MiNDFOOD offers up a few simple, yet often forgotten, travel tips for respectful holidaying that will see you enjoy your stay that much more.
Know the culture
Researching your destination is probably the first thing to check off your list when preparing to visit an international destination. Knowing the culture and language will not only make for a more enriched experience, but in the process you become familiar with culture-specific norms. Such as knowing to take off your shoes before entering a Maori marae meeting house in New Zealand.
Smartphones and social media practices dictate that your holiday must be broadcast to the world. But sometimes not everyone wants to be a part of your social feed. It’s a good idea to ask before taking pictures, especially of heritage sites and indigenous people.
Many countries, including the likes of Australia and New Zealand, have in place environmental programmes that ensure tourism sustainability practices. It’s important to abide by these. Travellers are also encouraged to sign the Monuments Fund Pledge, committing to responsible tourism through actions such as conserving natural resources, visiting lesser-known attractions, reducing your carbon footprint by using public transport and so on.
Support local communities by immersing yourself and contributing as much as you can to the local economy. Remember that your tourism dollars are a local’s livelihood. So support local businesses, visit and buy from local artists and artisans, and share your experiences with them.
Protect yourself and others by making sure you are up to date with necessary vaccines before you travel. Check with your doctor whether any vaccinations are needed for the places you are travelling to.
While you may not need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, make sure you check your destination country’s local public health orders for vaccination and mask requirements during transit and on arrival. You should also be aware of mask-wearing policies of your airline or vessel operator.
Be friendly and polite
Don’t forget your manners. Say ‘hello’, smile and attempt to make local friends. Enjoy your travel knowing that you are, even if temporarily, a positive member of the local community.
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