We know millennials value travel over, well, just about everything. And despite claims that we’re self-obsessed, this generation is known for its commitment to giving back. So it stands to reason we can make our adventures all the more rewarding if we can travel better while doing good. We’re not talking about voluntourism (though that’s great too, and TOMS’ Blake Mycoskie knows of some great options). We’re referring to companies that build social good into their business model, so every time you plan a trip, you can feel even better knowing you’re putting your money where your miles are for a good cause.
1. Wander: Founded by a group of travelers eager to do their part, Wander works like any other hotel booking site, except part of the commission from every reservation is donated to a charity. There is no booking fee, the rates are competitive, and the site has more than 250,000 hotels to choose from. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
2. Leave a Trace: If you are partial to sites like Priceline or Hotels.com and are willing to take an extra step, this website allows you to keep working with your favorite businesses (even Amazon is a partner) and still contribute. Go to the homepage to see if your go-to is listed. If it is, just click through, then browse and shop as usual. Leave a Trace gets a commission off any car, hotel, or flight booked, and 100 percent is donated to refugee agencies around the world.
3. Wanderwell: Ever had to cancel a trip at the last minute and lost all the money? It’s a total bummer, but that’s why travel insurance is actually quite handy. Wanderwell makes it easy to browse and secure plans. (Half the battle in getting travel insurance is deciphering what it does and, more importantly, what it does not cover. At the end of the year, the company hands over 10 percent of its gross revenue to 1% for the Planet, an organization focused on environmental causes.
4. Kind Traveler: Not only does this hotel booking site partner with eco-conscious and boutique properties, but it also swaps discounts for donations. You donate $10 a night to a cause of your choice, and the site rewards you with a special deal on the rate or other amenities. Look out for their upcoming Do Good for a Day program, which will allow you to find short-term volunteer projects on the road or close to home.
5. Visit.org: Okay, we lied — there is one voluntourism agency we’d like to highlight. But this one is a little different: Visit.org launched in April to allow wayfarers to book immersive tours, day-long activities, or entire vacations based on a specific location and a cause. Local organizations coordinate the itineraries, so you can be sure you’re getting a legitimately local experience, which can range from spending an afternoon with Gnawa ritual musicians in Morocco to hiking through the Malagos Watershed in the Philippines and learning about eagle preservation. You donate your time and learn about lesser-known issues impacting the world, and part of the proceeds go back to helping the same community you visit.
Where are you traveling this summer? Tag us in your adventures on Instagram @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)