This applies to everything from your food, to your souvenirs and your guides. Firstly when you travel with SevenTravel all of our private guides are local. Not only is their knowledge second to none, and you’ll get to learn from someone who has actually grown up or lived in the destination but your money will be going back into the local community.
Bringing back a keepsake from your holiday is great, however think twice about what you buy and where you get it from. Choose a souvenir that has been made locally, be it by an indigenous tribe or local artisan. An added bonus is that these gifts come with a beautiful story to tell, and offer something truly unique that you won’t be able to find (easily) back home.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of going to restaurants that remind you of home. Here’s where it’s helpful to remember your reason for travelling – to discover new places and have new experiences – so let your nose be your guide instead of TripAdvisor. Try somewhere small, try somewhere family run and definitely make sure you try the local specialities to get a real taste of the region.
By keeping it local, you’re positively influencing the local economy and supporting the lives of those in the place that you’re in. In addition, it is an excellent way to learn about the culture, traditions, and even make friends with the locals of the country you’re visiting.
Small gestures can go a long way. When you arrive at your hotel, lodge or camp, make an effort to not leave the AC on whilst you’re out, and keep the windows closed for it to work efficiently. Be mindful of your hot water usage as this can be very energy-intensive, if you are able to try using cooler water. And for those feeling brave, the health benefits of cold showers can be an incentive to try a cold shower. Also avoid leaving your room lights on and electrical items plugged in.
Something that’s easy to overlook is your electrical items at home. Before you set off on your tailor-made luxury holiday, go around your house and switch off (at the socket) any unnecessary items. Your TV, kettle, toaster, and lamps are just some of the typical household items that can be switched off.
It might be tempting to practice your haggling skills, however when you’re doing the dance back and forth, remember to take a step back and think about the bigger picture. Saving yourself a £1 or £2 might not seem a lot but to the seller this could be the difference between enough food for their family or not. If you can afford the asking price, know that by paying full price you’re better supporting the local economy and its people.
In some cultures not haggling can be considered rude, so if you want to barter do, but avoid pushing the seller to a point where they’ll be out of pocket.
Make an effort to minimise your single-use plastics. Sounds simple, and it can be by making a few small changes and keeping up your good habits from home, on holiday. Things to remember to take with you, a reusable water bottle so you can avoid purchasing plastic ones. A reusable tote bag, which is great for carrying your shopping and belongings without needing to pick up multiple plastic bags.
Waste management is a challenge in some countries, and visitors can add significantly to this problem by using single-use items – which can end up in nature. If you spot litter somewhere it shouldn’t be, if you can, pick it up and put it in the nearest bin.
As part of traveling responsibly, you must be aware of how ethical the activities you take part in are. This is especially true when it concerns animals. We do not support or send any of our clients on activities that partake in animal cruelty. If you’re planning an activity that involves wildlife, do your research and ask questions so you can make an informed decision before booking anything. It’s important to remember that you should not feed the animals, except for the unique cases where it’s been confirmed by the rangers or property like at Giraffe Manor where you’ll get treats for the giraffes.
From your Kenyan safari to your island-hopping holiday in Greece, embrace the leave no trace principles and minimise your impact on your surroundings. Be kind to the environment, leave no litter, don’t take anything from nature, and don’t disturb the wildlife. Something worth noting is be careful when choosing your sunscreen because some creams contain chemicals that can bleach and kill coral reefs. Check the label on your sun cream to ensure it’s marked as reef safe.
Every person and place has a story to tell. At its essence travel is about connecting with new cultures so you can leave richer in experience and understanding. At the core of our itineraries is cultural experiences and so wherever you travel to we’ll arrange enriching moments, be it a cooking class from the matriarch of the Royal family, participating in a homestay where you’ll get a home cooked meal, exploring a museum with an expert scholar or just being in places where you can engage with people from all walks of life.
Try to immerse yourself in the culture on your holiday because we promise you’ll be handsomely rewarded, with experiences that will last a lifetime.
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