There are two types of people in this world – those who travel and those who don’t. Traveling enriches our lives and transforms our personalities. When you go out, the places that were mere dots on the map change into sweet and unique memories.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have amazing experiences while giving something back to the society? It’s totally possible. If you plan your tour with a little care, you can give a lot back to the world while taking from it.  Our individual actions can have a huge impact on someone’s life. Keep in mind that it’s not just about “being good” with someone, it’s also about improving our own personality and experience by forming connections.

It’s important to note here that tourism is a business – it involves people who are not a part of our daily lives but whom we meet on our way. We can find ways to benefit those people while enriching our lives as well. Considering all this, I will discuss five really easy ways in which you can give back to the world as you travel.

  1. Stay local

Instead of staying in international hotels having chains around the world, patronize hotels and restaurants that are locally owned. The more you spend on the local public, the more will go to their families and thus will benefit their community.  This will also let you engage more with the local people and understand their lives and cultures. And isn’t this what travel is all about? Getting a different perspective – a different feel of the culture.

Eating local will also ensure that you get the authentic taste of the place. While this will benefit the native people, it will also make your travel more exciting and enriching. When you stay at a local hotel, you can talk to them and learn about their customs. You can also learn about various undiscovered places that you can visit.

And isn’t this what travel is all about? Getting a different perspective – a different feel of the culture. Eating local will also ensure that you get the authentic taste of the place. While this will benefit the native people, it will also make your travel more exciting and enriching. When you stay at a local hotel, you can talk to them and learn about their customs. You can also learn about various undiscovered places that you can visit.

  1. Spread your spending

Instead of eating at just one place all the time, make sure you visit different restaurants so that your money can benefit the whole community and not just one business.

For example, you can stay in a hotel but not have your breakfast there. Go to a different restaurant for breakfast. Have lunch at another place and dinner at yet another place. Buy your drinks from one store and snacks from the other. This way, your money will be distributed in the community and help a lot of people. It will also give you a chance to talk to several people and improve your traveling experience. When you go back home, you’ll have a lot of stories to share.

Buy your drinks from one store and snacks from the other. This way, your money will be distributed in the community and help a lot of people. It will also give you a chance to talk to several people and improve your traveling experience. When you go back home, you’ll have a lot of stories to share.

Related: 3 Social Entrepreneurs Blazing New Trails Towards Sustainability

  1. Shop responsibly

You would probably want to buy some souvenirs from the tour. While you can always buy souvenirs from gift shops and save time, if you buy them from artists themselves, you will promote their art and give them a way to grow. Of course, this wouldn’t be easy, especially when you don’t have enough time. If you’re on limited time, you can find an artist’s market or artisan cooperative that has artists directly selling to tourists.

When you buy directly from the artists, it means more money goes in their hands. Also, when you buy a souvenir from the artist, it will carry more meaning to it – especially if you could see the artist making it. You could also get to know the story behind the souvenirs.

When you buy directly from the artists, it means more money goes in their hands. Also, when you buy a souvenir from the artist, it will carry more meaning to it – especially if you could see the artist making it. You could also get to know the story behind the souvenirs.

  1. Support a social cause

If you find a local social enterprise in the place you’re visiting, make sure you support it financially or otherwise. A social enterprise is a company that is trying to uplift the community with the help of its business model. If you support it, your money can go towards generating jobs or for the betterment of the minorities of that area.

Most social enterprises are also involved in promoting the local arts and craft so your help could mean the sustainment of the local culture and heritage. You can do some volunteer work if you have a few hours extra at the end of the day. For that, you can visit the enterprise and get to know about the socio-economic problems of the area. You can ask them how you can contribute. Your volunteer help will give you a very fulfilling experience while helping those in need.

Most social enterprises are also involved in promoting the local arts and craft so your help could mean the sustainment of the local culture and heritage. You can do some volunteer work if you have a few hours extra at the end of the day. For that, you can visit the enterprise and get to know about the socio-economic problems of the area. You can ask them how you can contribute. Your volunteer help will give you a very fulfilling experience while helping those in need.

  1. Community-based tours

When you go to a place, getting a local tourist guide or a community-based tour means you’ll be giving something back to the local people. When you book a tour, you can ask them about their relationship with the community you want to benefit.

The travel business might have many local employees and when you hire the company, you’ll benefit their employees as well. If you cannot get a community-based tourism company, you can always find a local tourist guide. A tourist guide will ensure your safety and in return benefit from your monetary help.

You can also volunteer during your travel. There are many charities that look for volunteer work from helping travelers. Some of those charities are Moving Worlds and Turtle Teams. Moving Worlds allows you to use your individual skills to help the locals.

Some Final Thoughts

While traveling is a fun experience, you can make it more rewarding by giving back to the place you’re visiting. With just these few easy steps, you can benefit yourself and the local community. The more they benefit, the more enriching experience you have. And of course, travel is all about having a memorable experience. What can be more memorable than helping someone? Follow these simple steps the next time you travel and you’ll notice a huge difference in your experience.

Related: 3 Social Entrepreneurs Blazing New Trails Towards Sustainability