Shopping, dining, and trips out — there’s a lot to spend your money on when you’re on holiday. But are you sure it’s going to the right people? In this article, Robbie Fowle from H&T offers his advice for more making more conscious spending decisions when abroad.
Ethical travelling is a rising trend, with many people keen to ensure their trips and adventures are as sustainable as possible. In fact, ABTA’s holiday habits report found that 59% of people care about how local people and workers are impacted by tourism, and 66% are concerned about the treatment of animals (ABTA).
And, with Brits spending an average of £233 on short overseas breaks and £538 across longer holidays, there is plenty of scope for us to be spending more responsibly. If you’re going away this year, it’s important to consider where your money is going and what the impact of your spending may be on local communities. Below, I’ll take you through three ways you can make more conscious travel plans.
Shop and eat locally
Shopping in local or independently owned stores rather than supermarkets or international chains can help support small businesses owners, putting money back into the community and helping local people to thrive off tourism. So, whether you’re buying holiday essentials or gifts for your loved ones, this is one of the most responsible ways you can shop while on holiday.
Eating local supports your holiday destination’s restauranteurs, but it can also help reduce the environmental impact of your food. In coastal towns, for example, many seafood places will source their ingredients straight from fishing sites that are a stone’s throw from their establishment. This means delicious and fresh food for you, but it also means your dish has travelled less distance and hasn’t been imported. As a result, carbon emissions are cut, pollution is decreased, and you can enjoy your meal guilt-free.
One of the trickiest parts of going abroad can be knowing whether to tip or not and, if so, how much to tip. There are very few places where tipping is considered rude — Japan is one of them. Generally, under-tipping is a much bigger risk when you go on holiday.
Under-tipping in some countries isn’t just impolite, it can also deprive hard-working locals of their basic income. If you’re visiting a country where the minimum wage is low or a large emphasis is placed on tipping, some hospitality and customer service workers may depend on their tips to cover their daily living costs.
So, make sure you’re clued up on the tipping culture of our destination before you go, particularly if you are travelling to the USA or Canada, and factor tips into your travel money budget. As a general rule, assume to include at least a 10% tip, but doing some research ahead of your trip can ensure you’re following correct tipping behaviours. You should also look into whether you should be tipping in bars, taxis, and your accommodation, not just in restaurants.
Choose the right tours
No matter where you go on holiday, there are bound to be plenty of day trips, tours, and activities for you to take part in once you’ve arrived. However, some can be more problematic than others.
You need to take care to avoid unethical or cruel operators, particularly when it comes to things like safaris and swimming with dolphins. People book these kinds of activities because of their love for animals, but the reality may be that the animals in question are being kept inhumanely.
It will pay to do your research and find reputable tour companies before you go, and your hotel reception desk should be in a good position to recommend some trustworthy names if you’re not sure where to start.
The tips in this guide can help you make more conscious travel plans this year. Bear them in mind when booking your holiday, and you’ll have a more ethical and sustainable trip to look forward to.