There are numerous “hacks” when it comes to being a better traveler. Getting the best deals, navigating airports efficiently and other in-the-know tricks are important, but there is a piece of travel that is just as important: How to be a kinder traveller.
This goes beyond patience and basic manners. A kinder traveler is more mindful and shows genuine interest in the people he/she interacts with and shows respect for the places he/she wants to preserve.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can be a kinder traveler:
Address people by their names
People love it when you recognize and treat them as unique personalities. Nothing is more unique to a person than the person’s name. When you address someone by their name, they will appreciate the gesture. Therefore, learn how to remember the name of that bus driver, that waiter, that ticket seller, etc.
Offer compliments, verbally or otherwise
Offer compliments and be genuine. Compliments motivate people and make them want to do more. You can write notes. If writing a note slips your mind while on vacation, the appreciation for email or snail mail is just as strong. Send a “thank you” note. It will feel really authentic and genuine and the recipient will remember it for a long time.
It is cool to have a list of attractions to visit but you should try to go beyond the bucket-list checkmarks.
Heather Arnold, the owner of Routes Bicycle Tours of New Mexico is credited with the statement that, “A kind traveler is always respectful and curious about the cultural significance of the places and people they visit.”
Achieving this requires some effort. This can prove to be difficult, nevertheless, establishing these roots will ultimately allow you to better embrace the ‘spirit’ of a place.
On a similar note, you should learn the language or pick up some common phrases. The people will be pleasantly surprised to hear you try to speak their language. Your effort will be appreciated. With the different varieties of translation apps readily available, you don’t have any excuse for not trying.
Make conservation efforts
It is understandable that now more than ever, there are trade-offs involved in travelling, and our curiosity to see the world comes with a footprint. So take only memories, leave only footprints.
Being conscientious of this helps us become kinder travellers. You need to be sensitive to conservation efforts. If you are travelling to Hawaii for instance, you must understand that water is considered sacred. Water is considered to be a gift from heaven that must not be wasted so you should not leave the faucet running, throw the trash into streams, and you should endeavour to pick up trash anywhere you see it.
Remember the art of small talk
It is a kind thing to master the art of conversation with the people you come across.
“I always think it is very kind of the guests to ask me to join them for a glass of wine during their stay or event,” said Mimi VanDyk, the catering and conference services manager at the Harvest Inn in St. Helena, Calif. Tourists/travellers who do this show that they truly appreciate the service delivery and are trying to build on the relationship.
Be nice to people, ask them questions, ask about their hobbies, likes, and dislikes, get them talking and don’t interrupt them. When you do this, they will love being around you.
Now you know how to be a kinder traveller. To be a kinder traveller, just be kind, exude good virtues and your travel experience will become awesome.