Conscious travel means being mindful of the world and the people we encounter during our travels. It’s about thinking differently when we travel; changing our values and perception of the world by seeing a destination through a local’s eyes.
The world is altering as people’s mindsets are shifting. No longer content with mass tourism, people are becoming more conscious of real experiences, immersing themselves with their surroundings to establish longer-lasting connections and gain a better understanding of the world.
Conscious travel’s goal is to create a sustainable travel economy that gives something back to communities.
Whether through wellness and spirituality, eco or sustainable travel, traveling consciously makes a positive impact on the world and enriches the lives of everyone we meet along the way, one footprint at a time.
With travel becoming more popular, it’s important to know how to travel consciously.
Why Is Conscious Travel Important?
Travel and tourism generate over $2.9 trillion globally but unfortunately, not all communities benefit from the money that tourism makes.
Tourism can damage local communities with locals being out-priced from their homes, goods or services as prices increase to cater for tourists. Meanwhile, jobs can be seasonal and employees may even make less than minimum wage. Profits generally go to the larger international companies who may not have sustainable practices, meaning the local community does not benefit.
When we talk about conscious travel, we’re not advising against travelling, instead, it’s about how we can streamline and funnel our travels so that it benefits those who need it the most. It’s about being aware of what we do, what we buy, and how we interact with others. It’s our responsibility to be informed about where our money is going.
How Can We Make a Difference?
- The first way to become a conscious traveller is by reading books or blogs that educate us about the local culture before we travel. Knowing and respecting the culture is so important.
- Eating in local restaurants and buying food from street markets instead of international chain restaurants supports local businesses.
- Stay in small locally-owned accommodation such as guest houses or B&Bs. Or look at a homestay where you learn about local culture. During your stay keep your water use as low as you can and turn off the tap and lights when you aren’t using them.
- Minimise your footprint by caring for the local environment. Use public transport such as buses or walk or cycle rather than hiring a car or flying.
- Be careful where you put your litter and the packaging which you buy. Recycle when you can.
A word on traveling greener
Conscious travelling means that we care about many other things while we travel. One of them is the environment. Many young people are looking for ways to become greener while travelling and it is important to them that the environment doesn’t suffer from their trips.
You can keep a few things in mind that can support your thought of travelling greener.
Think carefully about your chosen transportation, this can have an enormous influence on the environment. Choose eco-friendly accommodations and use your hotel as if it was your home regarding electricity, water use and towels. In addition, you can avoid creating lots of plastic trash if you always take a small foldable shopping bag with you that you can use for your groceries or other things you might buy on your trip. Think small and you already make a difference.
Become a Conscious Traveler
These are just some of the ways you can make conscious choices as you travel, ensuring you are a respectful traveller and actively contribute something to the places you visit. With only a few conscious decisions, you can really make a difference and enrich the lives of others around the world.
Using an app to stay healthy and give something back to the local community
There are multiple platforms and apps that can help you to easily travel consciously. Let us say you want to go the gym to stay in your active routine an app like TrainAway is a good solution to support local gyms. Local gyms have the capacity for letting travels work out and stay healthy and fighting those extra calories eaten on your trip.
To visit the local gym and buy a day pass is also a far better option than talking a run in an unfamiliar area or trying to work out in your hotel room.
Trying out a local gym is also a great way to learn about new machines, techniques and meeting other fitness enthusiasts. As it supports local businesses by allowing you to get guest access to local fitness clubs for a day, three or week access at a good price it is way to be both conscious, and healthy. Thereby you make sure your money is giving back to the local community.