12 Ways to Give Back While You Travel

Traveling is an opportunity to explore new destinations, meet new people, learn about different cultures, and relish cuisines. However, beyond the joy of travel, it is important to consider how to give back to the community you visit. Giving back while you travel helps you to connect on a deeper level with the local communities and support a sustainable environment.

Read on to learn 12 ways to give back while you travel.

Opt For Locally-Owned Accommodations

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All-inclusive hotel chains and resorts can be tempting, but they are often owned by international corporations, which means the local economy doesn’t always see the profits. Opt for local guesthouses, B&Bs, homestays, and hostels so that your money goes directly into the hands of the local community members.

Support Local Business

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Instead of carrying things from home, buy personal care essentials from local vendors. Eat in local restaurants and cafés. Buy souvenirs from the places you visit. Buy artworks directly from local artists.

Lastly, remember to buy local produce, such as saffron from Morocco, parmesan cheese from Italy, and tea and spices from India, for your personal use or as a gift. This helps improve the economies of the places you visit.

Take Workshops And Classes

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One of the best ways to give back while traveling is to take workshops and classes conducted by local people where the money goes directly to them. Cooking classes, pottery workshops, cheese-making tours, or learning how to make handicrafts gives you a deeper insight into local craftspeople’s hard work and expertise.

Use Local Guides

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Use the services of local guides and city tours. When you take the services of local guides, you not only encourage the local economy but also get real information about a destination. You are more likely to hear about stories and discover certain things that only the locals know; for example – the best places to enjoy a panoramic sunset without the crowds, local food, cheap coffee, and croissants.

Take The Road Less Traveled

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Visit off-beaten, less frequented places. One of the benefits is that you get to enjoy a destination in peace, away from the maddening crowds. You also genuinely interact with the local people and support the local economy.

Visit nature parks and ethically run animal sanctuaries. Visiting these reserves helps conserve these areas, as the money goes back towards their upkeep.

Look Up Events

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Look up events in your area and join an activity according to your interests and skills. For example, you could attend a music event, poetry slam night, standup comedy open mic, neighborhood soccer/basketball match, or yoga workshop to support the local event and have fun in the process.


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If you have time on your hands and if you enjoy doing it, volunteer your free time in a tree/mangrove plantation/beach clean-up drive, help at a local animal shelter, conduct workshops/teach English at an orphanage, help in a senior citizens’ community, and participate in more such activities.

Leave No Trace

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Reduce unnecessary waste by bringing reusable utensils, coffee mugs, and tupperware. Bring your reusable water bottle and water filter. Carry a garbage bag to collect trash after your picnic or hiking.

Take Only Memories

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Those brightly colored stones, corals, and shells may look tempting and would be great conversation starters when displayed in your living room, but leave them on the beach or wherever you find them. Take only memories with you.

Be Respectful

Two happy woman making selfie on background of Reichstag Bundestag building in Berlin. Travel and love concept in Europe
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Throwing rubbish in public places, ignoring local customs, and not being mindful of other people can hurt the environment. Respect that you are visiting someone else’s home; hence, you mustn’t disturb it or leave it unclean.

Protect Environment

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While you cannot always avoid air travel to reach far-off destinations, travel with public transportation once you are there. Take a bus, train, or ferry to commute locally. Rent a bicycle for smaller commutes.


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If you are traveling to a developing country, donating money to run reputable charities locally can make a big difference. However, if you cannot make monetary contributions, you can donate school supplies, clothes, and blankets or sponsor meals for underprivileged children.

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