“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality. And instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson.
To see the world and experience all of the possibilities it has to offer is a treat. Visiting remote locations, towns, villages, and third world countries can be both delightfully encouraging and heartwarming. At times traveling can be a bit self-centered but try creative ways to travel and give.
There are travel volunteer programs available across the world, most of them will cost you a good $2K to $5K for travel, lodging, transportation and food. There are some that provide lodging and food, more often then not you basically pay for all of your expenses for the experience. It’s more of a mission trip than volunteer opportunity if you will. So if you can afford to do a short or long-term volunteer trip, by all means go.
You don’t have to go on a volunteer or mission trip to make a difference around the world. Here are a few suggestions as to how you can try creative ways to travel and give:
- Pay it forward. Give airline or hotel points to American Red Cross, TripIt and others. It allows those with unforeseen circumstances to get where they need to go. If you know someone who loves travel or going on a mission trip, donate your unused mileage.
- Research. Look into ways to volunteer for your next trip. Call the concierge at the hotel you plan to stay at and ask if there are any recommendations. Perhaps they can provide a list of local organizations that need your help during your visit. Contact the organizations and see what they are in need of. Perhaps you can bring items along with you or ship them ahead of time.
- Supporting the local businesses. When you travel, avoid buying stuff you can get at home. Instead of Starbucks try a local coffee shop.
- Transportation. Use public transportation, it helps to fuel the local economy.
- Tours. Going on tours as opposed to self-guided tours helps drive dollars in the area and attract more tourism, thus helping the locals.
- Tip. Tip the hospitality staff at your hotel, cab driver or waiters, helping to put more funds in their pockets. It really goes a long way in third world countries especially places where the U.S. dollar is worth more.
- Brag. Tell people about the places you visit. Talk about the wonderful things you did and the awesome people you encountered. Encourage others to take trip and see for themselves. It’s a great way to help drive tourism to places that could really use it.
To travel is a privilege and an honor. To give is admirable. If you can manage to do both, you can help the world become a better place. Even something as simple as eating and shopping local where you visit helps.
Are you planning to try Creative Ways to Travel and Give? Comment below!
Photo Credit: Travel Noire