“Giving Travel More Meaning” – The team at sustainable development charity Raleigh International tell us their top 5 small ways to leave a positive footprint whilst traveling
There’s no doubt that life on the road can be a fun-filled adventure, but after countless nights in party hostels with others who speak your language, eating the same food as you would at home, or wandering around yet another museum, the dream lifestyle can start to feel a bit…flat.
If you’re craving more from your travels than just sun and sangria, are itching to get under the skin of the country’s culture and want to leave positive change behind you when you return home, then take a look at our top 5 small ways to make your trip more meaningful.
1. Disconnect to reconnect
It goes without saying that we’re all used to being glued to our phones nowadays, and WIFI is free and plentiful across the hostelling circuit. But what if you switched it off, just for a day? Not having your phone’s GPS means you might need to ask locals for directions, make new friends or get great travel tips. Opening yourself up to opportunities to connect with others adds a richness to your trip that money can’t buy – and to theirs, too.
2. Eat like the locals
Asking locals for their top tips on where to eat can be a great travel hack. Usually they’ll point you to places other tourists won’t find out about – often cheaper, home-made, using local produce, and delicious! You’ll be doing your bit, too, by supporting locally-owned businesses as opposed to foreign-owned establishments often seen on the traveller circuit – tuck in! You can also read our article on how to fit in with the locals on your next trip!
3. Learn the language
Learning even just the basics of the local lingo can open you to a totally new perspective on life. It can create cultural understanding, give you locals’ ‘insider’ tips and help you make new friends along the way. Also – it’s great fun!Here’s our article on the benefits of learning different languages.
4. Bring a bottle and filter
In some countries, the tap water can wreak havoc on your insides as it’s unsafe to drink, or simply has bacteria you’re not used to. Buying bottled mineral water is not an environmentally friendly solution – although in many countries it’s the most readily available one. Durable bottles and UV filters or steri-tabs are available in most outdoor shops and mean that you can refill and sterilise your water pretty much anywhere – no more plastic waste!5. Volunteer – wisely!
Volunteering your time and skills is a great way to support the countries you travel in. However, with so many organisations out to make a profit rather than a genuine difference, it’s really important to choose your organisation and programme wisely. Before choosing a programme, consider the impact it makes, the cost (and where the money actually goes) as well as how the organisation makes sure it achieves its aims.
Raleigh International is a non-profit organisation. We ensure our work is as effective as possible and has a real and positive impact on the people involved. We connect communities wanting to improve their lives and their environment with passionate people from around the world who want to take positive action. By working alongside young people to create positive change, communities develop their knowledge and confidence and become more empowered. The energy and motivation of empowered people leads to lasting change.
Now recruiting for our spring 2017 programmes!
Raleigh runs Expeditions three times a year for 5, 7 or 10 weeks at a time. We work in Malaysian Borneo, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Nepal and Tanzania.
Raleigh Expeditions are open to everyone.
No matter where you’re from, Raleigh has something for you! All you need is the passion and enthusiasm to create positive change in the world.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can bring more meaning to your travels on a Raleigh Expedition, Click Here. We’d love to hear from you!
If you’ve already made up your mind, you can Apply Now.
This article is published by me on behalf of Raleigh International. The opinions and text are all from their awesome organization.