8 Ways to be
a More Responsible Traveler
By Janelle Almosara
Traveling has been more accessible than ever – with the rise of cheap airline tickets, affordable ‘joiner’ tours, and easy to follow (not to mention, cheap) DIY itineraries, more and more people are starting to appreciate traveling. This is not a bad thing – if anything, being able to explore new places is a great way to learn and understand others and the world that we live in. However, with the rise of this traveling trend, some people seem to have forgotten how to take care of the places that they visit. With issues such as overcrowding mountains, thrashing beaches, and the recent forest fire in Mt. Pulag, we think that now is a good time to be reminded that we have to be responsible when traveling – regardless if we’re going abroad or if we’re just exploring other parts of our country.
Here are 8 simple things that you should remember to become a more responsible traveler!
Choose your activities wisely
While traveling to see exotic animals (and sometimes, even indigenous people) have slowly become an attraction, as a traveler, it is our responsibility to do some digging and research before signing up for tours. It might be quite an ‘experience’ for us, but we should also be mindful of the possible damage that our participation might bring.
When visiting a place, even if it’s just within the country, it’s always best to learn a little bit about the customs and culture of the area that you’re planning to go to. Be aware of the things you do, wear appropriate clothing, and don’t make fun of the things that they treat as sacred. The last thing you want to be is to become an arrogant and ignorant tourist.
Be mindful of others
I know we’re in the day and age where everything must be documented – from vlogs to photos to Instagram stories – and to be quite honest, getting that ‘perfect shot’ can take a while. While this is a completely harmless activity, make sure you still stay mindful of other people. Perhaps it’s not a great idea to block other’s way or hold off your entire group from leaving just because you’re still taking that picture… right?
Have fun but know your boundaries
Traveling should be fun, that’s a non-negotiable. And while grabbing a few drinks before heading to bed is alright, just please know that it’s not a great idea to get wasted and become an inconvenience to other people. Come on, no one wants to hear you screaming your ex’s name while vomiting at 3:00 AM.
Choose your souvenirs wisely
As Filipinos, it is inevitable for us to go out of our way to get pasalubongs and souvenirs. However, there are still a few of us who likes to pocket seashells or take heaps of sand as a ‘souvenir’, which is definitely an irresponsible thing to do. Just stick to buying locally made goods; at least you’re helping the locals earn a decent living while you’re at it.
Bring reusable items
When out camping or traveling, make sure to bring reusable items to lessen the waste that you create. Water jugs are especially helpful in avoiding buying plastic bottles every time. Just imagine how much money you’re saving by not buying overly expensive bottled water while on the road.
Don’t throw trash like confetti
It’s inevitable to produce trash when we’re traveling, but please, for the love of everything holy, don’t just throw it away everywhere. It might be a little inconvenient to keep heaps of plastics in your pocket, but do everyone a favor and just keep it for a while and throw it later. Seriously, if you’re just going to thrash every place that you’ll visit, you might be better off locked inside your house forever.
Be mindful and respectful of the place that you’re visiting
If you loved the place that you went to, be nice enough and let others enjoy it the way you have. Don’t vandalize on the rocks, don’t break the coral reefs, and for crying out loud, don’t leave butane gas in a very fire prone area.
Got any more suggestions? Share them with us below!