21 Jun 4 Reasons Why You Should Buy Local When Traveling
Often when we travel, we’re doing it for more than just an escape from daily life. We’re doing it as a way to absorb a culture that is not our own, and there’s no better place to do that than in a strong, vibrant community.
But while we as travelers want to immerse ourselves in a good community, it takes a little effort on our parts to travel responsibly. The first step towards doing that: shop local, buy local.
Why Buy Local?
Buying local goods, services, and souvenirs offers more than just stimulating the economy. On a personal level, going into local shops, bodegas, outdoor markets, and the like will help you really get a first hand experience with the locals, and getting to know more about how they trade and what it is they’re actually trading.
With that we wanted to explore the reasons why you should buy local during your next vacation.
1. Get a More Immersive Experience
Simply put: no one goes on vacation to a completely different city or a completely different country just to dine at the nearby Waffle House. Finding out “where the locals go” may seem difficult at first, but you’ll get firsthand experience as to how local life functions in your vacation area.
Rather than going to a generic market or a chain restaurant, opt towards going to a local market, farm, or eatery in the area. Not only will you receive delicious foods, wines, and supplies, but you’ll also likely get to ask questions and learn about the history of the product and its relative impact on the area. The right person just might be able to tell you how to cook the perfect gallo pinto recipe.
2. Interact as a Traveler, not a Customer
When exploring new areas, we all desire to be treated as warmly as possible. There’s no better place to find that the local business owners and farmers, who want to share themselves with as many people as possible.
Buying local will still feel like commerce, but don’t forget that these business owners are part of their community as well. They and their products will contribute greatly to the economy, and their customers are more often than not other locals with which they must have a good relationship.
3. Support the Local Economy
This point should almost go without saying, but it’s one of the most important reasons to answer the question ‘why buy local?’. By buying locally, you’re helping to create job opportunities, as well as encouraging aspiring business owners that there is a consumer base out there.
Supporting the local economy is a direct way of expressing your care for the town or city you’re traveling in. The concept of responsible traveling touches on the idea that if you love a destination and want to keep traveling to it, it’s up to you to do your part to make sure that the economy is running strong and you’re doing what’s best for the people living there. Buying local can help the community’s economy, culture, and environment grow.
4. Learn More About the Needs of the Neighborhood
Remember that there is a reason why small local businesses in the destination you’re traveling in are successful. There is clearly a demand for the product or service, whether it be on a national level or a hyperlocal level.
Shopping local offers an alternative way to think about shopping. Instead of going to a generic store and picking up supplies to satisfy your particular need, travel around to local shops, farms, and restaurants in your area and see what’s out there. These businesses thrive because there is a customer base for their product. Once you discover why the product or service is so popular, you’ll feel the desire to try it yourself!
Buying local can sometimes have an unfair reputation for meaning products that are ‘expensive’ or ‘over-produced’. But your vacation experience becomes a little more real when you buy local because not only are you stimulating the economy, but you’re also contributing to the growth of culture. That’s why we recommend that when you find the perfect rental deal that piques your interest, make sure to research the local commerce and learn how you can help the community by buying local during your next vacation.