A Guide to Traveling Responsibly in India
Traveling Responsibly in India
‘Responsible Travel’ might be the cool new buzzword in travel circles, and there’s a good reason for it! Safeguarding the environment and being eco-friendly, conserving local traditions and leaving a positive impact are some of the top reasons for traveling responsibly.
In India, in particular, it’s important to be aware as there aren’t many official guidelines in place yet, though we hope that will change soon! We at India Someday take responsible travel very seriously and ensure that while we want you to have a conscious socially responsible trip, the quality of your trip is not affected. So if you want to explore India responsibly and have a lot of local interactions get in touch with us now
Here’s a quick guide to traveling responsibly in India – although some of these are good life rules, as well!
Pick your partners well
A great first step is to pick who you’ll be travelling with – and we don’t mean your travel companions! Look for hotels, homestays and BnBs that are making efforts to reduce their environmental impact and minimise their carbon footprint, as well as those that involve the local community in their operations. While eco travel in India isn’t really regulated, many service providers have started self-regulating in their own ways. Check out our article on cool stays that are making easier to be a responsible traveler in India for inspiration!
This applies even if you’re joining a group trip or planning a personalized trip with an agent – ask for eco-friendly or environmentally-aware
options wherever possible. We’re happy to make suggestions or help you put your trip together: get in touch if you have any questions!
Ready to have a local travel experience
Watch what you use
India might have a wealth of natural resources, but that doesn’t mean we should be exploiting them! There are loads of small things you can do that go a long way in making a difference. For example, pay attention to the amount of water you’re using, especially in regions like Rajasthan, where it’s a scarce resource. Look for places that harvest rain-water, so that by visiting, you aren’t impacting the local supplies adversely. Lend your support to eateries that source and serve local produce, and don’t demand foods that require exotic ingredients that are probably imported. And, of course, follow the basic rules – carry a reusable water bottle, don’t ask for sheets to be laundered unless required, and don’t leave messes behind when you’re out on the road!
India’s got a great range of public transport networks, both within cities, and cross-country. We’re big fans of the extensive rail system that criss-crosses the country – it might not be the fastest journey, and you might not always be travelling in the lap of luxury (though there are some fantastic, truly luxurious train journeys that you can read about here), but we think the benefits far outweigh that. It’s one of the best ways to catch glimpses of corners of the country most tourists never see, interact with local travellers (who’re invariably happy to share their stories and their food with you) and it’s arguably better for the environment too!
Train Travel Can be Fun, Safe, Cheap and Economic
Embrace the local way of life
This might be a no-brainer, but it’s got to be said. India is a diverse country, and the way of life here will inevitably be different than what you’re used to. It’s not enough to just read up on the local cultures and familiarise yourself with customs and traditions. You also need to apply this knowledge! Simply put, this means respecting dress codes and being mindful of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. This will only improve your travel experience, and it goes a great way to opening doors to you, as well.
Think about what you’re leaving behind
The obvious interpretation of this is to watch the waste you’re creating and leaving behind , but think beyond that. It’s very tempting, for example, to offer gifts of sweets or money to local kids. But think about the repercussions that might have. Would it be better to leave behind something more thoughtful ? Perhaps a memento from your home country, or a few books or educational tools?
As a visitor, you’re also leaving an impression of yourself behind. Therefore, it also pays to be a gracious guest that’s open-minded to new experiences!
What are your go-to ways of traveling responsibly? Do you have any new ideas for us? Drop us a line in the comments below! Or if you would like to plan your trip to India get in touch with us now
Everything you need to know about India is here We have tried writing about everything you may need help with for your trip to India, If you need help in planning a trip to India Get in touch with us to to plan your trip of a life time.