Are you an ethical traveler? Read this post to find out

When we’re booking a trip, we’re often super excited about the different things we’ll see, the delicious food we’ll eat, and the chance to unwind with friends or family. But when was the last time that you thought about the ethics of your trip?

Ethical travel is about making a conscious effort to minimize any harm that you’re doing to the environment and locals. Any time we get on a plane, we’re impacting the environment by the carbon released, and any time we visit a tourist hot spot, we’re interacting with locals and often, animals.

Your personal travel ethics can be thought of as your line in the sand. They’re the things you will and won’t do to ensure that you’re minimizing any harm from your visit, and whenever possible, improving things.

For example, your code of travel ethics could include treating animals with respect, purchasing sustainable products, using public transportation, and adapting the way you behave depending on the country and cultures you’re visiting.

There are a few ways that you can travel more ethically that you may not have considered. For example, we all know that flying has a huge impact on the environment. This doesn’t mean that you can’t travel, but it can be a good idea to take fewer trips but make them longer, so you can combine destinations and travel overland to countries close by.

Visiting Cancun? Combine it with a trip to Belize which is close by. Heading to Spain? The rail in Europe makes it easy to visit countries close by, such as France, Italy, and Portugal.

One thing that you can immediately implement? A ban on interacting with wild animals outside of their natural habitat. We all know that those lions and tigers are drugged so they’ll stay complacent while tourists lie on them. Not to mention the poor elephants who must deal with tourists riding them, even though their backs actually aren’t strong enough to support the weight. Choose where your money will go, and always do your research- if tourists are allowed to interact at all with the animals, it’s likely that those animals are living a pretty miserable life.

Once you know what your ethics are, you can adjust the way that you travel accordingly.

What are your travel ethics? How will you prioritize those ethics this year? Leave a comment below and let me know.