Ethical Traveler has created a list of 13 tips that focus on travelers creating a positive impact by “by being open, informed, and willing to immerse themselves in other cultures”. A couple of them that I really like (the entire list is available here) :

  • Take the time to learn basic courtesy phrases: learn how to say “please” & “thank you” in the local language
  • Remember the economic realities of your new currency: A US Dollar is worth 40 times an Indian rupee and a Euro is worth 70. A Rupee is couple of cents!
  • Bargain Fairly: Especially in the third world. If the street vendor is selling you a handcrafted item for Rs 400, remember it is al of $10. For less than an hour’s parking in New York, you can get a chauffeur driven taxi for an entire day. Have a heart give the woman/man a tip!
  • Understand and respect differences: You don’t have to agree with the local traditions and cultural practices but you can be respectful towards ‘strange’ cultures. Yours may be strange to them too!
  • Be sensitive towards local social, political and environmental issues.

Related Links:
Guidelines for Ethical Travel
Tips for responsible travelers