Responsible Travel

We are committed to a style of travel that is environmentally, culturally and socially responsible - we call this 'Responsible Travel'. With
your participation we aim to travel in a way that conserves the areas we visit and bring positive benefits to local communities.

Our travel style
  • Grass roots travel using local public transport where possible - minimises demand for special tourist vehicles and fuel.
  • We choose small-scale locally owned accommodation where available and local restaurants and markets for dining, retaining
    revenue in local communities.
  • Our group leaders facilitate communication of our values to travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable
    tourism practices.
  • We employ local guides where possible to aid travellers' understanding of local culture and etiquette
  • Small groups allow travellers to experience cultures first hand, offering greater opportunity for cross- cultural understanding.

Responsible travel guidelines for travellers
what can the traveller do? Basically we ask all our travellers to respect local rules and values. This means different things in different
countries so be as informed as possible about the country you visit before you arrive - try to learn some of the local language and read
about the religion and culture. This will improve your travelling experience. With a little effort on your part you will find yourself coming away
with a greater sense of understanding of other cultures and feeling pleased to have left a positive mark on the country you visited.

The most important thing to remember is that we are guests and are privileged to be able to visit these communities, homes and places
of worship. As responsible travellers, we want our type of tourism to be sustainable for the areas we visit, so future travellers can enjoy
similar wonderful experiences. Intrepid group leaders and travellers have made many special friends around the world and we treasure
the ongoing relationships we have with them.

Things are done differently in the places we travel, which is why we love them! Please make sure in your dealings with local people you
accept these differences and not try to change them for your own benefit or comfort. Remember that many places operate on different
concepts of time - things happen when they happen! The traveller who wishes to have a happy and successful trip should keep as calm,
cheerful and friendly as humanly possible. Demanding impatient tourists do not earn respect. Patience, courtesy and smiles are virtues
that open many doors.

Top tips for responsible travellers
  • Before leaving home learn as much as possible about the country you are visiting – the religion and culture, the local rules and
    values.
  • Learn some language and don’t be afraid to use it – simple pleasantries will help break the ice.  Keep practising.
  • Learn what’s appropriate behaviour and body language.  E.g.Poking the tongue at a stranger is welcoming in Tibet but here…
  • Support locally owned businesses, hotels, restaurants and other services.  Eat local food and drinks.  McDonalds can wait till you
    are home.
  • Shop from traditional artisans and for locally made products, helping keep traditional crafts alive.  Bargaining is the way in some
    places.  Keep it light and bright and remember, 10 cents to you may be a bowl of noodles for the vendor!
  • Dress respectfully with an awareness of local standards.  Covered thighs and shoulders is the norm in many countries.  Dress
    modestly at religious sites and check what is suitable swim wear.
  • Always ask first before photographing or videoing people.  Send them back copies of photos to help make it a two-way exchange
  • Be wary of giving gifts or money to beggars, children and people you have just met.  Supporting the community through a local
    school, clinic or development project may be more constructive.
  • Leave only footprints…take care of the environment as you would your own home.  Take out all you take in, to areas away from the
    cities.  Use alternatives to plastic ie bottled water – use a purification method, and say ‘No’ to plastic bags.  For cigarette butts, an
    empty film container makes a perfect portable butt bin.
  • Save ‘face’ – a very important concept in Asia.  Try not to raise your voice, embarrass someone or display anger.  Kick your
    backpack in private if you must!
  • After returning home think how you can support programs and organisations that are working to protect the welfare, culture and
    environment of where you’ve been lucky to visit.
  • Smile! The traveller who wishes to have a happy and successful trip should keep as calm, cheerful and friendly as humanly
    possible.  And have fun!