Meaningful trips inspired by the Rugby World Cup


We are well into the Rugby World Cup, hosted for the first time in an Asian nation – Japan. This year’s event is set to be the most openly contested ever – so hard to pick the winner, with at least 6 countries laying plausible claim to the title. Japan’s historic win over one of the favourites, Ireland, has set the tournament alight, and made Scotland nervous.

This is an opportune time to feature some of the destinations that feature prominently in the Rugby World Cup, and outline how you can make a difference when you travel to them.

1. New Zealand

Current Cup holders, no rugby world cup list is complete without featuring New Zealand. When you go, go for as long as you can, as there is so much to see, and there are activities to suit all traveller types. From breathtaking hikes to sublime food and wine, jaw dropping heli-flights and fascinating cultural immersion, you will love it whichever way you approach it.

Meaningful luxury New Zealand

Make your trip to New Zealand meaningful by helping build predator-proof nest boxes for penguins. Rugby fans can make a donation to a mental health foundation and in return spend an evening with a World Cup winning All Black, who will regale you with tales and give you insights into what it means to be one of the All Black greats.

2. Australia

Runner’s up last time, Australia never fails to disappoint travellers, and the selection of luxury lodges keeps increasing. First timers may focus on Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, whilst repeat visitors might consider amazing places like the Kimberleys, Kangaroo Island or Ningaloo Reef.

Meaningful luxury Australia

You can leave a legacy in Australia by assisting with wildlife survey counts in the Blue Mountains, or fund a scholarship for a promising Aboriginal arts student in return for having an exclusive encounter with an established Aboriginal artist from whom you can commission a piece.

3. South Africa

Their win in 1995 helped unite this nation ravaged by apartheid, and the mighty Springboks have gone on to win again in 2007. With red wines to rival the finest from Australia’s Barossa Valley, friendly locals and scenery comparing favourably with New Zealand, South Africa wins hands-down when it comes to wildlife safari.

Meaningful luxury South Africa

You can give-back in South Africa by helping with sports coaching, renovating day care centers, or preparing meals for those less fortunate.

4. Argentina

A very strong rugby nation who may cause a few surprises, and even be a big headache for England in the pool stages, Argentina is another country with striking diversity, thanks especially to its length, from chilly Patagonia to tropical Iguazu Falls…another superb wine producer too…notice a theme here?

Adventure that counts in Argentina

Add another dimension to your time in Argentina by funding and helping build a classroom in the remote Salta region, or, head over to Chile, make a donation to the World Wildlife Fund for Puma conservation, and then track them in the wild.

5. Italy

The Azzuri play with flair, but with New Zealand and South Africa in their group, they won’t be getting to the knockout rounds, but don’t let that stop you visiting! Once again, combine great wine with tasty cuisine, diverse landscapes and that ephemeral “Italian way of life”…perhaps throw in a private visit to the Ferrari factory, drive some laps in a Maserati, take a cooking class with a Michelin starred chef, or enjoy an exclusive visit to the Sistine Chapel to enhance your trip even more.

Italy fulfilling luxury trip

And make your trip to Italy exceptional by spending a few days helping at a refugee center: preparing meals, helping write resumes, teaching English, or assisting with renovations.

6. Fiji

Gold medal winners in the 7s, Fiji’s 15-a-side team probably won’t advance out of their pool group, but their remaining matches will be entertaining, and a trip there is one you will cherish: incredible beaches, locals who will dazzle you with their friendliness (and white teeth), amazing eco-luxury resorts and world-class diving…no great vineyards though.

Fiji meaningful luxury

Be enriched on a trip to Fiji by helping build a home for a family in need…you will gain insights into their lives, hear their stories, and make a huge difference by providing them with a decent place to live.

Christopher Hill is Founder and CEO at Hands Up Holidays. Hands Up Holidays is an award-winning travel company specialising in tailor-made luxury family trips that combine sightseeing with hands-on service projects.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.


Comments (10)

  1. Maggie says:

    I’m pleased to see the idea of sponsoring a scholarship for an Aboriginal artist on the agenda for Australia. There’s a lot of catching up to do when it comes to fair treatment of the Aboriginals. Anything that helps the culture of Australia’s indigenous people to survive should be encouraged.

    • Christopher Hill says:

      So true Maggie! Have you been to – or are you from – Australia?

    • Maggie says:

      I’ve only been to Australia the once and I’m sorry to say that one of my main memories is the alienation of the Aborigines. They were poor, isolated from mainstream society and perhaps understandably had a lot of problems with drinking. That’s what makes me feel so strongly about anything that gives the Aborigines some hope and independence.

  2. John Talbot says:

    And what about the British nations? England were the first to qualify for the quarter-finals. Wales are already through too. Typhoon permitting, Ireland should sneak through as well.

    Sadly, homelessness on Britain’s cities streets means that there are plenty of opportunities for volunteering in centres for the homeless. There are plenty of wildlife and conservation projects always requiring some help.

    Or if you are based in Britain why not make a long-term commitment to help? At a higher level, if you’ve got management experience you could give your time to a charity by serving on their board of directors.

    • Dave says:

      And what about the USA? I know that we are not going to make it into the quarter-finals but when it comes to luxury trsvel I bet that we are world-class. I don’t think that it would take too much research to dig up some worthwhile community projects in our cities or some great conservation programs out in the wilds.

    • Christopher Hill says:

      Hi Dave and John,
      You are both absolutely correct. And as the saying goes “charity begins at home”, and serving on a board of a charity, or providing specific expertise to a local charity, such as marketing or fund raising advice, is fantastic.
      Hands Up Holidays does actually offer conservation volunteering in the US – in Hawaii and California, as well as post-hurricane home renovation in New Orleans – appropriate given the looming typhoon heading towards Japan.

  3. Jean Hall says:

    I just clicked through to the Hands Up Holidays. I like the idea of doing some travel that is ethical but also has some volunteering where you are giving to the community where you stay. I like it that you are giving up your time and not just money, for many of us fortunate to live in the First World we often have money to give. Giving up our time is the true sacrifice.

    My only problem is that from the website it looks as if the experiences are designed for families with kids. My husband and I are empty-nesters. Do you do experiences for such couples?

    • Christopher Hill says:

      Hi Jean,
      Thanks for taking the time to look at the Hands Up Holidays site!
      You are right: our main focus is families, but we are so passionate about anyone travelling this way that we love to get enquiries from empty nesters, honeymooners, solo travellers, corporates, schools, groups of friends – you name it!
      I will be happy to personally help you!

  4. Grace Stone says:

    I can’t say that I’m a rugby fan but it’s interesting to see some rugby inspired destinations. I do like the focus on meaningfulness, I think trips can seem quite shallow when you’re only going for time away from routine to lounge in the sun. That’s great, but I do like holidays with more depth so a lot of these appeal to me, especially in terms of conservation efforts. ‘Every little helps’, and if more tourists stopped to do something small on their trip, whether through physically doing something to help or just making a donation, the world could be a much brighter and more caring place.

  5. Steve Clark says:

    Wow, what a great article! Thank you for reminding us of the excitement of getting out of our comfort zones and showing us such a different place. I’ve really enjoyed reading it throughout. Thanks

Leave a reply



Your actual name, not your online persona, website name, company name or keywords, otherwise your comment won't be published





Please do not advertise and make sure your comment adds value, otherwise we regret that it won't be published. Links are not allowed here - if you would like to advertise, please contact us for details.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Our readers also enjoyed these posts…