How To Give Back When Traveling

Terra Explorer
January 6, 2022

There are many places worth visiting in the world, but sadly it isn’t possible to go to all of them. In fact, several destinations get very few visitors due to various factors, such as distance or inaccessibility. With this in mind, many travelers often ask the same question about community-based tourism: If no one is traveling, then how are communities dependent on this activity surviving?

As the advertising discourse around greener and fairer forms of consumption become quotidian and quaint thrift stores succeed fueled by an appetite for overly convenient guilt-free purchases, thousands of tourism-dependent families are currently facing decaying living conditions. Are we supposed to get all conscious, pack our bags and book a flight to, let’s say, Peru just for the sake of philanthropy? Well, no.

If anything, travel should remain far from the “I have to” and stay within the “I want to”. Still, we can’t ignore the obvious: there are communities at the mercy of voyagers. So what can we voyagers do? Well, here at Terra Explorer, we turned to our luxury travel experts to show us how to give back when traveling. Keep reading to learn more about it.

1. Community tourism is a must

Is there a better way of giving back than community-based tourism? Well, unless you’ve been hiding the cure for inequality, no. In the meantime, this is your next best recourse. Depending on the itinerary, one can spend hours or days ingesting newer and slower ways of living chaperoned by the ones who for generations have had, most of the time, a closer relationship with the environs and beings around them.

Community tourism is about harnessing a sense of community. Less “me” and more “us” —a distinct “us” that includes the flora and fauna with whom we cohabit. So this is certainly one of the most effective ways to give back when traveling!

Related: How your trip to Peru can be safer

2. Indulge in the unusual

mujer meditando

For instance, when traveling to Peru, veer off-piste and try things besides taking a tour to Machu Picchu or hiking the Inca Trail. Instead, indulge in activities not listed on the first three google search results. Maybe opt for a fishing session in the Andes or go on a Sacred Valley wellness retreat. The goal is to support the most affected enterprises—those who have lost the most customers. You get to choose which ones are the most attuned to your kind of leisure proclivities, so there is no losing. 

3. Make your trip a 2 for 1

If you plan to go to Galapagos, why not seize the long flight and casually add Peru (right next to Ecuador, conveniently) to the itinerary. Sure, you might need some extra days. But who isn’t craving long vacations after months of neglecting our traveling needs? Plus, we won’t be just pursuing our hedonistic desires; we will be filling in for the absent travelers. 😉

If time is short, then turn to your trusted travel consultant (even if their name is Google) for more at-hand ways to make your trip a two for one. We keep talking about Peru because it is what we know, but inadvertently you can render your culture trip to Machu Picchu into a beachy vacation, too. Not many people know this, but there are aquamarine beaches in northern Peru. A two for one!

Related: Top Three Beaches In Peru

4. The smaller the business, the better

This is pretty conspicuous and straight to the point. And although far away from home, Hilton and Belmond might seem like a safe bet, we assure you there are a bunch of small boutique hotels with the same—if not better—hospitality services that are worth a visit. The same goes for restaurants and shops. Ultimately, this is the key to supporting local communities, so why not give it a try?

Query locals on their favorites and blend them with the Tripadvisor acclaimed to create a fresher itinerary. Everyone argues for a more authentic experience when traveling. You have no excuse now!

5. Get all of your souvenirs from artisans


Most artisans won’t have a shiny store at the airport. So make sure to collect all of your souvenirs from artisan shops. What’s more, some of them offer classes! Imagine taking a pottery class from masterful crafters who keep ancient traditions alive and kicking.

Sidenote: For a safer trip, make sure to book through a travel agency when traveling abroad. Yes, travel agencies are not dead; they have just moved away from the mainstream and turned to more specialized and customized modes of traveling. Yet, in 2022 their years-in-the-making savoir-faire lends itself to soothe most of our woes. 

They harbor teams of local experts at every destination, flexible policies are in place, health insurance goes beyond simple coverage. Plus they keep close track of every COVID-19 restriction, regulation, and hotspot on every corner of the world because they have to. Forgoing and Airbnb is the right thing for now. You need a travel professional for your next trip. 

Now you know 5 ways to give back to travel destinations you care about! Make sure to follow the tips we shared in this article the next time you go on a trip. We hope this information has been useful to you!

If you are ready for your next custom holiday in Peru, make sure to contact us and dream away. Whatever it might be, from reckless rides through dunes in the desert to treks through snow-capped mountains, we have you covered.

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