We at BikeHike travel a lot. And a lot of the time the idea of "responsible travel" doesn't get mentioned... We believe in responsible travel. We believe in traveling sustainably.
Travelling is one of the most enriching, rewarding, and enjoyable experiences that we can enjoy. However, as we all know, not everyone is as sanguine on our favourite pastime.
Much of the blame can be placed on the general public for its lack of respect towards the environment and the natural surroundings we all share and cherish.
When you travel responsibly, you are part of the solution. And with a few tips to follow, you can be a responsible and sustainable traveler:
Tips For Responsible Travel
before you go
- Educate yourself about the customs of the place you are visiting and the local people (eg: body language, eating habits, traditions, etc).
- Learn a few phrases of the local language.
- Read over the pre-departure information we send at time of booking, watch movies and read books related to the destination, search the internet, etc. The more you know about the place (history, politics, religion, etc) the more you will enjoy it while there.
- Respect cultural differences and adhere to local dress codes.
- Eat at local restaurants and sample the local grown food and specialties. Support local artisans and shop at local markets. Be careful when buying souvenirs and make sure they are not made from endangered species.
- Be considerate when taking photos and always ask beforehand. We don’t recommend giving money for photos as it can encourage a begging culture.
- Reduce your waste (use a reusable water bottle, bring your own shopping bag, bring or buy products with minimal packaging to avoid unnecessary garbage, etc). Don’t litter.
- Be mindful of your energy consumption. Remember to turn off the lights when you leave your room. Be aware of your water consumption and use bio-degradable products for washing in rivers and lakes. If on a trip with snorkeling, avoid touching or standing on the coral reef.
- Follow the motto “leave no trace”.
- Do not hand out pens, candy, etc to local children as this can help contribute to a begging economy. If you wish to bring something, please contact us for advice beforehand on what to bring and how to best distribute it.
- When bargaining for goods try not to haggle aggressively, rather you should have fun with it. Think to yourself “Is it really important to save those extra few pennies”? Remember what you save can be someone else’s shortage.
- When viewing wildlife, adhere to the park rules, never feed the wild animals, keep your distance from nests, and try to make as little noise as possible to not scare the animals. When trekking, stick to the local trails to prevent erosion.
- Look for ways that you can help the community you have just visited or even the community where you live.