Posts Tagged ‘Volunteer Vacations’

Travel for Good///Travelocity and Voluntourism

Sometimes I just make things harder than they need to be. Who among us can’t say THAT, right? I beat the virtual bushes of the Internet trying to find blog subjects that turn me on, and hope they might light a spark among someone else as well…and there is so much that goes on right underneath my nose.

I recently booked a trip through Travelocity to do a volunteer stint in Idaho next week (more on that later). Travelocity is a search engine I use fairly often when booking stuff. Then this morning I grabbed a t-shirt to put on as one of many layers to go out to shovel some more snow…and it was a shirt I’ve had for a few years: Travelocity—Travel for Good. I had forgotten about their green travel and voluntourism programs until the reminder was literally on my chest.

Travelocity has a Travel for Good portal as part of their site (www.travelocity.com/travelforgood) where you can find eco-friendly vacation options as well as volunteer vacations through their partners (really great partners such as Earthwatch, American Hiking Society, Cross-Cultural Solutions, and Globe Aware). They even go so far as to offer voluntourism grants of $5,000 (two awarded per quarter) to volunteer travelers to make making a difference accessible to more of us.

The green travel section has carbon offset plans, lists of eco-friendly green hotels, and links to find a hybrid rental car.

I feel a little foolish that a resource I already make use of has been quietly doing good, as their motto says: “One Trip at a Time”…but if I’m going to feel foolish, it’s good to also feel good and proud that the choice I made in the travel marketplace is aligned with what is most important to me.

Volunteer Honeymoon

Well, today’s the big day for Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky as they tie the knot…perhaps you’ve heard? (If not, I hope it is cool and shady under that rock where you’ve been living. You can’t look at any media without being bombarded by speculation about the wedding). Congratulations to the two of them.

Kind of a fun day to look at the concept of a volunteer honeymoon. What a brilliant way to start your new life together, awake to the blessing of your good fortune while sharing all that energy with a community or project in need. Your passion for the world and passion for each other finding expression as you share this chance to change the world. And you can still arrange plenty of downtime and relaxation and private time—a volunteer vacation needn’t ever mean you are over-extended or exhausted or on-task 24/7 (unless that’s what you want).

In addition to the concept of a volunteer honeymoon, there are also some great ways to designate charitable organizations as recipients of donations in your name with charitable gift registries. If you’ve already got the toaster and towels, having your guests donate in your name to your charity of choice is a great way to spread the love. The I DO Foundation makes it simple to set up a Give Back Gift Registry (as well as tips for making your wedding a green event). Just Give makes it easy for your guests to give in your honor (for birthdays, graduations, and other special events as well). Changing the Present is a non-profit that helps you change the world via your wedding registry, one gift at a time. There are others, of course. Just a nice way to look at it all as you contemplate and plan (and stress out) readying for that day when you’ll be putting so much love into the world.

Radio Interview

I recently had the great opportunity to talk with Sam Litzinger, the host of The Animal House radio program on WAMU 88.5 FM American University Radio. The show aired yesterday, Saturday, as this talk show focused on animals does every week, at 7:00am. We chatted for a spell about Volunteer Vacations that afford the opportunity to work with animals.

Here’s a link to our segment if you want to give a listen. (Just hit PLAY once you go to the Animal House show page)

http://wamu.org/programs/the_animal_house/player/?airdate=2010-06-26