Whenever you go to another country as a tourist, no matter how long you spend, you should be:
- respectful of the culture that you enter into;
- embrace the people, culture, language and spirit of the place, and appreciate that it can be a culture shock;
- be open to new experiences;
- be tolerant and patient ; and most of all
- keep a positive attitude and frame-of-mind and be able to have a laugh at situations.
Particularly if you are a traveller from a developed country going into a developing country, by birth you are already quite fortunate in many ways. No doubt there is still poverty and people who are doing it very tough in developed countries as well. So charity, a charitable mindset and goodwill are some things you should consider both at home and whilst abroad.
Whilst on holidays:
- be careful of giving money to children. I have been told by many local tourism organisations if you give, give to the adults or organisations, as even the locals want to encourage children to go to school if possible, not encourage them to go and beg. Also sometime children are deliberately kidnapped or maimed so tourist will feel sorry for them and give them money.
- do tip local guides, etc. in places like Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Turkey, Egypt. This extends to developed countries if you think the restaurant or guides etc. have provided extra, exceptional service.
- Keep lollies and/or biscuits in your bag to give to children instead of money.
- Consider reading up on ethical traveling prior to traveling or choosing a travel destination. Here are just some examples:
- Consider travelling with travel organisations who strive to demonstrate social responsibility to the country they operate in. Some examples:
- Consider volunteering oversea. Some volunteering organisations I have come across:
Ultimately you only know the best choices and options for you, so I just recommend you do as much research as you can to make an informed decision about where you are going, how you are travelling to a destination self-driven holiday or with a tour company, and what you will do and how you will act when you get there.
Socially responsible travel is the responsibility of every global citizen, and everyone can make a difference with their choices.