Gone are the days where only the elite could pack up the family, load up on a steamer, and spend months traveling the world. Today, travel is more accessible than ever. And while experiencing new cultures is so valuable (travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer after all!) not all people have the opportunity to travel. We’ve had many travelers ask how to give back while traveling, so we’re sharing a few ways below:
Support local artisans by shopping at local stores in each destination. The same goes for dining – pick small, family-run restaurants and cafes. You’re not only positively impacting the owners and economy, but you also will have a more authentic experience.
Pack for It
Use extra space in your suitcase (you know, that space you leave for souvenirs) to pack supplies for local communities. Our travel partners can help you determine what you can pack, or refer to websites like Pack for a Purpose.
Reduce your carbon footprint by thinking green when you travel. Help with local water conservation by reusing your towels and sheets at your hotel. Often there is a card or marker you can place on your bed to note that you don’t need your sheets changed. Avoid adding to trash by bringing a reusable water bottle and refilling it with clean water – bonus: you’ll also easily stay hydrated!
There are so many ways that you can volunteer while you travel. Your Brownell Advisor can work with our on-the-ground partner to organize an afternoon, day, or even a week where you can give back to a local community. Our partners like A&K Philanthropy and Give a Day Global also have lots of opportunities for travelers to volunteer around the world.
For many destinations, tourism is a key driver of the economy, and things like natural disasters, political issues, or fear of terrorism can be detrimental to the destinations. Take our friends in the Caribbean, for example. Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria cause major damage to some islands, minor damage to others, and left some destinations completely unharmed. But before you cancel your trip all together, it is important to understand the extent of the damage in the destination to which you are traveling, whether it will be ready by your travel dates, and if there is another island you can visit if you need to change your trip.