Tips for travelling responsibly

LONDON: Different countries may have customs that one is unaware of, but it is the responsibility of travellers to leave destinations as they find them and help preserve their natural environment. list down tips for being a responsible traveller:

* Stay local: Opting for locally-owned and -run accommodation will not only provide you with a more traditional experience but you will be supporting local business owners who often build their livelihood on showing visitors the beauty and sights of where they live.

* Be respectful of local wildlife: It’s a given, but wildlife is a big part of what makes certain destinations so desirable and there are certain things you might not think of: for example, taking selfies with wildlife could scare creatures and feeding them human food can be really harmful. Just having a heightened awareness is key to respecting the local wildlife and its surroundings.

* Buying local: Visiting local markets and shops is a great way to explore a city and buying local is an important part of giving back to the people who live there. You will end up with some lovely, unique souvenirs and with a feeling that you’ve supported a local businessperson.

* Watching your water usage: When we’re not paying the water bill, it is easy to forget the impact this could have on the local environment, so turning off taps when brushing teeth and keeping shower length to a minimum is still something to bear in mind when on holiday.

* Travel with local leaders: Not only will you likely get the most authentic and enjoyable tour with a local guide who has a genuine passion for where they live, but you know you’re supporting a local. That’s how you’re going to find out the most interesting things about a place and, ultimately, have the best time.

* Offset carbon emissions (where possible): It would be naive to think you can be entirely eco-friendly when taking a flight overseas but it is worth bearing in mind which tour operators try to mitigate the impact of flying. That way, you know you are doing your bit to help whilst also still enjoying the sights of the world.

* Learn the local language: Just being able to say some key phrases and communicate with local people goes a long way in ensuring tourists are welcome in particular areas. You may just impress your family and friends too.

* Pack right: One way to do so while also being a responsible traveller is by packing culturally suitable clothes and avoiding packing disposable goods that may not be recycled.

* Think before you click: That click is in reference to photos. Being respectful of the local community means checking that people are happy for you to take photos that they will appear in.