A little effort goes a long way.
This is not intended to be the definitive guide on Thoughtful Travel, it’s simply a quick hit list to generate some ideas.
Sometimes the simplest step is the best one to start with.
One. Read up on cultural etiquette. The smallest efforts will be enormously appreciated.
Two. Learn a little language. At least enough to be say thank you.
Three. Travel with a refillable water bottle and reusable shopping bags. Say no to plastic as much as possible.
Four. Leave a little space in your bag to bring supplies needed by community projects. Do your homework. Only bring what’s needed. Ask first. Don’t assume.
Five. Animal lovers? As tempting as photos with tigers are you need to research what’s going on behind the scenes. Animals really are best seen in their natural habitat.
Six. Culture shock? Don’t panic! It does no harm to be out of your comfort zone. Give yourself space to embrace what’s going on.
Seven. Find out if your tour operator or hotel is giving back in some meaningful way to the local community.
Eight. Think about life back home. Travel often lets you see how much you have in life, sending us home with fresh perspectives.
Nine. Go beyond the ‘insta moments’. Put down the camera and be there, really be there. Not every moment has to be captured and shared.
Ten. Aim for real connections. Switch off the devices, have real conversations with new people. Everyone has a story. Everyone smiles in the same language.
Thoughtful travel doesn’t have to be dull or restrained. It is possible to have fun and do good!
Need a hotel on your travels? I use Agoda.com.