How to Be a Responsible Traveler
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Being a responsible traveler basically comes down to trying to fit in with the local population rather than standing out as a visitor, and Irina Vishnevskaya has some tips on the Huffington Post on how to do just that.
“For far too long, tourists have gotten a bad rap for arriving in droves and ruining the local way of life and environment. Don’t be that guy/ gal; it’s not polite, sexy or respectful,” she writes.
First, Vishnevskaya recommends eating, drinking and shopping local.
“Without a doubt, the best way to both support local communities and to the reduce environmental impact of traveling is to do all things local,” she says.
She also suggests behaving like a guest.
“Remember: you are a guest, and you are to respect the culture you’re visiting- it’s you who should adapt to the local way of life, not vice versa. Wear clothing that is accepted by the local culture, even if it means dressing more modestly than you’re used to,” says Vishnevskaya.
Also, know the limits of haggling.
“In certain parts of the world, bargaining for products is a part of the culture. And as a visitor, it can sometimes feel like local shopkeepers or taxi drivers are trying to take advantage of you. By all means, do stand up for yourself and bargain- it can be a great way to interact with locals and even make friends. But please keep in mind the bigger picture when bargaining- it’s easy to slip into intense negotiations over a mere $1,” she says.
For more tips on how to travel responsibly, read on here.
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