The earth is what we all have in common.

Traveling responsibly is not about making sacrifices, having higher expenses or staying at home. It is about your attitude and behavior during your trip, how you communicate with locals, cultural exchange and learning from and adapting to each other. It is about soft encounters with nature and its inhabitants, about enjoying natural beauties without disturbing them.

Traveling in a responsible manner creates mutual benefits: Authentic and holistic travel experiences for the traveler and long-term benefits for the destination.

Tips for making responsible choices during your vacation

At the hotel: Choose small, family-owned hotels instead of international hotel chains. Inform yourself about their environmental policies and practices. Are they supporting community projects? Do they hire local people?

Buy local: Eat in local restaurants, shop in local markets and attend local events. Buy arts and crafts directly from the producers, not from foreign-owned souvenir stores.

Hire local guides: Enrich your experience and support the local economy. Learn about the country and its secret places from a local perspective.

Language: Learn a few words of the local language and use them.

Dress: Adapt yourself to the local culture and customs and dress appropriately.

Exchange: Inform yourself about the culture and history of the country before your trip. Show interest and talk to local people and learn from them. Tell them about your own country, customs and traditions.

Behavior: Always be respectful and polite when talking with local people. Also respect their privacy, ask permission before entering sacred places, homes or private land and before taking pictures of them.

Environment: Do not leave waste behind, smoke or make loud noises in natural environments. Never touch or harass animals and always follow designated trails. Support conservation by paying entrance fees to national parks and protected sites.

Animal products: Never purchase crafts, clothing, furniture or other products that have been made from protected or endangered animals. Do not support locals capturing animals by paying for taking pictures with them.

Look for ways to give back & facilitate exchange: Facilitate exchange with the locals. Answer their questions honestly and try to share about your country, experiences, and stories. Get involved in educational, community empowerment, recycling, and conservation initiatives. Volunteer with community projects and donate to needy communities. If you have any skills or talent, find ways to share them with the local communities. Make sure your help and contribution target the right area and reach the right people. Be aware of voluntourism and do not encourage begging culture, especially in children.

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