Change the World, One Trip at a Time

Photo by Roberto Nickson on  Unsplash

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

You just returned from a trip to somewhere fabulous — it was fun, beautiful, relaxing, indulgent. So you thought you’d come back feeling all invigorated, but instead you’re lethargic from ten days of cocktails and demotivated by a week of lying listlessly on the beach.

What was missing from your holiday, perhaps, was meaning.

It may be time to plan a different kind of getaway. We’re talking about philanthropic travel — choosing a destination where you can serve the local area rather than wait to be served. You’ll pay to work for somebody else, and it may be the most rewarding money you’ve ever spent.

With companies such as Go Philanthropic Travel and Elevate Destinations, options are almost infinite — so we’ve pulled together a small sampling to get you started.


For the independent traveller

Photo by Max Boettinger on  Unsplash

Photo by Max Boettinger on Unsplash

If you’re venturing out on your own, you typically have greater flexibility. Embrace this! In fact, simply choose your destination and let the experts put you to work.

For example, Globe Aware’s Costa Rica Rainforest Village Experience arranges for volunteers to help small communities nestled among the rainforest. But you may not know what you’re doing until you’re there. Projects — like building pedestrian bridges, working with local schools’ organic gardens and planting hundreds of trees — are determined by each community's needs at the time.



Travelling with your partner?

Building or renovating your own home (or even just a small closet) with your partner can be a relationship-testing experience. But working together to build a home for someone else can be absolutely transformative.

Habitat for Humanity brings together volunteers and in-need potential homeowners (homeowners’ sweat equity is a founding principal) to build a home that everybody can be proud of. And no, you don’t have to know anything about construction. Habitat’s people somehow turn house building into a series of simple tasks — like nailing in rows of shingles and laying squares of sod. (Professionals are brought in for tricky parts like wiring.) You and your honey should just choose a region and pack your matching hard hats.



When kids are in the mix

Photo by Lisa H on  Unsplash

Photo by Lisa H on Unsplash

It’s easy to think that travelling with children limits you to amusement parks and large singing characters with outsized ears. Not so! Whether you’re travelling as a family or you’re the cool aunt jetting off with your niece and nephew, consider an experience that can forever change a young person’s outlook on the world.

Elevate Destination’s Kenya: Digital Detox Safari starts out by moving through a family-friendly private conservancy in Northern Kenya and wraps up with a tented-camp stay in the Maasai Mara. You’ll learn Maasai bush skills, volunteer in a school for girls and visit community projects. As the name suggests, kids (and adults) will have no trouble putting away their electronics for ten days.



For you and your bestie

Love Volunteers has a fantastic selection of volunteer opportunities for anybody going just about anywhere, but we think the Great Barrier Reef Conservation experience offers an irresistible blend of adventure, purpose and natural beauty — perfect for Coconut + Salty Kisses girls.

The beginning of the trip is devoted to scuba training, so experienced divers can join a few days later. Once the diving course is complete, volunteers aid the Eye on the Reef program, spending several days and nights living aboard a vessel, monitoring the Great Barrier Reef, learning from reef experts and exploring this natural treasure from above and below the surface.

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