more enjoyable experience.