With our responsible travel policy, we are doing our best to encourage the positive effects while minimizing harmful impacts on local communities and their environment. Responsible travel is about the attitude you take and the choices you make when traveling. Therefore, we call on you, our partners and customers together with us, to respect and value the locals and their cultures, to benefit the economy and the natural environment. Here are some good ideas about how you can go as a responsible traveler. With your help we can really make this happen.
Before you go
• Learn some words in local language and don’t be afraid to use it. Being able to say even some simple words like hello, goodbye and thank you will help you to connect closer with local people. They’ll appreciate you efforts and your interest in learning.
• Research as much as possible the culture, religion, tradition and customs, natural environment of the destination you’re traveling. The more you know about your destination, the more it will come alive. This will not only help you to appreciate the way people live, but also make your experience more meaningful
• Try to pack light to reduce the weight of your luggage which will result in the amount of work the vehicles will have to do to transport your gear, therefore reduce carbon emissions. And you’ll make your own life easier.
• In many places, you will find a level of poverty which you won’t see at home. We would discourage you offering money to beggars, we suggest that if you feel the need to help, bring small gifts like pen or writing pads and hand these out to children instead. Or you can contribute your donation to the charitable organization that can help to deliver your gift to the right person.
• Cut out plastic – remove and recycle plastic packaging of new travel gear before you pack. Bring light cotton or string bags for your shopping so you can politely refuse plastic bags at shops or markets.
• Bring rechargeable batteries as disposable batteries leach toxic chemicals as they degrade. Bring your own water bottle, then fill up at restaurant or treat your own water on tour instead of buying lots of plastic bottles.
During your trip
• Be aware of your clothing when visiting places like temples, pagodas or spiritual sites. You may require to dress properly like long-sleeved shirts, trousers… So be well prepared. That’s a way to respect local people and culture.
• Engage in local culture. Traveling is not all about sightseeing. Exploring a new culture, new way of life, enjoying local foods, shopping in local markets, and attending local festival are all part of your experience.
• Save energy & water: Check water tap, turn off lights, TVs and air-conditioners when you leave your room. Respect local natural resources such as village water supplies and rivers.
• Buy local products and service when possible. Shop for hand-made products at local markets or locally owned shops means that you’ll have a one-of-a-kind experience and your money will go directly to the community. Ask about the origin of the products that you’re purchasing. Avoid buying those made from threatened natural resources and other illegal activities to the local law.
• Respect the natural environment: don’t touch, pursue or harass animals, on land or sea. Support conservation by paying entrance fees to park or protected sites. Never buy crafts or souvenirs made from protected or endangered plants or animals. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Do not throw litter in the street or throw it out of the windows while we’re travelling. Although the environment may not be as clean as you’d expect it to be at home, there is no reason to make it worse. Please put your litter in public bins or take it away with you for safe disposal on our expedition vehicle.
• Support the local community by eating in locally owned restaurants, stay at family-owned accommodation when possible, or hire local guides who are knowledgeable about the destination.
• Use public transport or friendly-environmental vehicle like buses, walk or bicycles where you can. By this, you might have more chances to get in touch with local community and their lifestyle. Instead of sitting in AC-vehicles for hours, let’s get on a bike and slowly discover the landscape by yourselves and get closer to the nature. Try to go with the flow and relax – you’re on holiday after all!
• Ask for permission if you want to take photo of someone or something. Simply pointing to your camera with a smile may be all you need to do to get the message across
After returning home
• Once you return home, consider what steps you can take to contribute toward a healthier earth.
• Share tips about responsible travel with family, friends on how you contribute to the destination during your trip.
• Explore more, practice more whenever, in everyplace, your home, your office… and in every destination you’re traveling.