Today on the Indie Travel Challenge we asked you:
Cristina loves buying local and tells us about how she helps give back when she travels:
“Over the years, I’ve got into the habit of visiting my local farmers’ market every chance I got. I may go as often as 3 times a week during the summer season. And with the increase in hand-made businesses and fairs, they also become part of my life where I live.
When I travel, I choose to give back by:
- staying in locally owned guesthouses or hostels
- buying food from the farmers’ markets
- visiting artisan fairs, including Christmas Markets
The only thing I find to be challenging in the non-English speaking countries is the language barrier. The local businesses aren’t created for tourists so if you are not fluent in the native language, it may get a bit awkward.
For the past 4 years, I’ve been visiting the Christmas Markets in Budapest every winter (or shall I say every December around my birthday?). Every single time I come back with: hand-made soap, hand-made something-to-wear or hand-made Christmas decorations. And every single time my husband does the talking because I speak a limited number of words in Hungarian.
For our wedding anniversary this year, we chose Eger, the city well known for its wines. We stayed in a locally-owned guesthouse. While my emails with the owner were written in English (his a very poor one), once we got there, he thanked Providence one of us was fluent in Hungarian. And the way he treated us – picked us up from the train station for free, gave us tips what to do and what not to miss – made our trip amazing.
It gives me great pride to know I help the local businesses. I know that because I spent money on their service or product, they can continue to sell to others and also make a living out of it.
Sure, I have my “prefered” chains when it comes to coffee and salads. But I don’t visit them all the time. When I don’t have a decent choice, that’s when I hit the chains. But let’s be honest, you won’t want to hit the chain when you are in Italy and want to drink a coffee or eat pizza. That would be disrespectful to your taste buds!”
How do you give back to the local economy?