Backpacking around new countries is one of the best experiences in life, it’s impossible not to feel inspired after some time exploring other cultures and meeting new people. When doing that, you can keep a few things in mind to be a nice fellow traveler to anyone you cross paths with. So here’s a list of 6 actions you can adopt while traveling to make yours and other traveler’s adventures more enjoyable:
Look at the people, not your phone
One of the best parts of travelling is meeting new people and learning about other cultures and lifestyles. It’s important to be open to the unknown during your adventures abroad, being a nice fellow backpacker requires an approachable attitude. Don’t worry if you don’t connect with all the people you meet, it’s totally normal and we all have different personalities, but be open to start conversations and leave at any minute if you don’t feel comfortable with it anymore.
Staying in hostels with shared common areas is a great way to connect with other travellers, make sure to check at the reception for any group tours or events happening during the time of your visit. Forget your phone for a while and focus on living amazing stories that can be shared with your friends at home.
Know your limits when drinking and partying
Ruining your friend’s night out because you drank too much is never fun, so when travelling abroad make sure to respect your limits and be mindfull when drinking alcohol. Every person has different drinking tolerance so always keep yours in mind and switch to water as soon as you feel like you have had enough. As a nice fellow traveller it’s important to remember that everyone in that space wants to enjoy their time too.
Get into the ‘Leave no trace’ mindset
As a backpacker it is important to have a more eco-friendly attitude towards the planet and its natural resources. All small and big actions can cause an impact in the world - immediately and in the future - and travelling has been proven to badly footprint the environment when done carefuless. A sustainable traveller will try to minimize the negative effects tourism can cause in big or small communities around the world.
A good way to be a nice fellow backpacker to future travellers and the environment is following the “Leave no Trace” mindset, that suggests seven main principles:
- Always plan ahead of your trips and prepare;
- Respect Farm animals, Wildlife, and their habitats;
- Use durable sources when camping and traveling;
- Leave any natural things you find where they belong, don’t take anything with you; Dispose of any waste appropriately in a correct place;
- Be considerate of others visiting the place with you, and after you;
- Avoid using fire and always minimize its effects when in use.
Be mindful of the spaces you are sharing with others
When backpaking it’s coomom to share spaces with others such as bedrooms, bathroomns and kitchen. Be mindifull of these areas when using it, so you are not leaving your dishes or spare food in places where other guests might make their meals too. If you are staying in a shared room and usually use an alarm to wake up, keep the sound on minimal or, if possible, use only the vibration option. Avoid making too much noises or turning the lights on when arriving from a night out. A good fellow traveller is the one that keeps in mind how their small actions might affect others and try to minimize these impacts.
Learn to deal with unforeseen situations
Travelling often involves dealing with unforeseen situations, it is important to observe how these situations can affect your mood and your experience as a backpacker and learn new ways to deal with them. Keeping a positive mindset when confronted with unexpected circumstances can help not only you but other travelers sharing that experience. Most things are out of our control and once you learn to dance with the flow these situations can be taken more lightely and sometimes can present new opportunities.
Be respectful with other cultures
Before traveling to somewhere new, make sure to spend some time researching local customs and traditions. It is a sign of respect to follow what the locals are used to, and this will definitely make you a better fellow traveler. If there are things you don’t agree with that’s ok, but remember that all places have different backgrounds and you are there visiting their home, so always be respectful of that and try to leave any judgmental attitude out of it.
There you have it, 6 small things that you can start using on your next trip to make it an even nicer experience - for you and others. Are there any other actions one can take to be a better fellow traveler? :)