4 Ways To Give Back While You Travel
By Rachel George
Traveling to other countries and continents, experiencing other cultures and ways of living can be an enriching and educational experience. Most travelers seek a memorable experience that impacts them but also benefits others, through volunteering.
For decades now, voluntourism (volunteer + tourism) has been a growing travel trend, especially amongst millennials. Travelers would find volunteer opportunities during their trips of travel or plan volunteer vacations across the world, contributing to causes near and dear to their heart. A 2015 Marriott study found that 84% of millennials are more likely to travel to participate in volunteer opportunities.
Sites such as WeJourney, Wander.io, Visit.org, and others offer the perfect combination of travel and volunteerism. Chose between thousands of hotels and destinations that contribute a portion of their proceeds towards a cause of your choosing, environmental, social, healthcare, etc.
Wander found that millennials were willing to stand behind causes they believe in. Their mission is to “give back to the world while providing travelers with a streamlined platform where they can book their trips and support the social cause they care about. Hotel bookings that change lives,” according to their site.
Here are a few ways to give back by traveling:
Stay in a hotel/resort that contributes to a specific cause or gives back to the community.
Nihi Sumba Beachfront Resort in Indonesia helps provide access to clean water, education and protecting wildlife. For the last seven years, Denver’s Ritz-Carlton has partnered with Make-A-Wish Colorado, granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Last year, they granted a young buy wish and transformed the entire hotel into his favorite movie “Hotel Riz-ylvania,” with costumes included. Look into family hosting as well.
2. Support local & social businesses.
Eat at popular local businesses rather than large food chain restaurants. The food will have an authentic home-cooked taste. Shop at local markets and small boutique shops giving back to the community rather than a large company.
3. Donate unused flight mileage.
With Skyhour, you can buy flight time towards any flight based on how long the flight is. That time can also be applied to a pre-booked flight, reducing the price. Saving someone money could also be giving back, to their wallets. Donate flight miles through your airline to Make-A-Wish or Red Cross, supporting kids and their families traveling around the world.
4. Rebuild with Habitat for Humanity
Help build schools, communities, homes, and disaster recovery zones in Bolivia, Argentina, Thailand, Brazil and more with Habitat for Humanity. The trips last for at least a week, living like a local and building a safer housing for others.