What is responsible travelling?

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it

ROBERT SWAN

Have you heard about the term ‘Responsible Travel’. Yes? No? Nevertheless, I am here to talk about the same and this is something that has been part of my each and every trip since long.

Now, when they say travel responsibly, it means travel with some sense of respect for the local people and the local environment. It should be something that is a common sense but alas, it is not!

You go to Goa and you see people littering all over, making a nuisance and all. And this is what is common all across. Because we pay for our trip, we feel entitled to abuse the place as we may. But no, this should not be the case.

I went on a trip to Europe with a group and trust me, few incidents were so embarrassing that I cannot even tell you. There was a woman who washed her pink salwar (trouser of an Indian attire) and had kept it to dry off on the sofa. Its color got faded on the white carpet, making it all pink! Imagine how disgusting was that?

Look at the beaches in Goa or any other tourist place: they are filled with plastic, and rubbish. The mountains are filled with trash! Heavily polluted cities choking in smog and bursting struggle to cope with overpopulation during tourist seasons. Quiet villages turned into drunken backpacker party sports, elephants tortured to carry tourists, tours to slums in India – I could go on cribbing about abusive tourism.

Not just being empathic towards the place you are visiting is important, also taking care of their environment is very crucial, respecting the local heritage is vital, paying heed to local culture is important!

Responsible travelling is all about minimising negative effects of your travel on the economic, environmental and social factors of the place you are visiting!

The funny part is people think responsible travelling is about never travelling on a plane locally because of the carbon emissions. Really? The idea is noble – yes, there is absolutely no denying for that, but is it realistic? No it is not.

If you will try and achieve something huge like this, it will never begin in first place! So start will baby-steps.

Another huge misconception about being a responsible traveler is to travel backpacker style, which mean low budgets, and keep your travel as basic as possible. Dude, this counts for an adventurous trip, not responsible travelling.

And so to increase the awareness towards Responsible Travelling, I am starting this series of posts that I will do to explain every aspect of travelling happily and responsibly!

Be a tourist and not a burden.