What to Keep in Mind When Traveling to Heritage Sites
Traveling is one of the most enriching activities you can do in life. Because of this, many people choose to visit different places that allow them to experience diverse cultures. The Global Heritage Fund shared that cultural tourism is a popular form of travel, with over 40% of current travelers identified as “cultural tourists.” They are travelers who actively participate in cultural activities as part of their trip. Among their itineraries, cultural heritage sites are well-known tourist destinations because it allows them to have a glimpse of the country’s rich history. The same report revealed that over 10 million tourists visited the most popular section of the Great Wall in 2018. Moreover, nearly 9 million visitors explored the historical sites of Egypt, and an estimated 30 million foreign tourists visited Venice in Italy.
As cultural travelers, it’s important to remember that different places have different cultural rules that visitors must always follow. Here are four things you should keep in mind when traveling to popular heritage sites around the world:
Learn About the Place Beforehand
When you’re a first-time visitor, conducting brief research beforehand will let you know what to expect about the destination. This includes checking the opening and closing hours of the destination to ensure you’ll have ample time to admire the scenery and reading about the house rules to know what and what not to bring inside the place.
Researching the location also means you’re aware of the proper conduct and behavior expected at the heritage site. For example, as we shared in our previous article on Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, the garden is not only a cultural heritage site but also a facility for horticultural and botanical research. This means that you’ll have to be cautious and follow walking paths to ensure that you’re not damaging the plants around the garden.
Respect the Smoke-free Zones
Ever since the implementation of the smoke-free project by WHO, most heritage sites and tourist destinations today prohibit any form of smoking activities inside or around the location as part of the initiative to preserve historical sites. This has made traveling a little more difficult for those who smoke, especially as some heritage sites take all day to explore. The good news is that there are options that allow visitors to get their nicotine fix without having to leave the site.
Nicotine alternatives like lozenges and pouches are your best travel-friendly option. A guide to nicotine pouches on Prilla shares that pouches are tobacco-free products that are easy to use and dispose of because their contents are securely stored inside white sachets. There are also various flavors and strengths to choose from based on your preferences. Apart from being smokeless alternatives, nicotine pouches also don’t contain tobacco, so not only are they great for sensitive heritage sites but also you. Another option is nicotine lozenges, which are taken similarly to candy. Since they are taken orally and discreetly, you won’t distract fellow travelers while using them. This makes them the perfect nicotine alternative if you’re craving nicotine while traveling.
Be Mindful When Taking Photos
You might notice that there are numerous photos of the Taj Mahal from the outside, but there are rarely any pictures of its interior. This is because taking photos of the mausoleum inside is strictly prohibited. It’s natural to take lots of photos when traveling; however, it’s important to read the destination’s house rules to ensure that you are legally allowed to take pictures. Most of the time, there will be boards and signages that request visitors to refrain from taking photos.
If you’re unsure and there are staff members around, ask them if taking photos or videos is allowed. Moreover, be mindful of the poses you take in front of historical and religious sites because other people may interpret your actions as disrespectful, even if it’s not your intention.