Post # 1
Obviously an “ethically responsible honeymoon” is more of a sliding scale issue than a black and white one. However, I really want to make sure that my to be husband and I take our honeymoon somewhere where local people aren’t being underminded by the travel industry.
My fiance really wants to go somewhere tropical and beachy for at least part of the trip, but a good deal of the carribean is out for us (for example, I’m dead set on not going to Jamaica)
I’d be happy going back to Europe to show my fi some spots I remember from being stationed there as a kid. I’d also love to go to Japan. But it seems like it would be a really planning heavy trip.
I’d love to get some ideas from you Bee’s. Do any of you have similar concerns? Is this coming completely out of left field? Do you have any honeymoon suggestions?
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Generally when I travel, I definitely stay away from resorts and cruises. I try to stay at locally / natively owned hotels and hostels rather than ones owned by ex-pats – sometimes that can be tough though.
Post # 4
The Carribbean is definitely out if you want an etically responsible trip – basically every all-inclusive, and almost every luxury non-all-inclusive is owned by people who live in Europe or the USA. Very very little money goes back to the local economies there except for the piddly wages they pay the cleaning and front desk workers. There’s a great documentary on it: “Life and Debt in Jamaica” – though the same thing applies throughout the Carribbean.
If you want beaches, what about Hawaii? There’s a ton of adventure stuff to do there, too. Or, there are some great islands in Europe to hang out on!
Post # 5
@crayfish: Hawaii I think is our top option for a local, tropical Honeymoon. Has anyone else gone this route? Any suggestions? I may have seen something like that documentary forever ago. I know I became aware of the way major travel brands take advantage of tropical locations at some point during high school. I felt physically nauseous during it. The contrast between local people’s standards of living and the insane profits brought in by these huge hotel chains (and cruises) was really unsettling.
@lolot: That’s a great habit. It’s really important to me to make sure that if I am enjoying someone’s country, the money I am spending goes back into the local economy.
Adding a poll! Can’t word it right. 😀 So no poll for you.
Post # 6
@Asia: I would suggest that in poor countries like Mexico, the people who work at the resorts consider themselves lucky to have those jobs.
No, they’re not paid much by North American standards, but at the same time, they’re not rummaging through garbage or in a gang in Tijuana.
When we go to these resorts we tip VERY WELL and are super friendly. If we start boycotting these places, then these people will have even less money. Think about who you’re hurting.
I know you mean well, but it really isn’t a simple solution.
Post # 7
If you want to do tropical and beachy, you could consider the gulf coast of the US, where residents are still recovering from Katrina and the Bridal Party spill, but there are miles and miles of gorgeous beaches and plenty of small businesses who would appreciate your business.
Also you may want to factor in the environmental toll that airline travel brings, which is hefty. The whole carbon offset business is pretty much unregulated and if you wanted to buy carbon offsets against your trip, do your research very carefully, as many of those brokers are one step up from pyramid schemes; your money may not actually go to an environmental cause. Or make a donation to a reputable environmental cleanup charity, in the same amount of your airline ticket cost.
You can also apply that concept to your daily life, by shopping at local merchants instead of Best Buy, Wal Mart, Target, TGIFridays, basically all of the chains are built on the same concept where the profits are taken out of the community even though it is community money being spent and community members making up the workforce.
I also agree with PP who note that, while the big corporations are definitely taking advantage of the cheap local labor, and keeping the profits to themselves, it doesn’t mean that the local workforce does not need a steady stream of revenue to support jobs.
Post # 8
@canarydiamond: I don’t think it’s simple at all. These are very complex socioeconomic issues. However, I want to make sure that I am supporting businesses which support their employees and promote their local economies. By supporting such businesses, not only am I contributing to the livelihoods of the people employed by them (which seems to be a top priority of yours, which I commend) but I don’t want to settle for just that, either.
I can’t spend much on my honeymoon, but the ammount I can spend will do considerably more good in local hands than it will do in an ex-pat’s. I don’t believe in trickle down economics locally, and I certainly don’t believe in them in these instances.
That being said, since you’ve already vacationed in Mexico, do you know of any locally owned hotels or all inclusives? I don’t have a huge interest in vacationing in Mexico for a number of reasons, but I’d love to be convinced!
Post # 9
@Asia: Unfortunately I’ve only stayed at the big resorts which I don’t believe are locally owned. Excellece and Sandos Playacar (I believe it was called that, was a long time ago).
I try to buy souvenirs from the local shops/stands too, which seem to be owned by locals.
Sorry I can’t be more help re: suggestions, though! I know friends of mine rented a house in Mexico… I think they just found it online. That would be getting a bit closer to eliminating that big corporation from your holiday.
Post # 10
@fishbone: I knoooow! Ugh. See, this is where I start having problems/ feeling hypocritical. I try to be very concious of my carbon footprint in my everyday life. I bought the most gas conserving vehicle I could afford, I group my shopping trips together, and I try to be mindful of my gas consumption.
That being said, I’m giving us a pass to travel for our honeymoon (if we end up finding a place we like)
I do LOVE the idea of taking a honeymoon in the US, though! I think it’s especially super-awesome to do so in an area that can use the influx of revenue generated by tourism.
Post # 11
@canarydiamond: Thank you for the information! I really appreciate this.
These are difficult issues to work out. 🙁 Obviously, anyone would want to do something positive with their vacation, but it isn’t easy at ALL to find these local businesses to support. I really love that you make a point to buy local souveineres from the places you visit.
Post # 12
@canarydiamond: actually although Sandos Playacar is a big corporation, it is involved in a lot of community AND eco-friendly projects. Far more so than any of the others in the area – turtle conservation, recycling, and so forth
Post # 13
I’d probably look into places like Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands/British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, etc.
Apparently the Bahamas is high up there
Post # 14
Belize is a great place for the enviromentally and ethically responsible tourist! It is a beautiful country with very strict rules about hotel ownership Here is a link to the resort my Fiance and I were thinking about till our in laws offered us their condo in hawaii
Post # 15
Check out Rick Steves’ “Through the Back Door” travel books. He advocates a “close to the ground” travel philosophy that favors locally-owned businesses, experiences, etc. Most of his travel guides focus on Europe, but I think the line has expanded in recent years. The Rick Steves website will also have a lot of good resources for you.
ETA: also think about Costa Rica as a good option! They are really making an effort to build up ecotourism and protect their natural resources.
Post # 16
Darling Husband and I are from Hawaii and we went to another island (Maui) on our honeymoon. We stayed in one resort (I imagine it wasn’t locally owned, but it didn’t even occur to be at the time, this is an interesting question!) and a couple loally owned B&Bs. There are plenty of those and I might suggest them if you are looking for a more high fidelity experience.
I haven’t watched any documentaries, but I wouldn’t worry too much about the disparity in standard of living. Houses, cars, clothes, etc. aren’t as nice in Hawaii for locals for a lot of reasons. You’ll notice if you go how high the cost of living is (gas and food especially, ouch!), but for most us it’s worth it to live in Hawaii (warm all the time, near our families, by the ocean, warm culture etc.). And, things like that are all relative. It looks like it’s not very nice in comparison to what a lot of people are used to, but for a lot of us it’s just normal.
If your wanting to put your money into the local economy (and probably have a better time in the process) I would stay at a local vacation rental or B&B and eat at local resturants. Souvineers are hard because the real local ones are kind of expensive, though the one’s from the Philipines and China are pretty low quality a lot of the time too. Good luck!