Summer is upon us and that means traveling and vacations for many of us. It is the time we wait for all year. Warm sunshine, shorts, flip-flops the smell of BBQ. Mmm, one of my favorite times of year.
Whether you are going to hop in the car and adventure around town or hop on a plane and vacation far from home, get out there and have fun! But please before you do let’s take a moment and talk about some vacation etiquette.
To make summer enjoyable for all those around you here are some things to keep in mind as you’re traveling
Follow posted warning signs – These signs are for your own protection. Generally, telling you not to step on fragile ground, keeping you away from steep drop offs or even telling you not to touch the wild animals.
In the amount of traveling I have done there have been people do things that would make you cringe. Once when I was at Crater Lake I saw a boy about 15, step over the cement barrier and proceed to jump in the air, inches from the cliff drop off just so he could get a “awesome Instagram pic”. It was incredibly stupid and incredibly dangerous had he stumbled he would have fall to his death.
Don’t Approach Wildlife – When I was a young child we would frequent Yellowstone park as we lived very near the park. It always amazed me that people would put their children on Buffalo, which is very dangerous!
Last time I visited Yellowstone it was just as bad. PLEASE NEVER turn your back on a wild animal just so you can get a self…better yet DON’T even get that close to the animals. Countless, times I have seen people turn their back on a Buffalo, so they could get a selfie with them. This is terrifying because they are always very close to these animals when doing so. DON’T try to pet the animals either!
No Food – In areas that have a large wildlife population, especially ones with bears it can be dangerous to even have food on you. When you go to Yosemite it is advised to not have any food in the car that the bears can smell. The warning always reminds me of Yogi Bear. Anyway, if you are bringing food in be sure it is in the proper containers and stored correctly. Several times I have been in Yosemite and it be the middle of the night and I see people set up a delicious smelling picnic! It is so good I wish they invited me and as I think that, I am imagining a bear 20 miles away picking up that scent and coming to find enjoy the food too.
Respect – This one should be easy but it seems to be one of the hardest rules for people to follow. RESPECT your fellow man, respect the places you are visiting and respect the rules.
LEAVE it – I know the rocks are cool but if EVERYONE took a rock they thought was cool there would be none left. See glass beach for example. We want people to enjoy these areas for a long time to come, so that means leaving all those cool little nature-made knickknacks there. If you want a keepsake from your travels take pictures or visit a local shop for a cool find.
Don’t vandalize stuff- I am going to try to keep my emotions in check with this one. Of all the things people do when they travel this one upsets me the most! You have all heard stories of teenagers knocking over arches or rocks that have stood for thousands of years only to be toppled by a bunch of teens or even worse adults who thought it looked “fun”. Race Track Playa in Death Valley, someone drove on fragile surfaces with no care for anyone but their “good time”. If you go to Bad Water Basin which is also in Death Valley you can see the signs of people digging holes in ground, or carving their names in the ground. The only way to get rid of these carvings is with water, which you guessed it doesn’t happen all that much in Death Valley. So that means Park employees have to use water hoses and man hours to repair something that shouldn’t be damaged in the first place. Vandalism in Death Valley, here is an article if you want to read more on the topic.
As you can see there are a few things to consider when you are traveling. I hope that you will take the time to be a good travel when you go out. Enjoy your summer and I hope to see you out there!