Updated: Mar 2
One thing I try to do as best as I can is support the local people of the country I’m going to. A lot of times what happens is rich people from around the world end up going to certain countries and put big hotels, chain restaurants, and other establishments there. What happens as a result is the small business owners in those countries who count on every penny of their business to survive are losing so much money and makes it harder to survive.
A lot of countries have had family businesses passed down and they don’t have the resources and the opportunities to be able to get another job to make ends meet and with knowing this I try to be as mindful as possible when it comes to creating my itinerary. I try to tailor my itinerary to supporting the locals and I would like to share those ways with you!
By continuing to support small businesses, you're essentially supporting the local community. Spending your money there helps to stimulate the local economy and keep business booming and how awesome is that?!
Here are five things you can do to support the local people when you travel
I love using websites like Orbitz and Priceline to schedule and reserve excursions but one thing you can do is use Airbnb experiences where a lot of times they post excursions that are conducted by locals. Another thing you can do is join travel groups on Facebook and you can just ask a question like "hey I’m going to Nigeria does anybody know local tour guides available" and a lot of times you will get responses from others!
When looking for a property do a little bit of research to see which hotels are locally owned and operated. When I went to St. Lucia I specifically looked for a black owned local hotel and found a beautiful newly built eight room property on a hill and I was so excited to give him my business. A lot of locally owned properties are smaller than big chain hotels so the customer service tends to be better. You can also try doing a homestay where you can stay with a family abroad in one of their extra bedrooms...how much more of an authentic experience can you get?
When you are abroad and you’re feeling a little hungry head to the markets were locals are selling their produce and freshly cooked meals rather than going to a large restaurant chain. The food that they provide at markets and locally owned restaurants are more authentic and flavorful usually (in my experience at least) and they always end up cheaper as well
If you find a photographer then hire them directly rather than going through the company that hires them to freelance work. I was in Mexico and I found a photographer but I didn’t realize the company who provided him was a company in the UK and upon completion of the photo shoot he only got 30% of what I actually paid. I did not think was fair at all because he did all the work while they were in the UK collecting 70% of what I paid. Had I known that I would’ve just hired him directly and paid him what he deserved.
Instead of waiting to buy duty free alcohol and other miscellaneous items at the airport support local shops that will sell it at a portion of the price anyways (and saving money is always the goal).
Tip! Tip! Tip! Especially if your dollar goes far in that country imagine what a few dollars worth of a tip could do for that person. In a lot of countries it is not customary to provide tips but if you feel like the person did a great job and provided good service and you have the funds to tip them a dollar or two hey why not this could literally make their day.
I hope this blog helps you with different ways to help locals moving forward when you are planning your trips! ? If you have any more ideas on ways to help locals while traveling please comment below or if you just want to provide feedback on this blog go ahead and leave your feedback below.