One of our favorite articles that we've worked on for Expedia is: How to Travel Responsibly.
We often get asked about our take on handling travel to parts of the world that face difficult realities. Here's a bit of what we wrote on that:
Experiencing a new destination can mean coming face to face with some difficult realities—in many parts of the world, begging is an unfortunate fact. It can feel heartbreaking to turn away a beggar, especially when that beggar is a child. What may came as a surprise is that there are potentially devastating ramifications to supporting begging. For one, children are often kept out of school to beg, which means that they are not able to get the education that increases the likelihood that they will break the vicious cycle of poverty.
When you are visiting a destination where begging is a reality, consider saving your money to reward those who have made it to the first tier of employment. Generously tipping servers, attendants, and wait staff (to name just a few) is one way to honor the service you are being provided and lift up those individuals at the same time. It also is a way to make sure that your money does not perpetuate the troubling, counter-productive aspects of begging.
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