HOW TO TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY – ECONOMIC GUIDELINES
Keep resources in the community. Spend money so that it remains with the local people. Stay in lodgings and use services owned by members of the community. Buy locally produced food and beverages except when this would negatively affect the community’s supply.
Do not compete for scarce resources. Where food and beverages are scare, either travel somewhere else or make sure you are self sufficient.
Do not patronize tourism establishments that undermine the local economy. Avoid service providers that siphon money or resources away from local communities to the absentee elite or outside corporations. Be aware that in most places, spending on motorized transport has minimal benefits to the local economy because the equipment and energy are imported. Be sensitive to fair pricing and do not seek out bargains at the expense of the local producer.
Be satisfied with what the local economy can provide. If you need all the comforts of home, why leave home in the first place?
HOW TO TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY – ENVIRONMENTAL GUIDELINES
Be resource efficient. Use energy, water, and other resources in a way that is efficient and appropriate to their availability in the place you are visiting. Whenever possible, use reusable materials and recycle. Avoid bottled water.
Minimize the impact of travel. Travel by non-motorized transport whenever possible. Always use the most energy-efficient practicable transportation option.
Leave no trace. Do not participate in activities that harm the environment. Do not harass wildlife or collect ecologically crucial materials. Do not leave garbage or other items in inappropriate areas.
Do not support activities that undermine the environment. Avoid tourism activities that create harmful impacts on the environment. Critique service providers to make sure they are not undermining ecological health in hidden ways.
HOW TO TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY – CULTURAL GUIDELINES
Travel for the right reasons. Please do not travel to check off destinations or collect stamps in your passport. Travel out of a genuine desire to experience the world and meet local people. Take the time to get to know the people and the places you visit, rather than rushing in to take pictures and rushing out again. Cultivate a true desire to share, and give of yourself in whatever culturally appropriate way you can.
Respect differences. When the customs, beliefs, and values of the people you encounter differ from your own, realize that they are simply different, not better or worse than your own. Honor these differences and treat local people with respect and dignity. Seek to deepen your understanding of other people and cultures, and reflect daily on your experiences.
Avoid causing offense, even accidentally. Be careful to avoid offensive behavior, particularly in regard to dress, photography, and religion. Be humble and do not expect special privileges. Do not buy or wear items that are sacred or otherwise central to the culture.
Understand cultures on their own terms. Enter a culture in a spirit of humility, with a desire to understand and a willingness to ask questions. Do not make assumptions or act as if you know all the answers. Truly observe and listen rather than just seeing and hearing. Avoid racist, ethnocentric, pejorative, and sensationalizing language in your speaking, writing, and thinking.
Avoid creating barriers. Travel in a way that doesn’t create walls between you and the place you are visiting. Walk, bicycle, or use other non-motorized transport whenever possible. Minimize your use of technology to avoid letting gadgets get between you and the natural rhythms of your destination. Be especially careful in your use of video and camera equipment.
Do not undermine the local culture. Do not participate in tourism activities that negatively affect local values or traditions. Consider that you may be one of thousands of visitors and understand the cumulative effects of tourism on the local culture. Choose activities that preserve and celebrate cultural diversity.
Responsible travel information provided by Crooked Trails, an educational non-profit organization helping people broaden their understanding of the impact of travel on the world’s cultures and ecosystems through educational outreach and sustainable travel programs. They aim to educate travelers with guidelines and methods for making responsible travel choices. They believe that together we can improve cultural, ecological, and economic conditions around the world by changing the way people travel.