Prontopia is here to help. Learn more about our city services.

Traveling Respectfully: Are You A Respectful Traveler?

December 17th, 2019 by Prontopia

Travel (and traveling respectfully) is an incredible thing for so many reasons. For the large majority of our lives, we live in a surprisingly small radius. Work, school, home, grocery store. How often do we drive the same streets, and interact with the same handful of people? Our local communities provide a needed home base, but traveling offers us a unique opportunity to burst this bubble of familiarity and interact with cultures that are completely different from what we're used to.

Read next: What Is Sustainable Travel? A Comprehensive Guide

We have the (fairly recent) power to travel at incredible speeds, landing us halfway across the world in less than a day. But as Voltaire famously said, with great power comes great responsibility. It's important to realize the impacts our presence has on the cultures that we are stepping into. We must learn how to travel respectfully, treating each culture with reverence and care. What exactly does it mean to travel respectfully?

Sometimes you just need a helping hand. Get where you need to go stress-free - schedule a Prontopia local assistant to help you today!

Travel isn't about you

People travel for all kinds of reasons. But whether you're traveling as an escape of daily responsibilities, to learn a different language, or to experience brand new things, ultimately - you are a guest. Your destination is full of people facilitating your adventures with their hospitality. The world doesn't exist for your Instagram, and the price of your airline ticket is the not the equivalent of a ticket to Disneyland.

As such, understand that travel is a privilege, and operate with gratitude, curiosity, and respect.

Traveling Respectfully: Are You A Respectful Traveler? 0

Knowledge is power

With the Internet at our fingertips, we all have the opportunity to educate ourselves about the places we are visiting. Though the United States certainly has its own history and relevant nuances, it's important to remember that the rest of the world's history spans back so many centuries further. Different cultures are steeped in history, culture, war, occupation, resilience, industry, tradition, religion, and so much more. This history makes local citizens who they are. And briefing yourself on the background of your destination empowers you to respect the local people, ask better questions, and have a more enriched and life-changing experience while you're traveling respectfully

Read next: Visit Venice Respectfully

Traveling Respectfully: Are You A Respectful Traveler? 1

Recognize the need to say no

Especially when you travel to places who have a large number of tourists, you will encounter many services and attractions specifically geared towards tourists. Many cities even have specific districts curated for tourists. While there's nothing inherently wrong with this, it does offer the opportunity to think a little more critically about what you choose to say yes to - and when to say no. Some things to say yes to include local products, artists, venues, experiences, architecture, museums, and markets. Some warning signs to look for are any hints of human or animal exploitation or mistreatment - like elephant rides or orphanage tours.

Traveling Respectfully: Are You A Respectful Traveler? 2

Leave places better than you found them

Traveling isn't always selfless, and there's nothing wrong with that. We travel for a number of motivations, but most of them are about achieving personal benefit. However, you don't have to travel selfishly. Treat the place you're going like you would the house of a host that you love. Say thank you, make your bed, clean up after yourself, and maybe pitch in to help in some small way. Seek to give as well as take - and you will always be welcomed back.

Photo Credit: Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash, David Marcu on Unsplash, KaLisa Veer on Unsplash


Prontopia

Prontopia is an online service that provides friendly, in-person help from pre-vetted local assistants in city centers in Italy, Spain and the U.S.


Join Thousands of Happy Customers
Book with Prontopia today