Going on holiday is always exciting! The escape, the exploration and, of course, the welcome break from the mundane routine. A responsible holiday is no exception. So what exactly defines a responsible holiday? It essentially means behaving with responsibility towards the place you are a tourist in. This includes caring about the environment, the people, the culture and the economy of the place you are visiting. Responsible travel encourages travelers to think about the impact of their trip and it is about making choices to reduce the environmental impact of travel, while enhancing positive impacts on the people and places we visit.
While there are many ways to travel sustainably, here are a few of the ‘responsible’ choices I’ve made as a traveler to make my journey more responsible and meaningful:
• Identifying responsible travel and tour operators – Over the recent years, many operators have revamped their service offerings to ensure they are being more responsible. Checking the operator’s website for a responsible travel or sustainable tourism policy prior to making your booking is the easiest way to assess its credentials. And pick destinations that could do with the tourism boost for their economy. The best way to support is by booking a holiday and making sure that your money makes its way to local businesses. Avoid fancy resorts and typical chain restaurants. Stay local, eat local, buy local instead.
• Plan your route to minimize carbon emissions – Minimize your internal flights and travel by train wherever possible internally or in transit. You should also use other public transport methods like the sky train in Bangkok or the metro in Dubai. You’ll also be saving money. If you can walk from one place to another – that is honestly the best way to explore a destination. We literally walked all over Amsterdam on foot over the course of 5 days instead of taking the Uber.