Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences we can have. Being a tourist and arrive at a new destination is not only to learn about the monuments and museums we visit but also about the people, their way of life, customs and sometimes we know the way of thinking of locals or even other tourists that we meet from other places in the world. This helps us to open our minds and makes us a little more understanding and aware of what surrounds us.
But traveling is not only about going to a place and enjoying everything it has to offer it also means being responsible for what we do in the destination and taking care of the environment and the place we visit. For that reason, we share with you some tips that you can apply to reduce the environmental impact of your visit and be a responsible tourist.
1.- Before your trip, investigate if the place you are heading to requires some type of permits, look for information about places, its history, nature, and culture, as well as its regulations and provisions to avoid accidents or sanctions.
2.- If you are going to use a tourist provider, be sure to choose one that offers guarantees of quality, respect for cultures and care for the environment.
3.- Use services such as electricity and water in a responsible manner. When leaving your hotel, do not forget to make sure that the lights and electrical appliances are off. If it is possible, reuse the towels to help the hotel to reduce the use of water in cleaning them.
4.- Take a bottle of water that you can fill in case you find drinking fountains; avoid disposable products and omit the use of straws or carry your own made of metal or bamboo to avoid plastic waste.
5.- Minimize the generation of waste as much as you can and discard them in the places intended for this. Remember to always pick up your garbage!
6.- If the destination allows it, take advantage of public transport or the use of bicycles in short distances and shared transfers, in the case of long trips.
7.- Respect the place where you arrive, not extracting flora, fauna, or cultural items from natural or historical environments.
8.- If you make a campfire, make sure it’s in a place intended for this and that it has completely turned off when you retire. Avoid throwing cigarette butts to the ground to prevent fires.
9.- When visiting sensitive ecosystems, such as coral reefs, desert areas, forests, jungles or protected zones, inform yourself about what is or not allowed. Do not acquire protected flora, fauna or derived products, as it could be a crime in some countries and you will be contributing to their extinction.
10.- When shopping, look for products that are an expression of the local culture and favor the economy of the place and its cultural diversity.
Now you know some of the actions we can take to be a responsible tourist during our trips and help the environment while we having fun. Remember that, if we want to continue enjoying the beautiful places, it is important to take care of them.