Do Your Bit With a Charity Holiday
Help Others While You Holiday
Have a happy and rewarding vacation by helping others as you travel.
We all know that holidays are good for us. Taking time away from the daily grind helps to reduce stress and encourage relaxation, making us healthier and happier. But did you also know that helping others carries similar health benefits? So why not combine the two together with a vacation that enables you to give something back to the community? When it comes to helping others while you holiday, there are several options available to you.
One of the main ways of helping communities while you travel is to go on a volunteering holiday. So-called ‘voluntourism’ has grown exponentially in the past decade and there are many worthy projects around the world to which you can donate your time to – whether it’s wildlife conservation in Borneo, animal rescue in the Amazon, or teaching school children in rural India, there is always somewhere you can help.
Make sure you do you research before you go so you know who you’re helping and how, and that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute to the project. It’s best to organise your trip through a reputable company who understands the local culture and the needs of the area and its community.
Be warned – volunteering can be addictive and you could find yourself signing up for more projects once you get home. If that’s the case, an annual multi trip insurance policy will cover you for an unlimited number of trips over the course of a year.
Charity challenges are an important part of many charities’ fundraising strategies, and if you enjoy a challenge you may want to eschew your usual two weeks on the beach in favour of cycling the Great Wall of China or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – all in aid of raising money. These challenges generally require you to pay an organisational cost to the charity as well as pledging to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship. Getting the sponsorship can be hard work, but it’s a great opportunity to raise money for an important cause while testing yourself and having the experience of a lifetime.
As tourism increases, certain destinations can suffer from the higher level of visitors. Ecotourism holidays help to reduce the impact of tourism on an area and its people by ensuring that the local environment is not damaged or exploited, consulting with local communities on planned developments and ensuring that any infrastructure improvements benefit local people as well as tourists. These kind of trips also have an emphasis on raising awareness of and inspiring a greater appreciation for nature and local cultures. There are some great ecotourist resorts out there, and some of the best can be found in Costa Rica.
Travel Operator Donations
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to help others whilst holidaying is via tour operator donation schemes. For example, for every customer travelling to Norman Carr safaris in Zambia, Audley Travel donates $20 to their tree-planting scheme in an effort to offset carbon emissions and to discourage deforestation in the region. Travel firm Thomson does things a little differently, selling charity scratch cards and collecting donations on board their flights. The income generated by these activities is used to help charitable causes in the UK and further afield. Check with your preferred operator before booking to see if they have any similar schemes in place.
When it comes to charity holidays you can do as much or as little as you feel. Building a school in Africa is not for everyone, but we can all hand over some spare change when the collection comes around on the plane. By helping good causes you can enjoy your holiday happy in the knowledge that you are doing your bit to help make the world a better place.