This is a guest posting by the great people of BMW of Bloomington. Thank you for this wonderful infographic!
How to Travel with Social Responsibility
As the tourism and travel industry grows, so to is our responsibility towards our fellow humans whom we meet while we are far from home. Even if we simply go to a luxurious beach side resort with no need to leave it to visit the surrounding community, our visiting a destination makes an impact. Here at Rasmussen Travels, we take great care in achieving towards a better place when we leave than when we arrive, if only in a small way. Through Rasmussen Cares, Social Responsibly is one of our core values. Therefore, it is our responsibility to make that impact a positive one and to leave a sustainable footprint behind us.
You really should research into where you are going. Get to know it. Know the local customs, brush up on basic phrases in the local language, understand the culture, etc.
Best practices for this? Find a travel guide for the destination, such as at a library, your local travel agent, or Random Wanders. Be sure to be familiar with acceptable attire, greetings, and other cultural variances. This can be done alongside meal planning, tourist locations, etc, or getting ready for your Bon Voyage with Rasmussen Travels, who does that planning for you.
These are things we try to do when planning a tour, and something you can do when you travel as well:
- Stay in locally owned and operated hotels. – This is also a benefit to having a small tour like Rasmussen Travels, but they are still hard to find. This helps maintain jobs in the locality, and the capital, being locally owned, stays in the locality as opposed to going off to Denham, UK (if owned by the InterContinental Hotel Group), Bethesda, MD (if owned by Marriott), etc. This helps to keep their local economy going, and helps to grow their standard of living.
- Use reusable items and reduce water and energy consumption. – This is something you can also practice at home. Drink water out of a reusable bottle, do not throw out your towel after one use, ask if you can have your drinks served in your reusable cups (if they primarily serve disposable cups, like in coffee shops), and bring a reusable shopping bad.
- Contribute to the local economy. – When travelling, you are going to want to get souvenirs. Try to get them from shops that are locally owned. Buy art made by local artists. Eat at local restaurants. Drink at local cafés and bars.
- Donate wisely. – Avoid giving money directly to children or others. Instead, reach out to local non-profits such as local food pantries, churches, outreach programs, etc.
- Respect the wildlife. – If you are in nature reserves, national parks, or the like, stay on the designated tours. Also, do not buy souvenirs made with parts from endangered plants and/or animals.
Rasmussen Travels tries to uphold its social responsibility by using its profits to give to invest in its trip destinations and in the local community we call home, and we encourage you to do the same.
When travelling as a group within the United States and Canada, it is substantially cheaper to drive to your destination instead of fly. Actually, I rather enjoy the drive. Since you lose a day or two of vacation after spending most of those hours in security check points, waiting at the terminal, etc. You might as well spend the time seeing the landscape, meeting the small town locals, and enjoying local cuisine along the way. As the Emerson stated, it is not the destination, it is the journey.
However, driving long periods of time increases your chances of driver fatigue, especially when driving at night. Driving fatigued is no funny business. Approximately 72,000 crashes, including approximately 800 deaths are to driving fatigued. The DOT tries to combat this by imposing regulations on commercial driving. Passenger drivers must have an 8 consecutive hour rest after driving no more than 10 hours.
Of course, being a group of friends or a family means the regulations do not apply to you, but it is a good regulation to live by. After all, nothing will derail the vacation completely than an accident due to driver fatigue. Here I have a few tips:
Having a “co-pilot” on any drive more than 2 hours is essential. This co-pilot should also stay awake with the driver, and help ensure the driver does not fall asleep.
- For any trip more than 6 hours, split the driving time with the co-pilot. Also, stay awake when you are in the role as co-pilot
- For any trip more than 12 hours, get a room about half way. Grab dinner there, and go to sleep, and continue your journey the next morning.
- Coffee is your friend. Good coffee is even better. Save yourself the crap the gas stations try to pass as coffee and brew your own iced coffee to bring with you. Fan of energy drinks? Try those as well, but be sure to watch out for the “crash” after it wears off.
Driving is a great way to not waste time at the airport, and to enjoy more of the journey to your vacation. It is generally cheaper, yet provides so much more in value. Drivers fatigue will ultimately ruin any good vacation, so do yourself a favour and rest.