Wednesday, June 13, 2012

6 Steps to Responsible Travel

I’ve always believed that we shouldn't only be good at what we do, but we should try and do good in the process—even when we travel.

Here are some reminders for us travelers to travel responsibly—a little something-something not just for the Philippines but for the world, too:

1.     Research your destination
As Lourd de Veyra said in his commencement speech, “Kung may Internet connection ka... make GMG—‘Google mo, gago!’” Getting information nowadays has never been easier. Whether it’s as simple as knowing where on Earth you’re headed, or as complicated as what to eat or what to wear...not only will it make your trip less stressful, it’ll keep you safe, too.  

Search engines galore! Researching has never been easier with the help of the Internet.
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2.     Recognize rules
“No flash photography.” “No swimming.” “No peeing.” We’ve all broken some rules thinking that we won’t get caught or we won’t return there anyway. But let’s not forget that we are guests in these places. Rules, even unwritten ones, are there not for the sake of having them. It’s really for the common good so let’s be obedient!
#2. No peeing inside! Here are the rules for the Timubo Cave in Camotes Island, Cebu.
Even if it's in Bisaya, there's no excuse not to follow.

3.     Reduce waste
I’ll admit: It’s challenging to refrain from using plastic and other disposable materials on a trip. But it’s possible! When camping, for example, we bring our own food containers and tumblers—even chopsticks! If impossible at that given time, let’s be mindful to dispose of our wastes properly. We’ve seen ads of animals mistaking garbage as food. Let’s not add to the damage.
Forget plastic bags! Eco bags are a great way to reduce waste!
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4.     Respect wildlife
Miss Earth may sound like a broken record with her spiel: “Respect all wildlife and their natural habitats.” But she has always been right. As tempting as it is to take home a panda (or two), corals from the sea, or to buy souvenirs made from endangered species… let’s not forget that plants and animals are part of an intricate network in the web of life. Let’s respect this.
Keeping it the way it is. Here's a protected marine area in Moalboal, Cebu, that's doing just that.

5.     Report illegal activities
Whale sharks being ridden? Dynamite fishing? Report it! Even if you smell something fishy during your trip (not literally, though), report it! Be observant. Take photos for evidence and save the day! Going to the authorities may be a hassle, I know, but it’s worth a shot. An easier way would be to use social media! Don’t forget karma: What goes around, comes around.

Save Philippine Seas! Did you know that you can actually report incidents concerning our seas here?

6.     Repost and Retweet
This is the easiest and almost always effortless. Blog about your trip. Tweet about it and even post artsy-fartsy photos on Facebook. Share with us your itineraries, too. Recommend the places that you wandered off to, cool hotels that you stayed in, yummy food that you ate and your awesome finds. This encourages others to enjoy the same positive experiences you had.

The Social Network. Share your experiences so others can enjoy the same positive experiences you had!
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I’d like to think that travelling responsibly shouldn't be taught but just reminded. For me, these reminders are small yet meaningful acts hopefully to make this world a better place to experience and explore.

What do you think?

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