The purpose of
volunteering is to make a positive contribution to the local community and
environment – also to have a great experience! By travelling responsibly, you can minimise
any negative impact and have a
successful, fulfilling and inspiring experience which you’ll remember
Since 1994, Travellers has worked closely with our projects
to try to ensure that we provide volunteers and services who will have a
positive impact on their communities. To this end, we select our projects
carefully, working only with organisations who benefit from the help our
volunteers can provide them and the resources that Travellers provides.
doesn't stop there ... We also try to educate our volunteers on how to
have maximum positive impact without inadvertently having a negative impact
by their actions while they're in their host countries.
Travellers' Responsible Travel Policy
Below are some
tips for travelling responsibly which we hope you’ll take on board. Many are
common sense and have as much to do with your safety as with respecting your
Travel light – not only is this easier but it will reduce
harmful emissions on all forms of transport.
Look into the possibility of carbon neutralising your flight.
Take a look at the following websites:
These are websites where you can calculate the carbon emissions from your
flight, and gives you their estimate of how much it would cost to offset the
CO2 emissions. The money is then donated to relevant projects around the
world to ‘carbon neutralise’ the flight. For example, London HR –
Johannesburg (return) = 2.62 tonnes of CO2, which they estimate will cost £19.66 (approx US$35) to carbon neutralise – which is not a huge amount
of money, but it does address a huge issue. Your payment will fund projects
that reduce emissions by the same amount as your share of the flight
creates, making your flight climate neutral. Climate Care funds projects
such as renewable energy and reforestation which either reduce emissions at
source or absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Please note that Travellers is
not endorsing these websites, we merely offer them as ones to look at.
Conserve and, where possible, minimise consumption of
resources such as water, food and energy.
Do not leave litter. Take your rubbish home with you if it
can’t be properly disposed of along your way.
Purify your water and re-fill a bottle rather than buying and
throwing away a new one every day.
Use environmentally friendly toiletries and cleaning products
(which might be washed down the drain into local people’s water supply).
If bathing or swimming, do this downstream from water
Use the toilet facilities available. If you are trekking or
out in the bush, always bury or burn your waste and ensure that it is at
least 100m away from trails and waterways.
that you want to share the local community's goal of sustaining their
natural surroundings, not disrupt or destroy it through ignorance.
In the wild, listen and respect your local guide at all
times. They are there for your safety and can teach you a tremendous amount!
Stick to existing trails and keep an eye on your feet to keep
erosion to a minimum (and of course to avoid getting lost!)
Do not touch any local flora, fauna and do not remove or
purchase natural objects such as shells, rocks and corals.
Don’t buy wild animal products such as skins, bone or ivory.
Similarly do not purchase wooden products which require the destruction of
woodland to produce.
Never touch or approach wild animals beyond the recommended
distance. Also do not use a flash which may startle when photographing the
Be flexible, be professional and be responsible – and
remember that all this will not stop you from having lots of fun!
Do some research before you leave: read through your
Travellers up-to-date placement, project, country and safety books – the
more you know about your country before you arrive, the quicker you’ll
settle in and adapt to the local way of living.
Observe and respect local cultures, religions, traditions and
norms. Use your common sense and educate yourself as to what’s considered
polite and what is not – especially things like eating, saying hello and
Dress appropriately – take your cue from the locals and try
not to stand out as a brash or disrespectful foreigner.
Don’t flash large amounts of money about. It's not only
dangerous, it can also greatly upset those around you who are not as
fortunate as you.
Try to learn a few words of the local language – even just
‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ will get you a long way and will gain you respect
from the local people.
Ask permission before taking photos of local people or
Buy locally made crafts and support local businesses and
tradespeople where possible.
Learn if/when and how to bargain with vendors
Keep value of money (both yours and theirs!) in perspective.
For example, over-tipping, or giving away money, may seem kind to you, but
it can upset the local balance and have a tremendously negative effect on
individuals in the community, and sometimes even on the entire community.
Find out from your Project Manager or local guide appropriate
responses to begging in your area.
Relax and be open to a different pace of life!
that we are not perfect. If you can think of any ways in which we can
improve our responsible travel then please get in touch and let us know!