Different countries may have customs that one is unaware of, but it is the responsibility of travelers to leave destinations as they find them and help preserve their natural environment.
Experts list down tips for being a responsible traveler:
Try and learn a little more about the culture as it will help to connect you with the local people. Opting for locally-owned and -run accommodation will not only provide you with a more traditional experience but you will be supporting local business owners who often build their livelihood on showing visitors the beauty and sights of where they live. If you will dress like those people then it will be a kick start of making new friends.
Still to be on the safe side, do a little research and dress for the culture you are visiting. Learn a few language basics – invaluable for meeting people and asking for assistance – and pay attention to forbidden gesture rules. For example, the well-known ‘OK’ finger sign has a very different meaning in Brazil and Germany and the classic ‘V’ sign could land you in a fight in Italy or England.
Be respectful of local wildlife:
It's a given, but wildlife is a big part of what makes certain destinations so desirable and there are certain things you might not think of: for example, taking selfies with wildlife could scare creatures and feeding them human food can be really harmful. Just having a heightened awareness is a key to respecting the local wildlife and its surroundings.
Visiting local markets and shops is a great way to explore a city and buying local is an important part of giving back to the people who live there. You will end up with some lovely, unique souvenirs and with a feeling that you've supported a local businessperson.
Watching your water usage:
When we're not paying the water bill, it is easy to forget the impact this could have on the local environment, so turning off taps when brushing teeth and keeping shower length to a minimum is still something to bear in mind when on holiday.
Travel with local leaders:
Not only will you likely get the most authentic and enjoyable tour with a local guide who has a genuine passion for where they live, but you know you're supporting a local. That's how you're going to find out the most interesting things about a place and, ultimately, have the best time.
Learn the local language: Just being able to say some key phrases and communicate with local people goes a long way in ensuring tourists are welcome in particular areas. You may just impress your family and friends too.
Pack right: One way to do so while also being a responsible traveler is by packing culturally suitable clothes and avoiding packing disposable goods that may not be recycled.
Think before you click: That click is in reference to photos. Being respectful of the local community means checking that people are happy for you to take photos that they will appear in.