Express Your Gratitude Through Volunteer Travel
In all of its glittering glory, no amount of blinking would allow us to miss the upcoming holiday season. The warmth of togetherness and thrill of gifting thoughtful treasures are quintessential layers of our annual festivities, as is the chance to participate in charitable initiatives for those less fortunate. With so many philanthropic causes to consider this time of year, a benevolent traveler knows the season of giving never really has to end. Allow us to guide you toward a giveback travel experience that matches your personal travel style and fulfills you in a meaningful way, whether your heart swells for Mother Earth, her wildlife, or the people around you. Below are a few hand-selected travel ideas to inspire you to express your gratitude for the world by offering a helping hand.
Discover New Ways To Care Around The World
Over a decade ago, Crystal Cruises launched the “You Care, We Care” volunteerism program, which provides all guests and crew the opportunity to participate in a complimentary organized volunteer excursion on most sailings. All arrangements, including costs and transportation, are taken care of so that you can focus on getting directly involved in worthwhile causes. Some of this past year’s experiences included feeding the elderly at Mercy Kitchen in Belize, participating in tree planting conservation efforts to shelter the yellow-eyed penguins of Dunedin, New Zealand, and preparing food and creating ceramic artwork with the disabled at the Pio Monte della Misericordia Sorrento, Italy.
Get Culturally Immersive In Northern India
Me To We
The back story of ME to WE gives insight into why this high-end voluntourism company is different than others, starting with their original mission to change lives in developing countries. The communities in need began to welcome travelers into their homes and lives to offer a positive impact, and so the impeccably organized volunteer trips began. Just short of two decades later, over 40,000 guests have experienced life-changing travel through ME to WE. On a 9-day itinerary in Rajasthan, India, you will work on a volunteer building project while taking breaks to learn about this destination’s vibrant culture. Join the people of India on a walk for water, take a morning yoga class, ride a camel toward Kumbhalgarh Fort (the world’s second-longest wall), and dust of your shoes for some Bollywood dancing.
Protect The Environment In Australia
Emirates One and Only Wolgan Valley
About 2.5 hours from Sydney, nestled among 7,000 acres of protected wilderness, you’ll find a chic luxury conservation retreat where guests are guided toward initiatives to protect the local environment. If you are inspired by the resort’s unique blend of native wildlife and dramatic landscapes, you’ll have the opportunity to make a hands-on contribution to the restoration of the reserve. Group conservation sessions include organized ways to chip in toward the maintenance efforts of the priceless habitat of the wondrous Carne Creek and Wolgan River. Throughout your stay, you are welcome to plant trees, conduct wildlife surveys, test water quality, assess habitats, monitor feral animals and survey wombats. If you’re a hiker, you won’t want to miss the 11-kilometer trail to the mysterious Glow Worm Tunnel.
Pack For A Purpose In The Amazon
If you’re headed on a river cruise in the Amazon with Aqua Expeditions, you will be encouraged to save room in your luggage for general medical supplies for the 14 communities located along the Amazon River. Alternatively, you can bring general school supplies (colored pencils, paper, etc.) and new flip-flops for the children of the Riberenos (River inhabitants). If you pack light, the river cruise line makes it easy for guests to purchase kits onboard as well. Also worth noting, on Vietnam and Cambodia sailings, you can make a $50 donation through the internationally-recognized “Room to Read” program to sponsor a young girl to learn to read and write for a year.