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4 Ways To Support Local Communities During Your Travels

When you travel the world, you have an amazing opportunity to give back to the local communities that you visit. Many of them will rely on tourism to get by, so your small purchases here and there can add up to a real boost for the individuals who live there. Use these four ideas to support communities, rather than lining the pockets of international businesses.

1. Shop at Markets

A very easy way to directly give back to local people is to visit a local market. This is a really fun experience and is often a great way to get to know the area, simply by seeing what is on sale and how the market stall owners act. You can usually find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, to street food, to clothing and jewellery, to handmade crafts. Instead of going to supermarkets or shops to buy your food, consider buying fresh ingredients or street food at these stalls. You can also pick up your souvenirs here, instead of going into gift stores which are owned by big companies.

2. Stay Local

Don’t go to book in to a big resort or an international hotel chain. Instead, choose to rent a room in the local area which is owned by an individual, not a corporation. This way, the money that you spend on your accommodation goes to this person, not to a company which might have its headquarters in a different country. You can also get a more authentic experience if you choose this option. You will be staying within the community itself instead of in a gated-off resort, and you may even be able to interact with your landlord to get tips on the best places to go.

4 Ways To Support Local Communities During Your Travels

3. Try Local Delicacies

When you go out to eat, consider trying the foods which are popular in this country as local delicacies. There are sure to be plenty of restaurants and cafes serving the local style, and these are bound to be better for the community. While many restaurants in the area may be independently owned, eating local delicacies does not only support the community, but also the local culture. You are voting with your wallet to say that their culture should be continued and maintained, rather than giving way to commercialised tourist options.

4. Plan your Own Trip

When you visit a new place, it’s easy to sign up for a lot of tours through your holiday operator and just follow along blindly. On the other hand, you could plan your own trip, which will give you a lot more opportunities to really experience the local culture. Tours are often very commercialised and give more money to the operator than to the local people. If you don’t like exploring by yourself, you can always hire a local guide who will show you everything from an insider’s point of view. This is much more exciting than going on the same tours as everyone else. Not only that, but you are directly providing employment to locals, and giving them the full fee rather than paying most of it to an operator.

4 Ways To Support Local Communities During Your Travels

There are lots of ways to give back to communities while you travel, but the most important thing is to keep it in mind at all times. Before you book any part of your next trip, ask yourself: is there something I could do differently which would help the local people to thrive, preserving this destination’s culture for travellers who will come in the future? If the answer is yes, you should do it.

A Memorable Train Journey

It has been several months since you took your kids to visit their grandmother in Jaipur, perhaps. Life in Delhi is not at all simple, and every day is a race against time. You finally realize that you can get a 20-day break in the following month, and lastly decide that it is now the best time to travel to Bangalore.

You now will look at the different modes of transport to reach the Pink City, Jaipur.

  • By air – It tends to go beyond your budget
  • By bus/car – the distance is too high, hence not feasible
  • By train – generally an over-night.

After discussing with a few people in your friend’s circle, you realize that traveling by train is probably the best option. You perform extensive research and jot down all the Delhi to Jaipur trains. You go to the station, buy your tickets, and get access to your PNR. After checking your PNR a few hours later, you realize that your ticket is waitlisted. You return to work, and not bother about your ticket. After a few days, you decide to check the status of your PNR. For this, you need not go back to the railway station. You just check with some app and see that your tickets are finally confirmed.

On the day of the journey, you enter your coach, which is an AC Sleeper – class. Your wife and kids love your choice. The interiors are maintained very well; the seats are clean, the blankets and pillows provided are dust-free. A friendly waiter hands you your water bottle. You tell your wife that this is the fastest train in the nation. The train starts to move, and your kids are excited about the sudden acceleration and increasing speed. The train chugs along, as it begins its long journey to the South. You put on your earphones and take a nap.

Not too long later, you are woken up to have your meal. The dishes taste delicious, and the quality of the food is a class apart. The train is still moving at a breakneck speed. You use the washroom, only to notice that the restrooms are kept sparkling clean. You do not feel one bit uncomfortable while using the well-maintained toilets of the train.

After night approaches, the lights are turned off. The entire coach is asleep. You wake up fresh the next day and decide to wander around a bit. You take your kid to the pantry car and buy him some snacks. After another long day, the train finally arrives at the Jaipur City Junction. You de-board the train and book a cab to go to your relative’s house.

There were no hurdles or hiccups during the entire journey. Your family was comfortable all throughout, and it was overall a great experience traveling by train. Well, this is what the Railways Department wants, and hopes for – customer satisfaction. The department is giving everything possible to make the journey of each and every passenger as peaceful as ever.