Emerging trends in travel such as sustainable tourism, responsible travel and eco-friendly are creating a movement in the traveller’s mindset.For our series, Responsible Travel, we will be sharing our stories on food tours and tour companies we have personally experienced who are taking action to enhance and uplift their communities around the world.
WHAT SHOULD I SEE IN MUMBAI
Traveling to Mumbai or Delhi whether it’s our first time our tenth time is a breathtaking experience, in every sense of the word. Probably the best advice I have ever given a first-time traveler to Mumbai, get a guide. When I visit a new city, I want to see both its luxuries and its grit. I want to see the food stalls that all the locals go to, and I want to bask in the sun by the pool. I’m a nervous adventurer, meaning I like the grit of the street and the luxurious of places like the Taj Palace in Mumbai. After a day out, I need to regroup and get my wits about me again, and Mumbai has always tested my resolve.
MUMBAI CITY TOUR
Knowing your travel boundaries is where hiring a local guide comes in. I’m super picky when it comes to guides or any paid-for experience. On the verge of analysis paralysis, I usually end up finding some pretty great guides.In Mumbai, my top pick for a responsible tourism company is Reality Tours and Travel. We tried both the Mumbai Street Food Tour and the Dharavi Slum Small-Group Tour in Mumbai and were thrilled with the experience of both.
MUMBAI FOOD TOUR
Are you scared of eating street food in India? The nervous adventurer here sure was! With our guide and six other guests, we sampled several different meals in varying locations in the city. Mumbai is a melting pot of cultures, so expect to try food from many different ethnicities. The tour at the time cost us $75 (prices may have changed), and we left educated, confident and stuffed with fantastic food from around the city. And…we didn’t get sick! https://youtu.be/ZcpaAzf74-M
HOW MUCH IS A FOOD TOUR?
Rs 1,800 per person – ~ USD $25Rs 8,000 private tour up to six people – ~ USD 113 The tour goes to five different destinations and lasts for four hours. It also (depending on the time of year) takes place after as the sunsets so it cools down a bit. We went in April and while hot was bearable. https://realitytoursandtravel.com/tour/street-food-tour/
MUMBAI SLUM TOUR – IS DHARAVI SAFE?
The second tour, Dharavi Slum Small-Group Tour, is an absolute gem. Prepare to have your preconceptions of what a slum is busted. I had no idea the magnitude of the recycling that happens in these places. Heaps of rubbish from around the city are brought in and picked apart piece by piece and then sold for a profit. Our guide was terrific, having grown up in the slums he shared with us the real side of the slums. I won’t ruin the experience by sharing more except, and we felt very safe, highly educated and grateful for the work completed in the slums. So, besides the glowing reviews and our wonderful experience, why should you choose Reality Tours? Straight from their website:“We believe that tourism can and should be a force for local development. Reality Tours is a social business that uses a profit-sharing model to fund our sister-NGO Reality Gives. Eighty percent of our post-tax profits go directly to Reality Gives, which runs high-quality education programs in areas where Reality Tours works.” https://realitytoursandtravel.com/social-impact/To us, this is a sustainable and responsible tourism company that we highly recommend. They tick all of our boxes!
HOW MUCH IS THE DHARAVI SLUM TOUR?
Rs 900 per person – ~ USD $13Rs 8,000 private tour up to six people – ~ USD 71 The tour lasts for two and a half hours. It also takes place during the day so check the weather (it gets hot). We went in April and while hot was bearable. https://realitytoursandtravel.com/tour/dharavi-tour-2/