Being alive implies somehow having an impact on the environment. It’s a part of our day-to-day life, to try and diminish that same impact.

However, we tend to only care for this issue at home. When we go on vacation and leave our environment, our footprint stops being a strong concern. That happens because we want to enjoy the sites we travel to, the most we can.

Today, I bring to you some tips (now, that I’m traveling) about how is it possible to travel, enjoy everything, and still care about our impact.

  • Use public transport. If not possible, search for apps that allow taxi sharing.
  • Shop in local commerce and avoid large supermarkets. Why give more money to the big chains, when we can directly influence the life of small traders?
  • Choose well the tours. Often the percentage given to the touring staff (driver, guide) is very reduced compared to the one that goes directly to the company. Ask the value of this percentage directly, before you book the tour.
  • Choose experiences that enrich the local population and the tourist. For example, I’ve once done a tour that consisted of visiting an indigenous tribe. When I got there, I realized that the tribe wasn’t comfortable and felt invaded by our presence. Since that day, I’ve chosen to take tours that take in mind the privacy of native people, especially in remote areas. Finally, I opt for tours that can help the local economy, so I book them in small companies or opt for certified guides.
  • Investigate beyond what you read in the guide. Traditional travel guides are practical and informative, but they do not give us a real historical and social context.
  • Before the trip try to understand what’s going on in political, economic and social speaking terms. The more informed we are, the easier it will be to relate historical facts to reality. Being a tourist, it’s much more than only visiting the city main attractions, it is also learning to live as the locals and absorb their experiences.
  • Do not contribute to animal exploration, by visiting zoos or other places where animals are in captivity (often sedated), so that us, tourists, are able to take pictures in a safe way.

As you can see, these tips are easy to put in practice, and they don’t diminish out trip experience.

 

This post was originally written in Portuguese. Click here for the original text.

Clique aqui para ler este texto em português.