Traveling has never been so easy. With so many cheap flights, all-inclusive deals, and different traveling websites, everyone’s hopping on a plan to go somewhere. You basically just need a credit card, a smartphone, and your passport to start your own adventure. The problem is that “with great power comes great responsibility” (yes, that’s the Spider-Man quote).
When people visit a new country, they want to see the attractions and also have lots of fun. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as they respect the culture, the values, and the environment. If you’re oblivious to your actions, you might be another person who’s contributing to predatory tourism.
It’s not too difficult to travel responsibly and sustainably, it’s just a matter of questioning your choices and trying to understand their consequences. So, what can you do to become the ideal traveler?
1. Understand the Local Culture and Laws
When you’re visiting a new country, it’s important to understand its culture, especially if it’s completely different from yours. A common faux pas that travelers make is to behave as if they’re still in their own countries. Not only can it be disrespectful to the local people, you can actually go to jail.
So, if you’re traveling around a Muslim country, for instance, you should cover up and abstain from drinking alcohol. In most of Asia, you’re expected to leave your shoes outside museums and homes, as your feet are considered the dirtiest part of your body. Most of the time, adhering to local social etiquette is easy and won’t affect your trip at all.