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 a foreign country. 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 locals’ livelihood. So support local businesses, visit and buy from local artists and artisans, and share your experiences with them.
Be friendly and polite
Most importantly, 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.