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Easy Ways You Can Travel and Give Back

Are you someone who likes to give back to the world as much as possible, whether that be through donating goods such as a boat, a car, money, groceries, or even your time? If so, consider taking your annual holidays in a way that also helps the world.

While you might initially think of trips as the time for your own relaxation and enjoyment, it is possible to both recharge your own batteries and help animals, other people around the globe, and the environment. Read on for some easy ways you can vacation with a purpose.

Saying goodbye to children in Kenya after volunteering in local schools.

Saying goodbye to children in Kenya after volunteering in local schools.

Choose Eco Hotels and Other Operators

If you want to tread more lightly on the earth on your next holiday, then do what you can to choose eco-friendly hotels, tour operators, attractions, car hire, restaurants and the like. If you’re flying to your destination, consider the carbon offsetting option provided by many airlines or, if feasible, travel using public transport as often as you can. If you need to hire a car when you arrive at your destination, look for a vehicle that is as eco-friendly as possible.

When it comes to choosing a hotel or other accommodation provider, there are many environmentally-aware options to choose from these days. When you’re selecting your place of rest, look for accommodations where energy consumption is reduced through operational changes and improvements. These might include things like the addition of solar power; eco-friendly light bulbs; motion-sensor and time operated lighting; and reduced-energy appliances.

It also pays to look for hotels that work to reduce their level of waste. Sustainable operators tend to utilize recycling and compost bins; replace individual bottles of products and cakes of soap with liquid dispensers or all-in-one options; and plan consumption carefully so that less wastage occurs in areas such as restaurants.

There are many great examples of luxurious yet sustainable accommodation providers around the world. Ikurangi Eco Retreat, for instance, is the first purpose-built eco accommodation on the Cook Islands. The Retreat, which just opened this year, was built using sustainably-sourced materials, and features low-energy light bulbs, composting toilets, natural and biodegradable toiletries, solar power and more.

If you want to visit Sri Lanka soon, check out the upcoming Tri hotel. Launching in November, the new hotel will be one of the country’s best, contemporary, luxury design hotels that’s also sustainable.

The resort is being created from recycled wood, and local materials that haven’t had to be shipped in from afar. The resort will also feature solar panels, green roofs, and “living” walls made of plant life.

Help Communities in Need

Travel also provides the opportunity for you to help communities in need. There are many wonderful volunteering opportunities across the globe where you can spend your time helping to build new homes or other facilities for struggling communities. You can even keep helping when you get home, by donating  your boat to a charity before you buy a new one next summer, or helping others arrange to travel to places where they can volunteer too.

Alternatively, you can also choose to spend your money with tour companies and accommodation providers which give back to disadvantaged locals, or who donate a percentage of sales or profits to community-based projects.

If you travel to Africa, for example, check out the company Cheli & Peacock Safaris. This African specialist is one of the leading safari operators in Kenya and has a strong ethos on giving back. Not only does the business operate environmentally-friendly safaris and work with sustainable camps through the country, but it also supports wildlife conservation and has its own Community Trust.

The Trust set up by Cheli & Peacock provides economic, developmental, and educational benefits to Kenyan communities. Visitors can also make a difference in person, by donating needed supplies to local schools during their trip.

Volunteering in Kenya

Volunteering in Kenya for education. 

Choose Conservation-Based Companies

While traveling, you can also help at-risk, protected and endangered animal species across the globe. For starters, ensure that you don’t spend your tourist dollars on attractions and events that mistreat or harm animals in any way. Many activities, such as riding elephants or visiting circuses with animals, may not seem at first glance to be bad for creatures, and may even market that they help them, but this is sadly not often the case.

Animals which are made to “perform” in some way are generally hurt and abused in order to make them adhere to the standards of human keepers. It pays to do your research on companies before you part with your cash for these types of experiences.

In addition, when you travel you can also choose tour operators or accommodation providers which give back to animals in some way. Many companies donate to conservation-based programs, or even set up their own; customers will often also have the chance to contribute their time or money to these causes as well.

In the Indian Ocean, the LUX* Maldives Resort recent launched a coral-reef monitoring project that will protect and study the local marine ecosystem. Guests staying at the luxury resort can also be educated on the importance of protecting the vulnerable region, an ecosystem home to marine animals like turtles, whale sharks and manta rays. If you like to learn about the plight of creatures and how to help them, there are other similar programmes run at resorts and facilities worldwide.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

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