Whether you are a big traveler or not it is always a good thing to keep in mind respect for the people who live in your travel destination. It is sad to see these days a lot of people being removed from their original long term homes due to buyout of larger tourist attractions or hotels. Places like Hawaii and other islands have experienced this type of overthrow and it is very upsetting to watch the locals have to fight to keep their land and home. So what can we do as a tourist to help support the locals, respect the land and help keep it a wonderful place to visit without stepping on too many peoples feet?
Eat At Restaurants That Support Local Farmers and Family Owned Eateries
Sometimes it may be a little more expensive depending on the type of places you visit or choose to eat but keep in mind that what you are paying for is much more then a meal. Eating at restaurants that support local famers and local in-season food is not only better for your health and the experience of the place in which you are visiting but it is supporting a family and real people with jobs. When you eat at a family owned restaurant you are helping a family pay their bills instead of paying for big company greed. Sometimes “Mom and Pop” shops have some of the best food and experiences.
Support Local Artists, Crafters And Farmers Markets
What a better way to get to know the place you are visiting then to shop at a farmers market or craft show. A lot of locals make their money by selling their goods at a farmers market. If you are looking to take home a souvenir this is the best place to get one. If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen you will be able to take home some of the freshest food to cook with. What a better way to get to know a culture, city or its people then through the local food.
Stay At Airbnb’s or Hostels If You Can
Staying in a hostel, ohana or Airbnb that is owned by a local themselves may seem a little weird at first to some. But it really is not all that much of a “odd” thing anymore. Staying in a hostel or “ohana” like home has become more acceptable and a lot more people are finding its a great cheap way to travel. Keep in mind though that some places you may search and find on the internet are not actually owned by a person of the area in which you are staying. Check the fine print. Be sure that if you really seek to stay in a place that supports local that you are renting from someone that lives in the area and or is close by and familiar with the area.
Clean Up After Yourself, Respect The Area And People And Pick-up
This one might seem like an obvious one to some people but it is so much more then just cleaning up. When you are visiting someone else home you don’t throw your trash and unwanted stuff on their floor or break their things and leave. You treat the home with respect as if it was your own. A great example of picking up after yourself would be to throw your trash away, do not leave plastic items at the beach, do not litter on hiking trails, do not vandalize tourist attractions or things on a hiking trail and be respectful. If your going to visit somewhere with an exponentially different culture then yours be sure you know how to approach someone in a respectful manner. Say hello, let the locals pass you on the road if you are just out “site” seeing and smile. No one likes a visitor who thinks they have the right of way in their home. Something else worth mentioning is after all of this is if you see someone litter or you spot garbage in tourist areas such as beaches or other nature areas help a little by picking up a few things and throwing them where they belong, the trash.