By Bobby Coniferus
We all love to take trips, whether for adventure, luxury, relaxation or the thrill of the new. Imagine how much sweeter the journey would be, knowing that you’re contributing to charity while vacationing. We’ve rounded up some travel-related charitable products and initiatives of note for you to keep in mind and heart.
Voyage Partners launched a luxury cruise ship share program called Cruising for Kids. Investors can purchase lifetime ownership of an elegant suite for four weeks a year, for the life of a cruise ship, for $90,000 (eight weeks for $180,000) and then donate the entire gift to the charity of their choice. The charity can resell the weeks for $3,000 – $14,000, depending upon the suite. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving, as it creates new revenue for a charity every year. Ports of call include Hong Kong, Bermuda, Stockholm, Nassau, London, Fiji, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Barcelona and more. Check out www.voyagepartners.com.
The Kor Hotel Group sponsors a “Think Pink” October campaign, offering U.S. guests a Think Pink rate or a Think Pink Package with 10% of proceeds going to the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center. discounted rate with the Think Pink package. “Think Pink” rates and “Think Pink” packages are available at all Kor boutique hotels in the U.S. during October, either online at www.thinkpinkhotels.com or by phone at 800-439-3719.
Country Walkers presents ‘Women Giving Back,’ a program that allows women travelers to make meaningful contributions to the communities that welcome them. For each guest on a Women’s Adventure, Country Walkers makes a financial contribution to select initiatives. Examples of trip destinations are the Dupthop Lhakhang nunnery in Thimpu in Bhutan, a healing children’s home for orphans n Peru, and a women’s ironworks forge-cooperative in Morocco. Please visit www.countrywalkers.com for more information or call 800-464-9255.
Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts are designed to support local communities by exhibiting and retailing indigenous handicrafts, which are also found in the resorts. A portion of every purchase is given back to the community to help support the local village (www.banyantreegallery.com) Many items around the properties and in the villas can be purchased at the gallery, and to this end, Banyan Tree Gallery has worked with numerous kilns in Thailand to develop celadon and ceramic containers that are lead-free, environment friendly containers for shampoo, hair conditioner, bath foam and body lotion. The deliberate move to adopt higher investment and replacement costs in guest amenities helps to safeguard the long term protection of the environment. Other merchandise includes spa products, artwork, clothing, and jewelry.
As part of the Volun-Tourism Program in South Florida, the Doral Golf Resort & Spa and Marco Island Marriott Resort/Golf Club & Spa are help guests donate their time while enjoying their trip. The South Florida resorts have partnered with several non-profit and charity organizations to meet the needs of volunteering vacationers. At Marco Island Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa “volun-tours” can lend a hand at the local YMCA of Marco Island with landscaping or beautification efforts, and he Doral Golf Resort & Spa guests can take part in a morning beach clean-up at the Biscayne Nature Center or sign up for mural painting with Hands on Miami.
These travel products specifically benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (a nonprofit organization), and are found at www.komen.org/marketplace. Amidst a sea of baggage make your luggage stand out with the Pink Ribbon Luggage Tag. This brightly colored tag is not only practical but a great way to help promote breast cancer research funding. The Striped Travel Case melds practicality and fashion in a travel case, and the Pink Ribbon Tote Bag is a versatile pink ribbon tote bag ideal for the gym, toting books or baby items, or for the beach or travel.
The JSPCA saves street dogs, and The Chukka Caribbean Adventures’ Jamaica Dogsled Tour will donate proceeds to their noble cause. This will be a one of a kind experience in the Caribbean, priced at $100 per person. Participants will meet and greet terrific sled dogs, assist with watering, learn about their places on the team, their story, and help to harness the team. The team’s sponsor is Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville, and a documentary film about the sled dogs, titled Sun Dogs, will be viewed. Guests will learn the commands to verbally mush the team, and the dogs will pull them in a specially designed and themed two-seater cart around a two mile-long trail on the beautiful Chukka Cove Farm in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This will be an exclusive tour only twice per day with 2 people each, a total of 4 people per day – a heartwarming experience for people who adore dogs! For more information about the Jamaica Dogsled Team visit www.jamaicadogsled.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-876-972-2506. To learn more about Chukka Caribbean Adventures visit www.chukkacaribbean.com.
Theresa Kathryn laptop bags supports the Women’s Cancer Research Fund of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (www.eifoundation.org/national/wcp/) by donating 10% of the proceeds from sales of the Ellen bag in cognac/pink to this charity. This will apply to all sales of the bag on www.theresakathryn.com during October. The bag retails for $495, and the line is also available at Intuition in L.A. Take this laptop bag with you the next time you leave home!
Trips for Cancer, www.travel4acure.com, raises funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through a luxury online auction. Deluxe trips are auctioned off, including treks to Parrot Cay, Guanahani St Barts, Canyon Ranch, Italy and Mexico–and nearly 50 luxury hotels participate, along with Continental Airlines. Evelyn Lauder’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation is the designated beneficiary of all funds raised in the 2007 campaign, which will take place in March of 2007. For more details, register at www.elitetravelbystacy.com.
Whether you love dogs, the beach, exotic locales, cruises or great travel accessories (or all of the above), there’s definitely a way for you to give something to charity on your next vacation.