The trip of a lifetime

from The Hague to Singapore

14

countries

65

world heritages sites

58979

kilometers

65

weeks

Melody, Nico, Fiona and Stier & Ezelien went on an overland cruise from the Netherlands to Singapore. This website relates their ultimate travel experience as they visited over sixty World Heritage sites. They encouraged sustainable development and responsible tourism by creating awareness and by raising funds for the Friends of World Heritage initiative. Melody and Nico were self- supporting, and all raised funds went directly to the preservation and protection of World Heritage sites: for you and other future travelers, because World Heritage belongs to all of us.

Melody

photographer & webdesigner

Nico

mechanic & story writer

Fiona

unstopable green monster

Stier & Ezelien

professional huggers

Why World Heritage

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the Roman ruïns on the North-African shore, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Himalayan National parks, and the tempels of Angkor make up our world’s heritage. What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all of us – to enjoy, experience, and protect. You can help protect the natural and cultural wonders of the world; explore the majesty of these places, recognized for their “outstanding value to humanity” under UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention; and experience for yourself the marvels of our World Heritage by visiting the sites.

Travel responsibly

Traveling responsibly means protecting and respecting travel destinations around the world by following some simple and cost-effective tips. Follow these great travel tips to enhance your trip.

Before and after traveling

The more you know about a country before arriving, the more the country will come alive. Look into the country’s history, culture, natural environment, customs, legends, advisory notices and more.

Making an effort to speak the local language allows you to interact with the people. People appreciate your efforts and your interest in learning. Simple words like “Hello,” “Please” and “Thank you” can go a long way.

It is tempting to pack everything you think you might need, but remember to be smart about your necessities. Packaging items like the plastic wrapping of your new toothbrush simply consume space in your bag and can create excess trash for the visiting country.

Look for hotels that have a written policy covering their environmental impact, employment and cultural policy.

Remember that traveling affects the environment. Wherever possible, try to minimize your pollution and impact on the environment by looking to alternative transportation and off-setting your carbon emissions.

In addition to telling family and friends about the wonderful memories you made, also consider sharing tips on how they too can positively impact the World Heritage sites while having an amazing journey.

Pictures can say a thousand words. Show us and tell us about your experience by entering your World Heritage photos into the Friends of World Heritage photo contest.

Traveling is just the start of learning. Once you return home continue exploring and being involved with the issues or region that captured your attention. Build upon your knowledge and also learn about another World Heritage sites. Adventure to another World Heritage site by traveling with Expedia. www.expedia.com/worldheritage

Traveling often opens your eyes and heart to something new. You can continue to preserve our inspirational World Heritage sites for generations to come by making a donation to the Friends of World Heritage fund. 

While traveling

The saying, “While in Rome do as the Romans” still applies today. Your trip provides a unique opportunity to explore a new culture and to see the world through a different perspective. Remember that eating local foods, shopping in local markets, and attending local festivals are all part of experiencing the culture.

Choosing to support locally owned businesses, community tour operators, and artisans means that you’ll have a one-of-a-kind experience and your money will go directly to the community. Before purchasing goods, ask about their origin. Avoid buying products made from threatened natural resources and report poaching and other illegal activities to the local authorities.

It’s often difficult to know your limits in bargaining so if you’re not sure, ask your local hotel for tips. Remember that the purchases you make directly affect vendors’ livelihoods, so decide if you really need to hang onto that extra dollar or if it could impact the vendor more.

Enrich your experience by choosing local guides who are knowledgeable about the destination. Ask local tour operators and hotels for good recommendations.

These destinations are World Heritage sites because of their exceptional natural or cultural splendor. Do your part to keep them that way by following designated trails, respecting caretakers, and not removing archaeological or biological treasures from sites.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Even though you are just visiting and not paying the utility bill, disposing of your garbage properly and minimizing your consumption of water and energy will benefit the overall destination.

 While it is important to support local economy, certain tourist activities and souvenirs can damage a fragile World Heritage site. Say ‘no’ to souvenirs that are a piece of the site itself, and to tourist activities that may be harmful to a site’s longevity.