How to plan your trip while respecting local environments, cultures & customs

What is responsible travel?

Each year, more than one billion tourists travel. By 2020, it is predicted that number will increase by 60%. Despite the economic benefits of tourism, the sheer number of visitors to locations that don’t have the infrastructure to support them has led to ‘overtourism’, causing negative ramifications for both communities and ecosystems.

To combat these negative impacts, many people are looking for ‘culturally conscious’ and ‘eco-friendly’ options while traveling. These actions are also known as ‘responsible tourism.’

What is responsible tourism?

At its core, responsible tourism, or responsible travel, is travelling in a sustainable way that benefits the country you are visiting as well as the environment.

To get you started, we’ve put together three easy tips to start the responsible tourism planning process for your next adventure.

How to plan a responsible travel trip:

1. Responsible tourism starts where you stay

PC Airbnb: Morning view at the Spirit of the Valley Tiny Home
PC Airbnb: Morning view at the Spirit of the Valley Tiny Home

Choosing to stay in an eco-friendly vacation rental is the first step in traveling responsibility. This reduces your carbon foot-print while you’re there and contributes to the local economy. Look for rentals that display an eco-score badge in their profile images, which shows their sustainability ranking.

If a rental does not have an Eco Score, take the time to go through the rental description and look for:

  • renewable energy production from solar, wind, etc.


2. Learn the local culture and customs

PC Tripit
PC Tripit


Even if you don’t agree with a custom or tradition, while traveling responsibly it is important to recognize your role as a visitor and follow the lead of the locals. Before departing for your trip, take the time to research the country and community that you’re visiting. Take into account religion, dress, sacred locations, and local customs.

Specific things to prepare before you travel:

  • Pack appropriately, consider the local religion, culture and climate.

When in doubt, when it comes to local culture and customs, remember that respect should be the guiding principle behind all of your actions.

3. Pack to reduce your single use plastics

PC Brighton Peace & Environment Centre
PC Brighton Peace & Environment Centre


Many destinations do not have sufficient waste management infrastructure to cope with excess brought in from travellers. By packing smart, you can refuse single-use plastics and cut down significantly on the amount of waste that is negatively impacting sensitive ecosystems.

Reduce your single use plastic consumption by packing: