How do you picture your next travel adventure? Do you want the experience to be about more than just taking photos and hanging out at crowded tourist places? Do you want it to be meaningful and generate a positive impact?
There are many ways to do good as you travel and actually give back to local communities you meet in your journey. In this article, we listed some easy to apply ideas to get you inspired, so make sure to keep reading.
1. Buy Local
Many communities rely on tourism to survive, so make an informed choice to support local producers and independent businesses. If you’re staying at a chain hotel, have dinner at an authentic local restaurant instead of a dinner buffet at the hotel.
Buy fresh fruits, vegetables and street food from local vendors as opposed to big supermarkets or fast-food chains. Even if it costs a little bit more.
Same goes for souvenirs or clothes. Spend your money with local designers and buy handmade souvenirs from artisans in the area to support local talent and craftsmanship.
This should go without saying, but stay away from any products made from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artifacts.
2. Use Public Transport as Often as Possible
According to a world-first study published in Nature Climate Change, the carbon footprint of tourism is about 4x more significant than previously thought.
When we add up transport, accommodation, food, beverages and souvenirs, global tourism is responsible for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emission.
One way to play your part in reducing carbon emission and pollution is to avoid renting a car during your travel. Instead, rent a bike or rely on local transport to get around. Better yet, walk as often and as much as possible.
3. Hire a Local Guide
It’s one of the best ways to go off the beaten track and experience fabulous places and wild landscapes which aren’t on the list of most popular tourist attractions.
Plus, you’ll get the inside scoop on the best shops and restaurant while supporting the local economy. Meantime, you’ll learn more about the local people and their culture. It’s a win-win situation and a great way to do good as you travel.
4. Consider Doing Some Volunteer Work
Dedicating your time and knowledge to contributing toward the local community you are visiting is one of the best ways to do good as you travel.
Do some diligent research online to look for volunteer opportunities when planning your trip abroad. Chances are you can find at least a handful of ethical programs or initiatives in your interest area which could use some international volunteers.
In turn, you’ll get to bond with the people living there, get better immersed into the local culture and get a true sense of what locals’ lifestyle is genuinely like.
Bonus Tip: Join MediPacker and Do Good as You Travel
Medipacker is an innovative program which allows you to make a difference and generate an impact. And all you need to get started is a kind heart, a strong willingness to help and a backpack.
Our mission to build a strong community of impact-minded backpackers who can provide intelligent healthcare around the globe.
Learn more about how you can get involved and become a Medipacker here. (You don’t need a medical background).