Hosting and organizing active travel programs for my clients, friends and local community is fun and rewarding in of itself.
I enjoy designing tours and making adventures happen where people really can get culturally enriched, boost their health by walking or hiking in nature, and foster life-long friendships with fellow like-minded travelers.
But one thing that I need to do more personally, and all of us who are lucky enough to go on amazing adventures and trips around the globe should try to do, is “Voluntourism”; giving back to the local communities we visit and the most deserving people of those communities.
There are several ways you can easily make a difference globally in poverty, the environment, health and wellness, and safety.
Pack for a Purpose encourages travelers to save room in their luggage to pack supplies for local charities. Their network is worldwide and travelers can drop off items at participating local resorts.
Most of the major airlines have an option where you can donate your miles to help make a difference for people in need. The available charities vary from airline to airline, but include organizations such as Red Cross and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
More and more hotels—at the corporate level—are getting involved in supporting local communities in need.
At The Good Hotel in San Francisco, just pick up the orange phone in the lobby to connect to the nonprofit One Brick, which matches visitors to short-term service gigs. You can roll up your sleeves for a few hours at the San Francisco Food Bank or join a day trip with wetlands conservation group
Staying at a Ritz-Carlton property? Whether you’re heading to Beijing, Berlin or Battery Park in New York City, the Ritz-Carlton offers Give Back Getaways, half-day voluntourism opportunities for its guests. The projects vary from environmental conservation to hunger and poverty relief and helping disadvantaged children.
Lastly, you can simply book a volunteer vacation and really make an impact and immerse yourself into a good cause anywhere in the world.
Organizations like Cross Cultural Solutions,GVI and Projects Abroad can match you with a destination and a cause that you really believe in and you’ll gain an in-depth cultural understanding not possible on most regular tours and adventure trips.
This article made its debut on Jack’s Lifestyle Blog on www.NoHoArtsDistrict.com
About the author: Jack Witt is a Los Angeles based Health and Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker , Healthy Community Organizer and Active Travel Specialist. His other websites include www.GetFitwithWitt.com and www.SilverSailings.com and www.HiketheHolyLand.com