The concern over whether you packed your sunscreen and bathing suit, may be taking the backburner to more important concerns this travel season. Created in 1996, travel writer Jeff Greenwald formed a group called The Ethical Traveler "to use the economic clout of tourism to protect human rights and the environment,” and budget travel has come out with tips that are going to help vacationers be culturally considerate. First, visit ethical destinations. The organization has compiled a list of the 10 nations that are doing the most work toward environmental and human rights protection. Argentina, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Latvia, Lithuania, Palau, Poland, and Uruguay made the 2011 list.
Another tip from The Ethical Traveler is to buy local. One of the most respectful things to do on vacation is respect the population, and spend your money on local food, local accommodations, and shop at local markets. Steering clear of spending money on large chain hotels and restaurants shows the locals that you are interested in helping their economy.
Flipping through a guidebook about the city or country you are visiting can assist in respecting and understanding the culture you are visiting.