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Responsible, Green, Sustainable… making sense of all the travel jargon

July 11, 2009

By Dian Hasan | July 10, 2009

Resonsible Travel_www.countrywalkers.com_Responsible Travel Peru

Making a personal impact through your travels. Photo:

Responsible Travel, Eco Travel, Sustainable Travel, Volunteer Travel, Humanitarian Travel… an endless array of terms that you are coming across more frequently. What do they all mean anyway? And how do I make a the right choice as a traveler if I want to do more than merely generate carbon emission because of my travel decision?
The following brief explanation on Responsible Travel may help you decide This is a directory of responsible travel holidays that may help you decide how and where to have a great responsible holiday.

The many fulfilling joys of Responsible Travel. Photo:

The many fulfilling joys of Responsible Travel. Photo:

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel means traveling in a new way, the responsible way meaning your travels are nor just to benefit yourself, it means to create benefit for the local people, the local environment and to help create sustainable tourism for the years to come..

The responsible traveler also wants to get more out of their travels to get to know the people, the culture and nature of their destination.

An eco- traveler is a traveler who respects and benefits the local people and the environment.

Tips for Responsible Travel

Responsible travel is about benefiting the local people and their environments when we visit and to enjoy a more authentic holiday which enables you to get a more out of your travel experience and to back the local people.

Here are some tips for your responsible travel experience:

  • Learn about the local culture before and during your trip
  • Show respect to the local cultures and traditions
  • Use environment friendly transportation as much as possible (such as public transport, a bicycle or just walk)
  • Do not waste water as its very precious in many countries for the local people.

The Responsible Traveler

The responsible traveler respects and benefits the local people and the local environment whilst traveling. Responsible travel is about getting to know the local cultures and environment in a more meaningful way. The responsible traveler travels in smaller groups which has a much smaller impact on the local environment and communities, and also enables you to meet local people in an easier and more gentle way.

Sustainable Travel

Sustainable Travel means to leave a positive impact on to the local people and the environment of destinations we travel to. As an industry, Sustainable Travel is committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income and employment for locals.

These are ways to contribute to Sustainable Travel:

  • Get to know and respect the local culture
  • Respect the local environment
  • Do not waste water
  • Buy locally made products to benefit the local people

Inspiration: Responsible Travel Abroad Blog

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2009 10:43 am

    With volunteer travel and gap year programs becoming increasingly popular, the choices of which organisation to approach or which project to join are becoming more and more difficult.

    The benefits to the local community of a worthwhile and sustainable volunteer project are enormous, equally, the benefits to the volunteer should not be overlooked. A volunteer project allows you to become part of a community and to really appreciate and understand another way of life. However, you need to be sure the work you are doing is needed and beneficial. A good website to take a look at whilst searching for volunteer travel programs is This lists the types of questions you should be asking any organisationg to ensure the work you will be doing is valuable, sustainable and worthwhile.

    Quest Overseas ( specialises in team gap year projects and expeditions in Africa and South America. We work very closely with local project partners and Quest4Change (the Quest Charitable Trust) to ensure our projects are needed and will be ongoing at times our volunteers are not in-country.

    • uniquetraveldestinations permalink*
      July 14, 2009 10:27 pm

      Hi Sarah, great hearing from you. Directly from the source, dealing w/ gap year students in voluntourism. I checked out your website, and you specialize in South America & Africa. You don’t have any programs in Asia?
      Let me know if there are any press releases that I can post in my blog, and/or any specific programs that I can blog about.
      Look forward to hearing from you.
      Dian ~ San Diego

  2. July 17, 2009 11:40 am

    Hi Dian,

    Its great to hear from you too. Unfortunately Quest Overseas and Quest4Change do not have any projects in Asia as we concentrate solely on a small number of projects in Africa and South America. We work with a small number of NGO project partners with whom we can cultivate strong links and ensure that the work our volunteers are involved with is both worthwhile and sustainable. It would be absolutely fantastic if you could blog about some of our volunteer programs! Below is some further information about just one of the projects we have in South America.

    Quest Overseas has been in operation since 1996 and we organise 3 month Gap Year adventures combining language learning, project work and an adventurous expedition, as well as shorter 6 week summer projects. Our longest running project works with children in Villa Maria, a large and extremely poor shanty town on the outskirts of Lima, Peru.

    The project was initially set up as an anti-drugs campaign to prevent more young children falling into a life of drugs, crime and gangs. Life in Villa Maria is extremely tough and families have very little. During the long Peruvian summer school holidays in January, February and March children in the shanty town are left unsupervised as parents work around the clock to earn money to survive. A lack of focus and attention means these children are extremely vulnerable. The Quest Overseas teams organise a program of sports and creative activities, ranging from swimming and football, to arts and crafts, dancing and theatre. These activities not only keep vulnerable children away from lure of drugs and crime, but also bring together communities across Villa Maria, encouraging good relationships within the local area. Depsite the huge difficulties facing them, the children are enthusiastic and truly inspiring to spend time with. Their attitude, even when faced with terrible hardships, really opens the eyes of those who volunteer at Villa Maria.

    Another aspect to the work in Villa Maria, which Quest Overseas volunteers are involved with, is the construction of simple housing to replace existing unsafe and unsanitary dwellings, mainly for single parent families whose accommodation tends to be in the most precarious. At times Quest volunteers are not in Villa Maria this housing project continues through the work of our local project partners, and the volunteers’ donations, fundraising efforts from past volunteers and the ongoing work of Quest4Change ensures this can happen.

    Funding from volunteer donations and the continued support of Quest4Change has allowed the purchase and of a pre-school in Villa Maria, offering subsidised pre-school education to many children in the area to whom this education would otherwise be unavailable.

    Prior to the 4 weeks project work, the Quest Overseas team have 3 weeks of intensive Spanish lessons to ensure that they can communicate as effectively as possible with the children and community in Villa Maria. This is key to the success of the project. Following the project work the team undertake a challenging 6 week expedition through Peru, Chile and Bolivia which is designed to push their boundaries and give them an insight into the best that South America has to offer. Highlights include sandboarding down some of the highest dunes in the world, exploring the Bolivian Amazon, ice climbing and the possibility of summiting a snow-covered peak, all culminating in a trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

    This is just one of the gap year projects we run in South America, all follow the same set up of a combination of language lessons, project work and expedition –If you are happy to blog something like this then that would be great, I am more than happy to send you information on any of the projects in either South America or Africa, or just use the information on our website –

    Looking forward to hearing from you.


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