How to combine philanthropy and travel
Unfortunately, travel can sometimes cause more harm than good. Previously pristine beaches can become overcrowded and filthy. National parks might have to sacrifice precious land in order to construct more roads. Locals might run low on natural resources, or their home life could be disrupted by a sudden burst of tourism in their region. And these are just a few negative side-effects of the travel industry.
However, travelers are starting to become more aware of these pressing issues, and it’s leading to a huge boom of global positivity. People genuinely want to help others, even on their vacations to various countries around the globe.
But what are the best ways you can combine philanthropy and travel? According to numerous citizens and travel experts, here’s how you can do good while enjoying new experiences abroad:
Book a volunteer trip
If you want to provide direct support for others overseas, check out International Volunteer HQ. This organization is incredibly affordable, and they have supported over 100,000 volunteers since 2007. IVHQ gives philanthropists the opportunity to safely travel with experienced guides to over 45 popular destinations, including Bali, Costa Rica, Italy, Fiji, Kenya, and Thailand.
Travelers will also have a wide range of options when it comes to choosing a volunteer program. There are openings in healthcare, childcare, conservation, animal care, teaching, and several other areas. Whether you travel alone or with a group, IVHQ will make sure to find the perfect position for every individual’s skills and talents.
Donate supplies and clothing
Do you have any clothes in your closet that still have the original tags on them? Or maybe a few pairs of jeans that don’t really fit anymore? Next time you travel abroad, bring along your new or gently-used clothing to donate to local charities or organizations at your destination. You could even give them to locals you meet and make their day!
If you want to bring more than just clothing, check out Pack for a Purpose. This charity makes it easy to see what types of supplies are needed the most in the country you’re visiting. People might require essential items that are difficult to find in their region, such as medical supplies, school supplies, and camping equipment. A basic first aid kit or a backpack full of notebooks and pencils could impact a community long after you return home from your trip.
According to experts from the World Wildlife Fund, people don’t have to stop traveling to reduce the harmful effects of tourism. Instead, more people must learn to travel responsibly, or become committed to leaving a positive impact on the places they visit. Some ways to do this include:
- Avoiding interaction with wild animals, such as riding elephants or swimming with dolphins.
- Being respectful of cultural visits by recognizing that it should primarily benefit local communities rather than visitors.
- Using bio-friendly sunscreens and shampoo when swimming near coral reefs.
- Dining at locally-owned restaurants.
- Bringing a reusable water bottle instead of single-use plastic bottles.
- Avoiding large chain hotels in favor of eco-friendly accommodation.
- Purchasing essential items and/or souvenirs from local sellers and artists.
Raise funds for a good cause
Anyone who wants to travel while spreading awareness of a great cause should follow the lead of Cameron Golman. Cameron started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation… but he’s doing it a bit differently than most people would assume. For every $1,000 donated to the charity, Cameron tackles a different adrenaline-fueled challenge suggested by the top donors. From bungee jumping to exploring caves to wrestling a bear in Russia, he is determined to do whatever it takes to find a cure for the serious disease.
When asked why he’s so inspired to complete these jaw-dropping adventures, Cameron talks about his sister’s own battle with cystic fibrosis. “I took having good health for granted until I witnessed my sister’s daily struggles never preventing her from accomplishing all of her academic, athletic, and career goals,” he writes. “She is, and will always be, my greatest role for living life to its fullest.”
Every penny donated to the GoFundMe page goes directly towards the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Golman plans to finish his 16-country trek by the end of June. After hearing about this incredible act, BNESIM was more than happy to support all of Cameron’s communication needs during his global travels. When we asked if we could do more to help, he replied, “BNESIM is a true hero and a true asset to this fundraiser. Without the reliable quality of your service, I wouldn’t have the final inch of strength, courage, and willpower to take on each date. Thank you.”