Other than visiting unique places or seeing beautiful cities, another great thing about traveling is the chance you get in meeting the locals. Being able to see the world from someone else’s eyes is a gift that many tourists enjoy. Not only that, the opportunity to experience life through different cultures is the wonderful reward you get from traveling.
In sustainable travel, supporting and respecting locals is extremely important. It’s not uncommon at all for locals to endure disruption to their daily activities, have their privacy invaded, or their properties damaged due to overtourism. Through sustainable travel, we can help to ensure that our travels don’t interfere with the locals’ activities or cause any inconvenience or damage to them.
22. Experience local
It makes sense to follow the travel guide when you’re in a new place. However, it’s enjoyable if you can experience the local colors on your own because travel guides tend to only bring you to hot-spot places. If you get to stay longer during your travels, then you have the chance to experience more local things and really learn about the place.
23. Visit smaller businesses
As a tourist, you tend to visit as many must-see places as possible. Established businesses or vendors often dominate these places. If you have the time and chance, visit the smaller businesses surrounding the areas. These smaller businesses sometimes struggle to survive, so making it a habit to visit smaller businesses on your travels can make a difference to the community.
24. Respect local cultures and traditions
While it’s exciting to see and learn about other cultures and traditions, always respect the locals. Chances are, the locals from popular travel destinations are friendly and will answer any question you have, but that doesn’t mean you can take this for granted. Always keep a respectful distance, especially when witnessing any local traditions.
25. Be respectful and adaptable
It’s worth remembering “When in Rome.” Certain cultures, traditions, or words may seem odd to you and you might want to react by saying something. However, be careful when you ask questions because you can’t be sure how the locals will view your questions.
26. Travel with local transports
Many countries now have e-hailing services with local drivers. Traveling with local transports is a better way to travel than to take travel buses or vans because not only is the price lower, you will also be helping the local livelihood. Plus, having a local driver drive you around is like having a personalized chauffeur that will tell you everything you need to know about a place.
27. Choose local accommodations
It’s understandable when you’d want to stay in established accommodations because you already know the standard. However, the next time you travel and as part of your sustainable travel efforts, why not try local accommodations or a local boutique lodging? Chances are, you’ll enjoy yourself more with their personalized and intimate service.
28. Seek out local tours
Many locals are also playing tourists in their own country. If you want to get a real feel of what’s local at your travel destination, try seeking out local tours instead of commercial ones.. These tours are often very small in number and consist of the people from the travel destination. You can get to know the place and make some new friends too!
29. Limit usage and waste
Remember, just because you’re not paying for the electricity, it doesn’t mean you can leave the air conditioning on the whole night even if it’s in a warm place. Be mindful of your usage and wastes. Do not litter or waste any resources in the place you’re staying.
30. Leave it better than you found it
At times, the influx of tourists often causes some disruption to the local’s activities and businesses. If you want to make an impact during your sustainable travels, you can find ways to make a place better than you found it. You can help recycle or you can join any community service as a volunteer to clean up the tourist attractions places. This way, you can contribute towards keeping a place better than when you came.
31. Give back
Visiting new places is also a great way to learn about others and what’s important to them. If you want to become a sustainable traveler, one of the things you can do is to give back to the community that welcomes you as a traveler. Find out any ethical volunteering program in the place you’re visiting and see how you can help. Many tourists like to volunteer at animal shelters in the places they visit. This way, not only do you get to enjoy new places, but also help other souls in need.