Being kind and thoughtful while travelling is one of the most important things to remember to do. We thought we’d remind you of some simple things you can do to show even just small acts of kindness, whether it’s donating your time to a worthy cause or helping lift the spirits of a homesick backpacker. Here are 10 ways that us backpackers can do some good and spread kindness while on the road.
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1. INVITE A SOLO BACKPACKER AT THE BAR TO JOIN YOUR GROUP
See someone at the hostel bar looking lost or lonely? You could make their day just by starting up a conversation or inviting them to join you and your friends for a drink. Little acts of kindness like this can really make a difference to someone’s entire travelling experience.
2. BE CONSIDERATE
If you’ve been out drinking or you’ve got to leave before sunrise for an early flight, don’t switch on all the lights, set hundreds of alarms or make a racket around your dorm room while others are asleep. Think about how your actions might disturb and annoy other people - how would you like it?!
3. GIVE YOUR TRAVELCARD TO ANOTHER BACKPACKER ONCE YOU’RE DONE WITH IT
Finished with your travelcard for the day? Don't let it go to waste, offer it to a young person or backpacker that you might see leaving the hostel - they will always appreciate the little money and hassle saver, plus it’s a lovely gesture from you!
4. SHARE YOUR TRAVEL TIPS
Don’t keep all your best discoveries to yourself, share them! One of the best things about hostels and backpacking is having the chance to talk to like minded people who may have already ticked off somewhere you’re planning to visit. Give advice, travel tips, and share stories, you could be the inspiration for their next adventure, plus it’s a great way to break the ice.
5. LOOK OUT FOR PICKPOCKETS FOR YOUR TOUR GROUP
Pickpockets are always on the lookout and especially when large tourist groups hit the main attractions. While keeping an eye out for yourself, keep another eye out for the rest of your group. If you spot someone sneaking a hand into a tour group member’s bag, stick up for them! Your selflessness will be unbelievably appreciated.
6. GIVE UP YOUR SEAT ON TRANSPORT
This should be needless to say if a person is elderly, pregnant or disabled. Don’t be one of those people who pretend to be asleep or to be looking at something in depth on their phone - that’s not cool!
7. OFFER A HELPING HAND WHEN YOU SEE IT MIGHT BE NEEDED
If you see someone trying to lug multiple bags up to their room, don’t just watch them struggle, lend a hand. People are always grateful for a little help and it can be a great way to break the ice with someone new.
8. DONATE YOUR KEY CARD DEPOSIT TO CHARITY
Rather than taking back that €2 key card deposit from the hostel, why not keep that money somewhere safe and donate it to charity. At St Christopher’s, we give you the option to take back your deposit or leave it with us to donate to the Team Margot foundation which campaigns for more people to become bone marrow and stem cell donors in the fight against blood disorders like Leukemia.
9. VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
It doesn’t matter how many hours you put in, as a little can go a long way when it comes to voluntary work and it rarely goes unnoticed. Whatever part of the world you find yourself in, there will always be opportunities to give up some time and make a positive impact on your stay.
10. JUST BE KIND!
See someone clearly being left out of a group? Invite them over. Is there a solo traveller struggling to communicate with others due to a language barrier? Get out Google Translate and make a bit of effort! It’s not hard to be kind, and often it’s whilst travelling that you appreciate these simple acts the most.
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