Here at Expedia, we are always looking for ways to help travelers get the most out of their trips. We are passionate about providing inspiration to see the world, making it easier to book travel, and, most of all, ensuring that customers are getting the most value possible. And value is where travelling to give back comes in.
While we talk a lot about ways to capture value through great travel deals, making a trip more meaningful is another way to add value. And there is no better way to make a trip meaningful than to have it align with a charitable component.
Here are three ways that you can unite a love of travel with a desire to make a positive impact on the world, all of which we plan to participate in over the coming year.
Take a hike – If you are into adventure travel, want to do something off the beaten path, and refuse to sit idle while more than one billion people live in poverty, than Oxfam’s Trailwalker is your thing. It certainly is ours; we are big supporters of Oxfam, so we’ve got a few in mind for 2017.
In short, Trailwalker requires that you and your team walk 100 km (just over 62 miles) in a specific period of time, usually 48 hours. With 16 trails to choose from in nine different countries–from an epic walks through the mountains near Barcelona, Spain to a jaw-dropping trek up iconic Mount Fuji in Japan—these are not walks in the park. But the reward is an ability to see parts of the world that many travelers never visit, all while helping to lift people out of poverty. How about that for a vacation?!
Get on your feet – OK, so maybe you love to run, walk, or hike but are not all that interested in covering 62 miles in two days. We understand. There are plenty of amazing opportunities around the world to participate in charitable runs or walks that are a bit more accessible.
To really amp up the fun factor, we suggest picking events that both align with a charity you support and occur in a place that you are genuinely excited to visit. For example, we are considering heading back to Orlando to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in support of one of our (and Expedia’s) favorite charities: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Viewfinder Tip: If you are struggling to figure out how to give back, we have some simple advice. Start with your hobby or interest (i.e. a love of Disney or a passion for the outdoors) and go from there!
Find your tribe – Traveling to give back doesn’t mean you have to work up a sweat. Maybe you are more interested in exercising your brain and building relationships with like-minded people in order to collectively make a difference. To that end, there are numerous conferences and meet-ups that enable you to connect with (or build) your tribe, put your skills to work, and collectively find ways to tackle really tough problems. In the past we’ve attended the annual CARE conference and various HRC events.
Throughout the year, it’s most important that we surround ourselves—for business and for pleasure—with like-minded people. For starters, that means heading to San Francisco to participate in the Wisdom 2.0 conference. While not a charity in and of itself, every year we make new friends that are doing remarkable things to make the world a better place. We also leave with a renewed awareness of the difference that we can make and the spark to transform our concern into our own meaningful action.
In 2017, join us in giving back via travel, and use Expedia to help you get there.
What are you doing to make the world a better place? Share how you care by using the hashtag #ShareHowYouCare on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.