RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

Want to make a positive impact when you travel?

We’re here to show you that being a responsible traveler doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun adventures. It means caring about the way you impact the world and making sure travel is sustainable for future generations to come!

There are countless destinations around the world where the environment, local people and wildlife are under threat from tourism.

Using our experience in non-profit work, we always look for opportunities to have a positive impact on destinations. Then we pass our favorite experiences onto you, so traveling responsibly can be easy and fun!

Click the headings below to jump to a topic and start making a positive impact today!

responsible animal tour operators

Responsible Tourism Travel Tips

Nobody ever said being a responsible traveler had to be boring! We've been traveling the world for over ten years and had all kinds of crazy travel adventures!

We've also traveled in a way that helps support the local communities, environment and animals of the places we're visiting. Being mindful of your impact, and how you can help contribute to travel, is the best way to really make a difference.

Here is a list of our top responsible tourism tips to help you with your next trip:

Avoid interacting with wild animals. If you’re touching a wild animal, you’re probably too close. Of course there are exceptions, like rescue centers, where human interaction is necessary for the care of the animal. In general, avoid tours or experiences where you’re getting close enough to touch wildlife.

Travel slow. Visiting fewer locations, but spending more time in each, helps reduce your carbon footprint. It also allows you to experience a location better and help support the local economy.

Shop local. Shopping at businesses and eating at restaurants that are owned by locals ensures the local community will benefit, rather than just the foreign business owners. It also helps stimulate the local economy, by keeping money in the country you're visiting.

Cut down on waste. Cutting down on waste is an easy but super impactful way to be a responsible traveler. From avoiding single use plastic to refusing to use styrofoam. Even traveling with a reusable water bottle, straw and bag will make a huge difference! Check out our responsible tourism packing guide for more great tips.

Get cultural. Connect with the community and really learn about their culture. By going on local tours and experiencing cultural activities, your tourism dollars can help preserve traditions and customs. Avoid any tours that feel like they exploit the local community.

Do your research. There's a misconception that responsible tourism is all about what you CAN’T do abroad. That’s not true! Doing your research ahead of time means finding alternatives to harmful activities, like visiting an elephant sanctuary instead of a riding camp! Dig deep, read reviews and try to find a variety of sources to really ensure that next adventure is responsible.

Be respectful! We’re sure all of our DFTM readers are already super respectful (we love you guys), but just as a reminder: treat people abroad how you’d like to be treated at home. Don’t get mad when locals don’t speak English, cover up in conservative countries and always lead with a smile.

responsible tourism tips

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM PACKING LIST

Whether you're looking for new travel gear or clothes, these companies are committed to awesome travel products, as well as sustainability in the world. Check out some of our favorite companies that help give back:

LifeStraw bottle - We love taking these bottles traveling because not only do they filter out all the bacteria and nasty stuff in water, but for every bottle sold LifeStraw gives one child a year of safe drinking water! Check out our trip to Mexico with LifeStraw where we got to visit schools and install water filters!

Alternative Apparel - If you’re looking for some awesome, lightweight clothes to take traveling, Alternative Apparel is an eco-friendly clothing brand that is committed to ethical production.

Reusable straw - Being a responsible traveler means producing as little waste as possible. One way to cut down on waste is by bringing a reusable straw with you so you don’t have to use a plastic one! These come with a cleaner and carrying case.

Light My Fire Pack & Eat Kit - These kits, which include a reusable bowl, cup and utensils, are great for camping, travel and cutting down on waste. You can use it for take away meals and to store leftovers.

Fold up grocery bag - More and more places around the world are going plastic free. A reusable grocery bag that you can fold up and use when you go shopping is super handy.

Reef safe sunscreen - While you’re trying to protect yourself from UV rays, your sunscreen may be doing damage to the coral reef. Using a reef-safe sunscreen products the fragile reef from chemicals!

travel insurance

Do I need travel insurance?

As common saying in the travel world is, "If you can't afford travel insurance, then you can't afford to travel!"

Buying travel insurance isn't about being overly cautious, or scared to travel, it's about being prepared if something goes wrong. It could be something as simple as loosing your camera or phone, or it could be covering expensive medical bills if you get injured or sick.

Don't be scared ... just be prepared!

do i need travel insurance for adventure

Three times travel insurance saved our butts!

Christine spent 4 nights in a hospital with Dengue Fever in Cuba and had all her medical bills covered. World Nomads covered more than double what it cost her to buy a full year of insurance!

Jules lost his new iPhone in Guyana and had it replaced by World Nomads. Simple as that!

We lost our camera at the airport in Bali and received 90% of the funds back to buy a new one!

Send this to a friend