When you take a vacation and are visiting another community, you want to make sure you do good by that community. Give back to the community and give back to the environment that you are visiting. If you’re wondering how to make sure you’re supporting the community itself and only the community that you are vacationing in, then you’ll want to follow these tips.
Supporting the Local Community While Vacationing
Take local guided tours
Hire a tour guide, but make sure it’s a local person. Not only will you learn more about the people and the local culture this way, but you’ll also be helping out the members of the community that you are disturbing.
Employing the local people in some way will help boost the economy. For example, in countries where poachers are common practice, many are trying to change their ways by being tour guides. If you hire someone who was a former poacher, then you are supporting them and the community’s efforts to make poaching a taboo thing in that area.
You know you want to shop local. When you go to flea markets, looking for items that are handmade will help support the local economy. Making sure you avoid any products that might be made from endangered species will show that you don’t support any illegal poaching. If there’s not a demand for these products (such as ivory tusks), then people are not needed to go out and poach.
You know you don’t want to look the part of the tourist, but you don’t want to act the part either. Respect local laws and restrictions. If something says “no trespassing” then don’t trespass. Don’t litter or create excessive noise when you’re visiting some place and are away from home.
Avoid chain hotels
Find a local hotel, or even consider staying in a home instead. Locally owned rental properties are often not right in the center of everything, but you might find that you enjoy it better because you will find some real gems nestled in the local communities.
Check out the local activities
Take in a community show instead of just going to the movie theater. Find people who are running local businesses and make sure to frequent them.
Use public transportation
Renting a car is not good for the environment. Consider using public transportation to get around, just like the locals do. You’ll also meet many locals this way. You can even rent a bike or scooter from the locals to get yourself around.
Planning your trip in advance and learning about the community that you are about to visit will help you take advantage of helping out that local community. If you just do a little due diligence and check out the community before you travel to figure out how you can support them, you will be pleasantly surprised by what you find while vacationing.