Tuesday, February 25, 2020


By Nina Simons

6 Ways To Be a Better Traveler
(And Person)

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Traveling enriches your spirit and teaches you new things. People travel not only to explore strange places but also to explore what's in themselves.

As a traveler, you can always improve your experience and be more responsible. While exploring other countries, you can also work on yourself and become a better person after it. You could try out some of the suggestions here.

1. Don't forget respect at home

Every country you visit has its own culture. With that, a few rules follow on how you should act on it: 

  • Respect the locals. You are just a guest in their country. 
  • Respect the local traditions you come across. You can ask questions, but don't judge. 
  • Don't be offensive or insult anyone. You are there only to observe and enjoy. 
  • Dress properly. Your ego and fashion preferences shouldn't matter.
  • Act according to the situation. You can't expect everyone to behave like people in your country. 

By following these rules, you won't be one of those tourists that locals can't stand coming across.

Bangkok, Thailand (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

2. Don't leave garbage trail after yourself

Let's face it - in most cases, traveling isn't eco-friendly. The best you can do is to be aware of ways to reduce your negative impact on the place you're visiting. You should pack smartly

  • Bring a reusable coffee cup. A bonus: many cafes give you a discount for that. 
  • Carry a reusable water bottle. In many countries, tap water is safe for tourists, too. For others, get a reusable bottle with a filter. 
  • Refuse a straw. Use your mouth instead of adding more plastic thrash. 
  • Carry a reusable food container. When you buy a takeaway meal, ask them to put it in your container rather than using their plastic packaging. 
  • Carry a cloth shopping bag. It will replace numerous plastic bags you would otherwise get in a supermarket. 

Arches National Park Entrance Station, Moab, United States (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

3. Volunteering - a huge challenge with a huge gain

There are plenty of benefits to volunteering. It's not a common way of traveling and it's not a regular holiday. However, it makes you a better person in many aspects. 

  • Being able to help those in need. 
  • Gaining confidence and self-respect. 
  • Developing empathy and a better understanding of other people's actions. 
  • Learning more about a country's culture and traditions through direct contact. 
  • Making friends for life. 
  • Learning about your weaknesses and fears and how to overcome them. 

The best challenge is to try to volunteer abroad. The further you go, the more adventurous and educational it will be. Many volunteering organizations offer volunteer opportunities in countries that need it. Everybody wins there - the volunteers and the people whom they help.

Barbados, The Caribbean (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Athens, Greece (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

4. The off-season is when the fun happens

The anti-tourist movement in Europe is a real thing. It started when locals realized an unbelievably high number of tourists overcrowded their towns. Finally, it led the infrastructure to a breaking point and seriously began interfering with their lives.

As a responsible tourist, you could start visiting cities and other tourist destinations off-season. Moreover, avoiding peak seasons is more beneficial than you think. 

  • The pace is more relaxed and stress-free. 
  • Locals are more friendly and more eager to give you an insight into their way of life. 
  • You will immerse yourself into the local culture more easily and experience it on a deeper level. 
  • Some places are more beautiful during the off-season. For example, Siem Reap is greener during the monsoonal months. 
  • Some destinations, such as European cities, are much more appealing during the fall and winter months. 

Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, Agra, India (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

5. Promote the country, not yourself

It's easy to get lost among numerous boutiques of a shopping mall. It's even easier to simply spend the whole day lying on the beach. But you can do much more by promoting the country you are enjoying in. 

  • Promote heritage sites, natural wonders, and endangered species of the country on social media through photos and comments. 
  • Visit local museums, galleries, markets, and sites. 
  • Share local issues with others on your social media profile. Make others aware of the problem and ask them to take action. 
  • If you see a chance to contribute in any way, do it. 

Pamir Mountains, Afghanistan (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

6. Give your money to the right people

Every tourist will spend a considerable amount of money while traveling. When on a holiday, we all spend much more easily than when we're home. Of course, your money is yours to give. Still, it will be more beneficial if you pay attention to where your money is going. 

  • Eat local food. You don't have to visit every McDonald's or KFC you see. Best foodie destinations provide tourists with local food. 
  • Buy local. Every Prada or Zara in the world is the same. Contrary to that, local clothes are unique and a beautiful reminder of your journey. 
  • Support local artisans and craftsmen. There is at least one hand-made thing that could fit perfectly into your home. 
  • Souvenirs are not a cheesy gift for your friends and family if it's been made by a local. 

Ráquira, Colombia (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Last thing before you're on your way

Always have in mind that going away on a holiday doesn't allow us to stop minding other people. More precisely, it doesn't mean you can just forget basic decency. What's more, traveling is an opportunity to improve yourself in every possible way. Being a better tourist WILL help you become a better person.

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