Before your adventure
Making an effort to speak the language
If you don’t know how to speak the local language of the destination you are traveling to we recommend that you take the time to learn a few simple phrases. This can be as simple as learning ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’. This will help you greet and converse with the wonderful people you will meet on your journey and help show respect for their local way of life.
Religion, culture and customs
Religion, cultures, traditions and customs can vary enormously from place to place and will generally impact on the local way of life. It is important for travellers to familiarise themselves with dress-codes, locals customs and practices. Even the concept of time is subjective in different parts of the world, and there may be some places that put a lesser importance on being on time, impacting on your planned itinerary and bookings. Travellers should remember that they are guests in foreign countries and by showing respect, they too will be respected and appreciated themselves.
Travellers should try and minimise the amount of disposable goods they travel with as recycling facilities are often not as developed overseas. Eco-friendly personal hygiene products are recommended.
Over the course of your travels you may meet amazing people or forge special friendships. You also might be fortunate to be shown generous hospitality or kindness. Gifts that represent your home country are always recommended. Furthermore, leaving gifts such as certain hygiene products (toothpaste, shaving products, makeup, shampoo, nice hand soaps, etc.) or school supplies (pencils, notebooks, colouring books, crayons) are appreciated although they’re more appropriately given in homestays and hotels rather than in restaurants. If you make a special friend with your host family, for instance, a nice gift is always appropriate (financial, or a pen, or a shaver with razor blades, etc.), together with personal things – including clothing items – that you don’t need to take home.
On your adventure
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to wash in streams or rivers you should not use detergents or other chemicals. These water sources could be someone’s drinking water down stream.
Try to avid buying goods and services that exploit threatened flora and fauna. Buying locally made goods helps the economy and in some cases it might be customary to to haggle the price of these goods. If this is the case you should look to secure a fair and reasonable price and stop haggling when you believe you have secured this (any further haggling will be at the expense of the local business or vendor).
You should take the necessary precautions to avoid disturbing or damaging wildlife and natural habitats. When swimming in the ocean, do not touch or get too close to coral reefs, animals and fish.
Taking nature home
When travelling you will be lucky enough to see a wide variety plants and sea life (dead or alive). You should take care to make sure these items remain in their natural environment – it might even be illegal to import some of these items.
It is important that travellers do not give out confectionary, pens or money – especially to children. Giving to beggars only reinforces the fact that begging is rewarding. Children’s toys, books or photos are a nice gift under certain circumstances. Your local guide will be able to provide more information on how to deal with begging, tipping and gifting.
Many developing nations do not have the adequate infrastructure to deal with litter collection and recycling. For this reason it is important that travellers are conscious of littering – remember, the less you create the better!
Consider reusing a water bottle and purifying your own water where possible.
When you are on holiday, you can’t help but be excited about all of the photo opportunities you encounter. If you are taking photos of people or of sacred places you should always ask permission first.
Transport is an important part of any economy and provides an income for many locals. While in some cases, transportation options might not be as new or energy-efficient as desired it is important not to discriminate against those who can’t afford or have limited access to these more environmentally friendly options.
Back at home
Support your new favourite places
Filled with all the wonderful memories of a fantastic adventure, you might just want to continue supporting any projects, organisations or initiatives you were exposed to along the way.
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