Hire a bike and meet localsAs well as spending the weeks before you depart getting amped up for the adventure, it's a good idea to learn about the places you'll be visiting.

Our pre-departure info provides a detailed snapshot of the main visitor information and customs of the countries on your trip. Be sure to read the notes thoroughly so you can pack accordingly and be prepared when you arrive.

Here are our top 10 responsible travel tips:

1. Research the countries you are visiting - things like religion and culture, local rules, appropriate behaviour and body language.

2. Learn some language and don’t be afraid to use it - simple pleasantries always help break the ice.

3. Support locally owned businesses. Eat local food and drink, use public transport or hire a bike - you'll meet local people and get to know the place.

4. Avoid visiting restaurants, stores, shows, markets or zoos that promote cruelty or exploitation of animals - particularly endangered species.

5. Help keep traditional arts alive by shopping for locally made products or souvenirs (instead of imported items). Bargain if that's a local practice, but bear in mind that a small amount to you could be extremely important to the seller.

6. Dress respectfully with an awareness of local standards. Dress modestly at religious sites and check what swimwear is suitable for pools and the beach.

7. Always ask first before photographing or videoing people. Offer to send back copies of photos to help make it a two-way exchange.

8. Be wary of giving gifts or money to beggars, children and people you have just met. Supporting the community through a local school, clinic or development project may be more constructive.

9. Leave only footprints and treat the environment as you would your own home. Take out all you take in to remote areas, use alternatives to plastic and say "no" to plastic bags. For cigarette butts, an empty film container makes a perfect portable container.

10. After returning home, think about supporting programs or organisations that are working to protect the welfare, culture and environment of the places you’ve been lucky enough to visit.

This might seem like simple advice, but it can make a huge difference to both your experience and that of the next group of travellers.