Treading Lightly

Gentle Footprints

We all love travel, but we're also extremely aware of its social and environmental impact. Because of this, we are committed to making only gentle footprints in the countries we explore. By keeping our groups small, supporting local and global charitable causes and approaching all that we do ethically, we're able to minimise any adverse effects of our activities.

 

Our Top 10 Tips

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Do your homework

Find out a little about the history and culture of the country you are going to be visiting. Look at a map, read a guidebook or call us if you have any major concerns. Their concepts of time or of what is important may be wildly different to what you are used to. Making the effort to learn a few words of the local language will usually go a long way. And don’t forget, the reason you left home in the first place was to experience something different.

 

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Avoid displays of wealth

 Being able to afford an airline ticket is enough to show your relative wealth. Keep your valuables in a safe place until it is appropriate to use them, or leave them at home in the first place.


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Bargaining

 Don’t pay inflated tourist prices just because something might be relatively cheap and not worth the effort of bargaining for - this may well be against local practice and push prices and local expectations up. Bear in mind that what is a small amount to you, may be an important sum to the seller. Equally, don’t drive a hard bargain just because you can. Pay a fair price. Tip what is reasonable locally, not at the Ritz. Again, your tour leader will be able to give you advice.


 

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Pack in, pack out

Don’t leave anything you brought with you on the trail, including fruit peelings and seeds, which take a long time to decompose and may result in the inadvertent introduction of non-indigenous plant species. Litter is both unsightly and can harm local wildlife, and a discarded cigarette can be a serious fire hazard. Don’t bring in what you don’t need in the first place; unnecessary packaging can be left at home. When on he trail or relaxing on the beach, if you see discarded bottles, plastic or general waste, feel free to pick it up and bin it.

 

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Personal hygiene

Adapt the rules of personal hygiene to the environment you are visiting. When trekking in wild places, you don’t need to wash your hair every day. Use detergents as little as possible to protect sensitive environments and local water supplies. Sometimes it’s OK to forego your daily bath or shower, look a little windswept or have a couple of days’ stubble on your face. If water supplies are limited, use only enough to stay clean.

 

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Local sanitation

Comply with local sanitation requirements. We are so used to being able to flush more or less anything down the toilet that we forget, that in many countries, this is not a practical proposition. Observe local rules and if in doubt "Bag It and Bin It - Don’t Flush It!"

 

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Local dress codes

Be sensitive to and comply with local customs and dress codes. Information on key local codes should be on your holiday information sheet but make sure you do your own research too.

 

 

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Photos

There is so much to see and capture on film! And in this digital age it is so easy to take multiple photographs but please always ask permission before taking pictures of local people to avoid causing offence.

 

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Don’t encourage begging

 If you want to give gifts, ask your tour leader for advice on what would be appropriate and how to go about it.


 

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The World Around Us

 The world is over-polluted with discarded single-use plastic items, so we encourage you to consider taking a re-usable filtered water bottle on your holiday, a tupperware container for your picnic lunches, taking a spork or cutlery from home and saying no to plastic straws in your drinks.


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