Crossing into Malaysia
April 20, 2011
Photo from the Road: Penang, Malaysia Walking Tour
April 22, 2011



Responsible Travel appears to be one of those travel companies which aim to put something back—mainly by reducing environmental impacts and making a positive contribution to the local economy and communities. This means they only work with tour operators that have responsible tourism policies. Accommodation owners need to be accredited via a certification organization or have policies for responsible tourism. Small tourism service providers need to prove how they support local communities and reduce environmental impacts.

In all aspects they try to maintain high ethical standards; most importantly in ecological sustainability and cultural sensitivity.

Their slogan is “travel like a local,” which is always my goal as I make my way through new places. They try to help their clients feel a little like they really live in the destination they are traveling and to enjoy both the peace and quiet and the pace and excitement of the place as much as the people who live there.

Travel off-the-beaten path

After checking out their website I learned that Responsible Travel’s tours are going to some really interesting and off the beaten track places.

Kazakhstan—this is a place you don’t hear about many travelers going. I visited in 2004 and was blown away by just how huge this country is. Culturally, it’s an interesting blend of Kazakh and Russian customs. They share a huge border and Kazakhstan was part of the Soviet Union before 1991.

Ethiopia—another truly amazing travel destination. I once met a traveler in Egypt who had come overland from South Africa in just over a year. He said he spent three months just in Ethiopia and it wasn’t enough time.

Bhutan is also in their portfolio. Bhutan is a fascinating country—a long isolated kingdom in the Himalaya that is now just beginning to open up to travelers and modernity. What perhaps was most interesting to me about Bhutan is their policy of Gross National Happiness—an official government policy that considers each individuals happiness and well-being.

Budget Holidays, Beach Holidays, Luxury Holidays

If roughing it through Borneo independently is not your idea of a good time, Responsible Travel offers plenty of alternatives.

Maybe luxury holidays are more your style. How about exploring the life and habitat of the Giant Panda? Or seeing the Orangutans and Komodo Dragons of Indonesia? Or perhaps a luxury family safari and beach holiday to South Africa and Mozambique?

If that isn’t your speed, Responsible Travel also offers some budget holidays that look very exciting for reasonable prices. Ecuador and Amazon holiday and Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi Vietnam tours caught my eye. They are both categorized as “small group adventures”. So did Costa Rica multisport holiday, which is a “strenuous walking holiday”.

If you’ve been working too hard or just prefer to lie on the sand for a couple weeks, consider their beach holidays. How does Fiji sound?

Responsible Travel also specializes in family holidays, cycling holidays, safaris and walking holidays.

What to expect

Responsible Travel works together with accommodation providers that have a deep connection with special places—people who live and work in the destination and have fallen in love with it.

Traveling with these folks is not just a brief stay somewhere, but an attempt to allow travelers a real connection with the people, the landscape, the culture, and the environment.

The day-by-day itineraries are all listed on their website and you can see the planned route on the map. Future departure dates are also listed. And most importantly you can read reviews from past travelers. Many of the tour providers offer video and audio podcasts with descriptions of their travel style and philosophy.

Responsible Travel works successfully with more than 350 tour operators of all different types from around the world, many of them for years now.

Responsible and ethical tourism is at the core of their business philosophy and in everything they do, from choosing which holidays to feature on the site to recycling in the office.

At Bohemian Traveler we are always on the lookout for companies that have high ethical standards; most importantly in ecological sustainability and cultural sensitivity. So if you’re not a do-it-yourself traveler, perhaps consider Responsible Travel for your next holiday.

Responsible Travel review compiled by Stephen Bugno. To have you business featured here, use the contact form.


Spread the love
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 20 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *