This blog post was updated on December 6, 2021.

Supporting small businesses when you’re abroad can help boost the local economy of your destination of choice and make your trip more meaningful. Whether you’re shopping, dining, taking a tour, or even choosing a place to stay, making smaller but impactful choices can make a larger impact. Here’s our guide to supporting local businesses while you travel — keep these tips in mind the next time you’re booking a vacation!

Get Social

Support Small Businesses While Traveling - post on social media

A great way to support small businesses in this day and age is by engaging with them on social media. If you enjoyed the local cafe you ate lunch at, go ahead and like their Facebook page, follow them on Instagram, or tag them in your brunch pictures. You never know how far a post, click, or like will go in terms of the business’s visibility. Just a small act of engagement can really help them out. If you loved the store, local tour, or restaurant, go ahead and leave them a nice review on Google, Yelp, or Travel Advisor. Whether you write a longer, in-depth review, just a few sentences, or even just rate them with 5 stars, you’ll be helping out in such a simple way that can have a big impact. And it won’t just help the business thrive,  but also show appreciation to the business owners and staff as well. Another way to support them via the internet is if the company has an online shop, to buy directly from there or any of their merchandise.

Tell Your Friends and Family

Support Small Businesses While Traveling - word of mouth

Another option is to simply tell friends and family about your positive experiences with any local businesses at a destination  If you know of friends or family members of yours who are planning on traveling to the same city or country, tell them all about the local places you loved and encourage them to visit as well. This leads us to:

Get a Gift Certificate

If you find a local shop or restaurant that you absolutely love, ask the owner or an employee if there are any gift card options. Many places have them available nowadays, not just large chain stores. It’s perfect for supporting your new favorite place right now, as well as the future! The shop benefits from the revenue of gift certificate purchase and it’s also a motivating reminder to come back on your next visit. It can also be a great gift for your friends and family if you know they’ll be making a trip there as well.

Related: These 5 Apps Can Help Make Your Trip Eco-Friendly!

Postpone Your Trip Instead of Canceling

Support Small Businesses While Traveling - postpone

If for any reason you aren’t able to visit when you were supposed to, you can try and see if you can postpone instead of canceling. We all want to get away, so this is a great way to support small businesses while traveling. It won’t just be something to look forward to for you, but it will help the tourism economy in the country or city you’re visiting in many ways. This is especially prevalent when it comes to booking accommodations. Instead of canceling, postpone those cheap round trip flights for another time if you’re able to do so.

Support Local Artists

Support Small Businesses While Traveling - Local Art

This one should go without saying. You can find amazing local artists in a city by attending local crafts fairs or souvenir shops. You’ll often find that these pieces are better in quality, and while they may be more expensive at times, you’ll often get a nicer product and an authentic item to remember your trip by! This will also be a fun activity for you and your travel buddies when you’re figuring out what to do during the day. You’ll be able to take something special home with you and you’ll remember your trip for years to come.

Choose Locally-Owned Accommodations

Support Small Businesses While Traveling - hostel

While it may be tempting to check into the nicest hotel nearby, you’ll save money and help out the local economy a ton if you choose to stay local. An added plus is that this can be way more adventurous than staying at your typical hotel — and that’s what trips are for, right? Whether it’s at a local bed and breakfast or a hostel, talk to the locals nearby or do some online research to find the best and safest local accommodations. And, of course, don’t forget to tip and leave a great review.

Find a Walking Tour

Support Small Businesses While Traveling - local tour guide

Many cities have private tour guides — true locals who know the ins and outs of the destination you’ll be staying in. Not only will you get an authentic viewpoint of your city of choice, but you’ll also be able to support small businesses while traveling. And, as always, make sure to tip and leave a good review.

What are some other ways you support small businesses while traveling? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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About The Author

Gabby Teaman is a content writer who loves writing (of course!), editing, food, and the Oxford comma. When she’s not writing for Fareportal, she can be found Snapchatting videos of her puppy, blasting show tunes, or watching Netflix, all while trying to read everything in sight.