If we wish to sustain the world’s wild places, traditions and natural beauty, we’ve all got a part to play when travelling at home or abroad. Travel can be good for us, and good for the world, so we want to ensure this does not come at a high price to the communities we visit.
What you can do
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL:
- Go paper-free. HR are able to send all correspondence by email, so if you have Internet access, use our paper-free booking service. Get excited about your upcoming adventure by reading on your chosen device, to avoid printing at home.
- Do a little research. Your experience will be all the richer if you learn about the country you are going to. There’s a wealth of information on the Internet and in travel guidebooks – and you can always give us a call too. Learning about the culture and customs of a country before you go is very important, as it can even affect which clothes you pack.
- Learn a few words of the local language. Even just hello, thank you and goodbye. This is the best way to really get stuck in, and any effort is always appreciated.
- Pack with care. Weight restrictions on flights are due to the additional fuel used to carry heavier bags, so lightening your luggage reduces your carbon footprint. Make sure you avoid packing disposable items where you can so you don’t leave rubbish abroad, and don’t forget your biodegradable travel wash.
ON YOUR TRIP:
- Respect local customs religion and traditions. Adhere to dress codes; in many countries, it is etiquette to cover bare skin and remove footwear when entering sacred buildings.
- Make sure you give back in the right way. As much as it might seem like a good idea, don’t give out sweets or money to locals you pass by, especially to children. It is far better to offer useful donations (pens, paper, equipment etc) directly to schools or community projects.
- Avoid bottled water. There’s usually always a great alternative to buying non-reusable plastic bottles if you have been provided with a safe alternative.
- Keep erosion to a minimum. When walking on marked footpaths stick to them, and avoid stepping on native flora.
- Leave no trace. On all our trips waste is carried out. Make sure you speak to your leader and know what to do with any rubbish.
- Be mindful of water pollution. If you want to swim or wash in rivers, consider that downstream the river water could also be drinking water or being used for cooking. Do not contaminate water supplies by washing in it. Any washing products should be phosphate free.
- Try local products. Support local makers and business owners by buying the local wares, and think about where you are – it’s great to get your souvenirs in rural areas which see fewer tourists as opposed to buying in the capital at the end of your trip. Your money will then go directly to the craftsperson, and directly benefit the community.
- Make sure your souvenirs are sustainable. Some places still sell artefacts and products made from endangered species and hardwoods.
- Try and give something back. Whether it is a pair of old walking boots you give to a porter, school supplies for local communities, or a donation to charity, every generous gift can help preserve the natural wonders of our world.