What is a GOOD traveller?

Eliza Raymond
Jul 23, 2023

We loved every single response. Some aligned nicely with the #TravelEnjoyRespect theme from the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Others did a great job of highlighting the potential for travel to have a positive impact on the traveller and to change the way we perceive the world and our place in it.

And this one, well, you can't help but love it! A great philosophy for travel - and life.

When we brought all the post-it notes together, we were able to group them into three themes, which just so happen to also be the three pillars of GOOD Travel - social, economic and environmental GOOD. For each pillar, we've shared three quotes - please contact us if you'd like to see the full list.

                       Environmental                                                           Social                                                              Economic

The environmental pillar came through strongly. There was some great advice that emerged around how to minimise your carbon footprint when you travel and how to ensure that you don't damage the local environment.

Travel on the ground, not in the sky. – Unknown
Minimise your impact on the environment – choose activities that don’t damage the earth. – Katharine 
Bring re-useable products, like a coffee cup, on your holiday since you’ll eat out more. – Laura 

On the social side, we saw a lot of comments about respecting local cultures, acknowledging that you are visiting someone else's home and taking time to get to know local people.

Respect the local customs. – Aneesha
Respect the locals – it’s your holiday but their home. -  Sarah
Exchange understandings of where you come from and where you are visiting. – Unknown

There were also some great reflections on how to ensure you have a positive economic impact on the places you visit.

Make every dollar you spend a vote for the future you wish for – support GOOD businesses that respect people and the environment. – Katharine 
Try not to over-spend time in one spot. Spread it out and flow around more. – K Stuart
Research tourism and support eco/sustainable tourism rather than industry tourism. – Jerry

We've brought together all the information we collected on World Tourism Day and combined it with tips from our partners, to develop our Top 10 tips for being a GOOD traveller. We look forward to reviewing and adding to these tips every World Tourism Day. We'd also love to hear your thoughts - so please add your tips in the comments section!

Top 10 tips for being a GOOD traveller

  1. Leave only footprints: Minimise the waste you leave behind and reduce your carbon footprint by making thoughtful choices about where you travel and how you travel.
  2. Carbon offset: Once you've worked out how to minimise your carbon footrprint, make sure you offset the rest. CarbonFund.org provides a great tool to help you calculate and offset your impact.
  3. Respect your hosts: Remember you are visiting someone else's home. Ensure you research the local history, culture and customs, so that you behave appropriately. Do not take photos without permission, learn some of the local language and follow cultural dos and don'ts.
  4. Be a ChildSafe traveller: Don't give money to street children and ensure you're a ChildSafe traveller by reading these tips. good-travel.org/blog/childsafe
  5. Enjoy the differences: Don't expect everything to be exactly the same as at home. Enjoy the differences and make the most of the opportunity to experience different lifestyles and perspectives.
  6. Reflect, then invest: If you come across a social or environmental issue that upsets you while you travel, take time to think about how you can best make an effective contribution towards addressing that issue. Remember that you're probably only seeing the surface of the issue so it may be best to invest in a local NGO that understands the local context and is in a position to develop a long-term solution.
  7. Support GOOD businesses: Make every dollar you spend a vote for the future you wish for. Whether you're buying a new backpack before you travel or trying to find somewhere to stay on your trip, do your research to ensure you are supporting businesses that share your values.
  8. Stay local, eat local, travel local: By staying in locally-owned accommodation, eating in local restaurants and travelling with local public transport, you’ll help ensure your dollars stay in the country you’re visiting. You'll also have more opportunities to get to know local people and have a more authentic experience.
  9. Create demand for GOOD: One of the most powerful actions we can take as consumers is to ask questions about the things we care about. Before booking a hotel or tour, ask about their sustainability policies and other issues you care about.
  10. Share the GOOD you discover: If you're inspired by some GOOD that you discover on your travels, write about it on TripAdvisor and tell GOOD Travel so that we can share with other travellers.
July 23, 2023
5 min read