5 Ways to Give Back to Travel Destinations You Care About

Travel can be exhilarating, relaxing, inspiring or obligatory. So whether you take to the road for work or pleasure, travel can provide an opportunity for you to contribute to the well-being of the places you care most about. Here’s how…

1) Eat local.

A traditional meal in Ecuador.

Help bolster local economies by opting for locally sourced food and locally owned restaurants. For example, choose family-owned restaurants in lieu of fast food burgers or pizza chains. When you eat local, you’re not only supporting local restaurants but neighborhood farmers and fishermen. Not only that, enjoying the local cuisine is often a very satisfying way of savoring the local culture.

2) Shop local.

Handicrafts made from a women’s co-op in Vanuatu.

Unless you’re in China, avoid buying items manufactured there. Choose souvenirs for sale in local markets and artisan co-ops. Support businesses that are giving back to communities. Check out Visit.org, an online marketplace for tours and activities run by local nonprofits.

3) Leave a legacy.

An old schoolhouse that has been refurbished and open to the public with the support of the Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund.

As visitor numbers increase and resources for natural and cultural protection dwindle, traveler philanthropy programs are becoming increasingly popular and important. Travel Oregon and Torres del Paine are two examples of these types of initiatives. Read more about how a small grant from visitor donations helped The Human Access Project secure over $300,000 from the city of Portland, Oregon to improve  access to the Willamette River coastline.

4) Share.

Selfies with Samburu tribes in the Northern Rangelands of Kenya.

A spectacular vista, an intriguing encounter, a meditative moment. Share your experiences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—keep friends and family in the know. Tell them who you’ve met, what you’ve learned and how you’ve felt. That way, you’ll inspire others to travel in support of people and the planet.

5) Support our Work.

Mother Gloria Sabajo who supports her family as a tour guide in Redi Doti, Suriname.

Donate today and support our work in destinations around the world. From creating new job opportunities for indigenous communities in Suriname to fruit tree planting in St. Kitts, your donation can make a significant difference in the lives of people who depend on travel and tourism.

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