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How to become a responsible traveller

In today’s time, when almost every individual is bitten by the travel bug, it’s important to ensure that the bug in you travels smartly and responsibly.

travel Updated: Jul 06, 2018 14:25 IST
Sanchita Kalra
Sanchita Kalra
Hindustan Times
Responsible travel,travel bug,Shubham Mansingka
Responsible travel should be the mantra in today’s time.(Photo:Shutterstock)

Looking at the water scarcity scenario in Cape Town which led to restaurants and hotels opting for minimal-water wastage policies, or the water crisis situation in Shimla during the peak summer travel season, or recently when tourists were greeted with ‘Nainital full’ banners in state of Uttarakhand, one needs to understand that travel can sometimes have a harmful impact too. So, next time when the travel bug in you makes you want to plan a quick weekend getaway from your city or an international week-long vacay, make sure that you travel responsibly.

What is responsible travel?

It simply means understanding the affect of your travel on the location, minimising it and leaving a positive impact on the place.

How to travel responsibly

A professional travel blogger and full time traveller, Shubham Mansingka, says, “Tourists must ensure that they do not contribute to an already burgeoning problem by using as little water as possible. Plastic use has also been a cause of much trouble and it’s better to carry a portable water bottle and refill it with filtered water to avoid plastic usage.”

One of the ways you can be a responsible traveller is by opting for homestays over hotels. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Siddhartha Joshi, a photographer and travel writer, suggests , “Choose homestays as that helps getting close to people and you get hear interesting stories. I also actively look for local cafés and eat local produce.” Mansingka, adds, “Staying at homestays means you are directly benefiting the local economy too.” Even while staying at a homestay, make minimal use of water and minimum wastage. Switch off the fans and lights when not required.

“Staying at homestays means you are directly benefiting the local economy too.” — Shubham Mansingka, travel blogger and full time traveller

Another thing that Joshi recommends is buying goods and handicrafts made by local artisans and supporting them. He says, “The best thing you can do travelling abroad is purchase from local artisans and benefitting them over huge chains. For example I visited Brugge in Belgium where I saw the art of lace making that really intrigued me.”

Siddhartha Joshi, a travel writer and photographer, was intrigued when he discovered the art of lace making in Belgium and now urges travellers to purchase handicrafts from the local community.

Nupur Sharma, an avid traveller, shares her experience, and says, “When I travel with my friends or family, I always ensure than we travel via public transport. I choose train or buses over hiring private cabs to contribute towards reduced emission. We also make sure that we respect the environment, local culture and heritage of the state we’re travelling to, and most importantly that we leave no trace of our travel i.e. no littering.”

One thing that Siddhartha Joshi finds tricky in the era of social media, is whether tagging the location in the post is a good idea or not. He questions, “When someone tags the location, people just flock over to the place which helps economically and boosts the tourism, but also makes it uncontrollably crowded.”

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First Published: Jul 06, 2018 14:23 IST