Good preparation is half the job! If you want to get the most out of your travels, prepare yourself well: get guidebooks about the destination and look up information via the internet. Immerse yourself in advance in the country you are going to, this also increases the holiday fun and does not leave you with unpleasant surprises.
In addition to the standard travel information in travel guides, you can also learn more about the culture, politics and lifestyle of a country by reading books and articles about it. For example, read a book by a journalist based in the country concerned. Travel stories can also be informative. If you go to China, be sure to read Jung Chang’s book “Wild Swans” to learn more about China’s ancient culture.
The Internet is an inexhaustible source of information, also when it comes to sustainable tourism. On the internet you can search for tour operators, accommodation options, excursion options, etc., that deal with nature, the environment and the local population in a good way. Also, check whether they are certified, have an ecolabel. There is also a variety of websites that specialize in all kinds of aspects of sustainable tourism. On the ‘links’ page you will find an extensive selection of these. If you desire, you can read them before you travel.
Learn some words and phrases in the language of your travel destination. For example, local greeting rituals and ways to say thank you. This is very much appreciated by the waiter in the restaurant, the driver of the taxi and the receptionist at the hotel. It also makes it easier for you to get in touch with the people you meet during your holiday.
Book your trip with a travel agency and / or tour operator that pays attention to environmental issues and human rights in the country and offers sustainable travel. Do they work with local agents, hotel owners and tour companies? Do they support projects that benefit the local population and / or nature? Ask for this to be able to make a responsible choice.