Conscious travel entails being aware of our surroundings and the people we meet along the way.
It’s about transforming our values and vision of the world by experiencing a destination through the eyes of a native.
The world is changing as people’s perspectives shift. People are becoming more cognizant of authentic experiences, immersing themselves in their environment to form longer-lasting connections and develop a deeper grasp of the world.
The purpose of conscious travel is to build a sustainable travel industry that gives back to communities.
Traveling mindfully has a good impact on the environment and enriches the lives of everyone we meet along the route, one footprint at a time, whether via wellness and spirituality, eco or sustainable travel.
As travel becomes increasingly popular, it is critical to understand how to travel mindfully.
The pandemic has served as a wake-up call for many of us. It has caused us to pause and take a long, hard look in the mirror. We’ve been challenged to examine our routines, lifestyles, relationships, and actions.
We need to instill more love in our daily lives. We need to be more aware. This extends to our travel habits. Conscious Travel is more than just a buzzword; it represents the industry’s future.
So, before you pack your luggage (we hear you, we’re itching to go on vacation as well), let’s explore what it means to travel mindfully.
What is Conscious Travel?
If you search up the word “Conscious” in any dictionary, you’ll find a meaning that alludes to the concept of awareness.
You are fully aware of your ideas, feelings, and environment while you are conscious—you are awake.
The practice of mindfulness takes this concept a step farther. Mindfulness entails being completely immersed in the present moment and accepting everything, good and unpleasant.
Empathy meets discovery in conscious travel. It helps people to consider their journey in a broader context.
It necessitates that we have a clear reason for traveling, that we study and comprehend its influence, and that we actively choose to see the globe in a meaningful, intentional manner.
Many people travel simply because they can. Often without regard for how their actions affect the people, communities, or environments they visit.
Because vacation can and should be more than drinking cocktails in a five-star all-inclusive resort while waiting for room service. Travel can be life-changing. Not only for us, but also for the locals and the native wildlife.
Responsible travel is conscious travel. It pushes us to seek out genuine experiences, make genuine friendships, and explore new areas without negatively harming them. It enables us to make a good difference.
Why Is Conscious Travel Important?
Travel and tourism generate nearly $2.9 trillion globally, however not all areas benefit from the money generated by tourists.
Tourism can harm local communities by pricing inhabitants out of their houses, goods, or services when prices rise to accommodate tourists.
In the meantime, occupations can be seasonal, and employees may earn less than the minimum wage. Profits are typically distributed to larger foreign corporations that may not have sustainable practices, implying that the local community does not profit.
We’re not arguing for avoiding traveling when we talk about mindful travel; rather, we’re talking about how we may streamline and route our travels to help those who need it the most.
It all comes down to being aware of our actions, purchases, and interactions with people. It is our responsibility to know where our money is going.
Consider your mode of transportation carefully; it can have a significant impact on the environment. Choose eco-friendly accommodations and treat your hotel as if it were your house in terms of power, water consumption, and towel usage. Furthermore, you may avoid making a lot of plastic waste if you always bring a small foldable shopping bag with you to use for your groceries or other purchases on your vacation.
These are just a few examples of how you may make deliberate choices while traveling to ensure you are a courteous traveler who actively contributes to the locations you visit. With only a few deliberate choices, you can truly make a difference and improve the lives of others all around the world.
There are numerous platforms and apps that might assist you in traveling more mindfully. If you want to go to the gym to stay active, an app like TrainAway is a terrific way to support local gyms.
Local gyms can help travelers work out, keep fit, and burn off those extra calories consumed on their trip.
A day pass to the local gym is also a far better option than going for a run in a new location or attempting to work out in your hotel room.
Visiting a local gym is also a fantastic opportunity to learn about new machines and techniques, as well as meet other fitness aficionados.
It is a method to be both conscientious and healthy because it helps local companies by allowing you to acquire guest access to local fitness facilities for a day, three days, or a week at a reasonable price.
As a result, you can be certain that your money is benefiting the local community.
The increase in mindful travel could not have occurred at a better moment. According to Exodus Travels data, 78 percent of tourists consider themselves to be more “ethically conscious” than they were a decade earlier.
Participants in the same poll classified an ethical trip as one in which they learnt about the culture, learned short phrases in the destination’s language, and purchased souvenirs from local merchants.
Thus, conscious travel is a means to meet tourists’ growing desire to give back in an ethical manner.
According to an Economist Impact poll of 4,500 people in nine Asia-Pacific nations, including India, travelers are more actively focused on providing positive and empowering experiences for the communities they visit. Airbnb, an online board and lodging company, commissioned the study.
According to the report, 79% of Indian travelers prefer to travel in ways that assist local communities both economically and socially. While 58% of Indian travelers believe it is critical that they do not contribute to situations such as ‘overtourism,’
“People are increasingly thinking about how they can utilize travel to make a positive impact on the places they visit,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager – Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
“We are witnessing the birth of a new type of ‘responsible travel,’ which will benefit communities across India in novel ways,” Bajaj concluded.
The top two most essential features of sustainable travel for those polled were creating equal outcomes and revenue for locals, as well as engaging in new social activities and meaningful connections.
It is critical to distinguish between being helpful to a certain community and performing heroic acts for attention. Because of the expanding “voluntourism” trend, you may see white westerners posing with African youngsters on social media, which NPR defined as the “white-savior complex”. There is a sense of humility and benevolence inherent in conscious travel, thus utilizing locals as props for your social media feeds has no place.
With that in mind, consider how adopting the “conscious traveler” mindset may help to make the world a better place.
How Would You Describe A Socially Conscious Traveler?
Finally, a socially conscious traveler considers and researches the cultural, environmental, and economic ramifications of their travel decisions.
They are deliberate, thoughtful, and mindful. They are concerned with broad concerns such as human rights, ethical labor conditions, gender equality, and the environment.
If you wish to be socially conscious, try asking yourself the following questions before starting your travel,
- – Am I supporting local businesses and local tour operators?
- – Who is my money actually going to?
- – How can I be respectful when I’m at my location?
- – Are there cultural behaviors that I need to be aware of?
- – Is my accommodation eco-friendly?
- – Are there ecotourism activities I can participate in?
- – How will my actions impact this community?
- – What can I learn from this experience?
- – Should I travel now or should I wait until the off-season?
- – How can I give back to this community?
- – What shall I take with me to ensure I leave little or no trace?
- – Is this destination suffering from overcrowding or over-tourism?
- – If I join this volunteer experience, am I being helpful or harmful?
- – Where can I buy local, in-season, sustainable food from?
- – How can I support my local community as well as those abroad?
That should give you a starting point. But really, as long as you put some thought into your travel plans when you make them, you will be on the right track. Conscious Travel is all about your mindset.
How Can Business Experience Influence Conscious Travel?
While many passengers are eager to arrange vacations and visits following months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, their needs have irrevocably changed.
How can businesses rise to the occasion when financial constraints force resources to go further to reach customers and provide the experience that passengers increasingly demand?
We assist travel companies in developing the appropriate approach across channels to create safe, secure, and seamless experiences—from booking through arrival and beyond—that provide the experience that travelers and employees have been missing during the pandemic.
Business Experience enables productive functioning under limited budget limits by utilizing technology that allows you to achieve more with less.
BX enables travel enablers to return to growth while navigating any uncertainties that may arise. Business Experience enables you to reimagine how you attract clients, serve them, and cultivate their loyalty for repeat visits.
To provide a first-rate experience, all aspects of the traveler’s journey must collaborate—all while minimizing expenses and maintaining safety.
Travelers can share their health and other information related to their ability to travel with organizations they trust via a secure app on their mobile smartphone. Travelers have ownership over their data and can claim and share attestations with trusted entities.
Travelers can arrive at their destination with confidence, knowing that all fellow passengers have disclosed the necessary health and safety accreditations. The end result? The reintroduction of air transport while protecting the health and safety of passengers, employees, and citizens.
Business Experience (BX) can benefit the travel industry and aggravate Conscious Travel in the following ways,
Compliance Cost Reduction
By consistently verifying traveler compliance with entry rules, you can avoid suspension of flying privileges and fines for noncompliance. Cut operational costs by streamlining and automating passenger processes.
Traveler Experience That’s Hassle-free
Facilitating and confirming compliance with pre-travel health entrance criteria, as well as facilitating touchless travels, will reduce friction and increase pleasure.
Traveler Safety That’s Prioritized
Proactive health screening to catch sick travelers before they leave, as well as limiting dangers connected with physical checks that could aggravate pandemic transmission.
Empowering Travelers To Travel With Confidence
Comprehensive pre-travel testing will boost traveler confidence and decrease anxiety, resulting in more passengers and income.
Reduction of Public Health Risks
Allowing for the rapid deployment and efficient enforcement of travel health standards will lower the danger of disease importation and transmission to larger populations.
Beneficial To Economic and Social Factors
Replacing travel bans and cumbersome blanket quarantines with a customized, risk-based strategy will allow travel to resume, with significant advantages to the travel and transportation industry, the broader economy, and society.