Travelling with respect

Top Tips - 28/02/2024

Posted by William, 28th February 2024

 

Here at High Point Holidays, we wish to encourage behaviour that's respectful of both other people (both locals and other clients) and the regions where you are taking your walking holiday or tailor-made trip. Below you'll find a few ideas of how you can help to do your bit. You can find more information about our core values and our focus on sustainability on our company page.

 

Keeping it clean 

Don't leave any trace of your passage - with the possible exception of your positive impression on the people you meet and your imprints in the mud on our walking holidays! Make sure you don't leave any rubbish lying around (be careful when having lunch in windy conditions as plastic sacks can easily blow away) and take it away with you. Place rubbish in bins back at the car park or better still take it back to your hotel if you are on holiday or back home if you are on a day hike and recycle and compost where possible. You may wish to help by picking up existing litter on the walking trails, but this is entirely up to you. 

 

Respect the wildlife 

Avoid disturbing wildlife and damaging their natural habitats. Avoid making undue noise. Wild animals are not used to loud noises and it will cause them to move territory which in turn could disrupt their behaviour and even put their survival at risk. Don't pick flowers growing in the wild. Some flowers are rare and are protected species, so not only would you be helping to destroy a local habitat, but you could also be fined! Before you go on your walking trip, find out more information about the area you're going to and about the possible rules that govern your passage. Such rules may relate to it being forbidden to wild camp, light fires, etc. In addition, never enter areas that are fenced off. 

 

Communicating with the locals 

Learning a few words of the local language is a great way to break down barriers, improve your holiday experience and be as polite as you would be back at home. Hello, goodbye, please, thank you will help you go a long way. Talking with locals (whether that's your hosts at your guest house, a tour guide or someone you meet on the trail) is a great way to learn more about local customs, traditions and way of life, and you never know you might make new friendships which last beyond your holiday. In any case it will provide you with more lasting memories.

 

Taking photos 

Local people going about thier daily business can make for great photos, especially in cultures where the local dress is different to ours. However, just put yourself in their shoes, would you like it if someone took a photo of you in front of your house without asking! Probably not. Always ask permission before taking photographs. 

 

Stick to the paths 

Stay on the hiking paths. Walking outside of the marked routes can cause unnecessary erosion of the soil and lead to scarring the landscape. The reduction in plant cover in certain zones could also increase surface run-off and lead to problems of flooding. In addition, walking outside of the paths may harm plants and insects. Make sure that gates are closed behind you, so as to ensure that animals remain where they should be and also out of respect for the land owner. 

 

Local Customs 

Religious customs and local traditions are often specific to each country and are an essential part of the local way of life. It is important to familiarise yourself with the local people's dress codes and way of behaviour and not to wear clothes or make gestures or behave in such a way that would affend them. You are likely to receive a better welcome by showing them respect. 

 

No fires 

When out in the countryside, don't light a fire unless you have a very good reason to do so. In certain areas fires are forbidden. In addition, certain regions such as the south of France are susceptible to wild fires and every year thousands of hectares of forest burn due to negligent acts. Prolonged dry conditions can also make areas that are not normally at risk such as the moors of the UK, susceptible to fires. 

 

Sustainable transport 

Where possible try to use more sustainable modes of transport to get to your walking holiday destination, such as the train

 

Be on time

If you have any visits or tours booked, please be mindful of the guides and other travellers, and respect the scheduled time. Don't forget to check the way to the meeting point early and the voucher to know if you need to arrive early. If, for any reason, you anticipate a delay, contact your guide as soon as possible; we provide their phone numbers in our roadbooks. However, in the case of a delay, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to take part in the tour or see the entirety of it. Please organize your time appropriately to avoid such situations.