You can do both travelling and supporting locals at the same time. In fact, it is a good thing to do because then your travel will be much more meaningful. For your information, travel and tourism industry give contribution to global economy. It is such a goal to know that the wealth resulted fro travel and tourism industry somehow is given back to the communities you visit.
Support the locals while exploring the place
Travel is not only about spending your money. Travel is also about sharing happiness. You are happy because you get to visit a place you have dreamed of regardless how much it costs your wallet. It will be more meaningful when you can share a little bit of your happiness with the communities of the places you visit.
There are many ways in which you can support the local communities while travelling. You can eat at the local restaurant or eat local foods. Choose smaller local restaurant, stalls, or cafes to eat out. This can ensure your money goes into the community in the surrounding directly. Not to mention that it gives you deeper insight into the local culture through their authentic dishes. You may also learn something more such as how the foods are cooked or how the locals originally eat them.
Do as the locals do
Try living like a local. This can gives you different but more authentic experience of the trip. When you try living like the local, you get to know more their culture in their original habitat. Not to mention that this brings comprehensive authenticity of the local. Staying at homestay with the local family is not a bad idea. Who knows maybe you can develop long lasting relationship with them even after your trip ends.
Avoid chain supermarkets
Avoid big chains and supermarkets when you shop at your travel destination. Instead, you can try more authentic experience by shopping local. It is also a good way to support local small businesses. You can help the economy of the locals to thrive. You can also bargain the price so you can pay with low price. However, make sure to not overdo and pay reasonable price instead.
Minimize tourist footprints
Do your best to minimize your footprints. It means, don’t let our presence disturb the peace of the place. Always clean after yourself. Remember to always bring reusable bag to reduce the use of plastic bags. To ensure that you don’t cross any line, always remember that you are only a guest. You have to respect your host no matter what. Do not destroy or damage any property, nature, or wild animals.
You can donate something you don’t really need. Something you don’t need might be a life saver for others. If you have a bit of extra cash, you can purchase some clothes you won’t find in your own country from the local shop. Then, you can donate your used clothes to the local charity shops, communities, or organization. This way, you can also avoid stuffing up your suitcase unnecessarily.