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How to raise responsible travellers

Travel should be more than just ticking off a destination on a list. For families, it should be as much about learning about and experiencing new cultures and ways of life. Here are a few tips on teaching your kids to travel responsibly.

1. Get them involved

Encourage your kids to be part of the planning process. Children will love being involved and it provides an opportunity for parents to explain both the positive and negative effects travel can have.

2. Learn the lingo

Try learning some of the basic phrases or words of the language before you get there. Duolingo is a fun interactive app that will teach you any language step by step.

3. Give a little

With many organisations on offer, families can volunteer to help communities in need on their travels. This ranges from building a home to reading to kids in a school.

4. Be ethical

Before your holiday, do your research so you can support 100 per cent ethical businesses. Avoid those that exploit animals.

5. Be polite

Encourage the kids to research any appropriate gestures in the country you’re visiting. Something as simple as a peace sign could have a totally different, and offensive, meaning elsewhere.

6. Always ask

Never snap a photo of someone without asking their permission as in some cultures it is a violation of their beliefs.

7. Dress respectfully

Teach the kids to dress appropriately at religious sites and in more modest destination countries. If in doubt, cover up.

8. Support local communities

Support local businesses, eat local food and use local services so your tourist dollar stays in the community.

9. Go green

Choose transport, restaurants and accommodations that are eco-friendly.

10. Avoid waste

Reuse towels and bed linen in hotel rooms and avoid wasting water and using plastic at all costs.

This article appeared in volume 54 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

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