How to Give Back while Traveling
Of course, you can. So get into the spirit of Christmas and read on.
By Raphael Mones
December 22, 2015
To have the capacity to travel is a blessing; not everyone can afford to go out of town, much less go out of the country. And while we worry about how to pack our suitcases efficiently, there are people who worry about having enough food to eat. So as you set out on a new adventure in a highly urbanized city or a quaint, cozy town, here are some tips that will allow you to give back while you travel.
Be a voluntour
Voluntourism is wordplay on “volunteer” and “tourism,” and has fast become an “in" thing in the tourism industry in the recent years. When you do research for your trip, include local organizations that are in need of volunteers and see if your schedule will allow you to participate. Embarking on a voluntouring activity will not only expose you to the many faces of the place you are visiting, but you will also get to spend meaningful time in reaching out to the locals who are in need.
Pack for a purpose
Travelers usually work around a certain limit on baggage space when packing, but there are times when the allowance doesn’t get fully consumed. Take advantage of this by gathering old clothes, toys, or other supplies that you can donate in the place you are visiting. If you’re feeling extra generous, buy more baggage allowance and fill it with items you wish to donate.
Support social and local businesses
Instead of shopping in the international boutiques and stores that are available in your own country, why not consider supporting locally-produced merchandise instead? There are various hotels that support social causes, so you may want to consider staying there to help them in their endeavors. Doing so will help you support the SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and in return, you will get quality products and genuine services.
Respect local culture, tradition, and environment
This is perhaps the easiest way to give back to the place that you are visiting and one that has great impact too. Understanding the local culture will give you a wider perspective about the world. Immersing yourself in local tradition will allow you to know more about the similarities and differences that you and the locals have, and how you can both live harmoniously in the world. Respecting their environment will help you to protect the world. Being the foreigner, showing the locals that you care about their home will mean a lot to them.
Share stories about your own country
As you mingle with other travelers, be your own country’s representative and tell them bits and pieces about what makes your country unique and why it is worth visiting. In your own little way, you are able to promote and drive tourism to your country, which in turn will help boost the economy. Who knows, you might even establish valuable connections and great friendships along the way