Responsible Travel Tips Blog

Responsible Travel

We are passionate about promoting responsible tourism and traveling in a way that is ethical, sustainable and responsible. We’ve seen firsthand how travel negatively impacts communities and the environment if it’s not done mindfully. We always try to support eco-friendly and responsible tourism businesses that are doing good things in their communities, and we try our best to travel in a way that leaves the smallest footprint.

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What is Responsible Tourism?

Now, if you’re wondering “What exactly is responsible tourism?” we’ll help you out…

Responsible Tourism

(aka “responsible travel”) Using social and cultural

awareness to minimize negative impacts while traveling.

There are plenty of definitions out there, but this is ours, boiled down to its most basic core.

When we talk about using social and cultural awareness, we don’t mean you have to become an expert in the culture or social customs of the destination you are visiting, we just ask that you use common sense and educate yourself on the basics. Understand how you affect the places you visit and try to make that a positive one instead of a negative one. 

Referring to the impact of travel: that could be environmental, social, economic, cultural… you name it. 

Awareness of the environmental impact of travel is becoming more commonplace (we’re thrilled about this!) and probably doesn’t take much explaining. 

However, the social and cultural impacts are often times less discussed, but just as important.

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Find out ways to reduce plastic usage in your everyday life, whether traveling or at home.

Quick Tips for Responsible Travel

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1. Support the local community

By eating and shopping at locally-owned restaurants, businesses and food markets. Do the research and find non-profits in the area that give back to the community.

2. Think about the wildlife

Be wary of animal attractions and do thorough research before embarking on any tours centered around animal encounters. Be 100% positive they are destructive to the creatures involved. And under no circumstances should you ever feed animals in the wild.

3. Be kind to the environment

Think about the amount of waste you are putting into the environment and do things to reduce that such as bringing your own bag, filling a reusable water bottle from the tap (or using a filtration system), saying no to plastic straws and, of course, recycling when possible.

4. Be aware of overtourism

Do some research before choosing your destination. Do they have too many tourists to handle? Are there major environmental concerns right now? Are locals having a difficult time with the cost of living due to increased tourism? There are many places around the world that have the infrastructure and welcome tourists. Try to avoid visiting places that are struggling to accommodate tourists.

More on Responsible Tourism

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The social and economic impact of travel may be a bit more difficult to wrap your head around. For better or for worse, tourism undoubtedly changes a place. Now some of those changes can be good —tourism creates jobs, can boost a struggling economy, and connects people, ideas and cultures from around the globe.

However, part of promoting responsible tourism is understanding the negative social and economic impacts of travel. An influx of tourists can bring big chains (think Starbucks or McDonald’s) and put smaller local-owned businesses out of work. It can create a cycle of dependency and exploitation in which locals find their wealth and worth solely from outsiders, where cultures are put on display and human rights are violated. 

Just imagine what would happen if the 1.5 billion tourists in the world decided to bring a bit more awareness to their travel habits.

Sustainable Tourism takes this concept a step further and focuses on not only minimizing the negative but creating a positive impact through travel. I was honored to partner with the United Nations World Tourism Organization back in 2017 to experience sustainable tourism examples in countries around the world. If you’re interested in learning more about my journey, you can read my stories about my UNWTO trip and learn how to plan a sustainable vacation

Traveling responsibly is a constant learning process and we’re not perfect, but we take great pride in learning and growing and we’d like to invite you to learn and grow together. 

Join the movement towards responsible tourism and create a positive impact everywhere you travel!

Articles about Responsible Tourism, Sustainable & Ethical Travel

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Responsible tourism | Two Wandering Soles
Responsible tourism | Two Wandering Soles

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