UN charity day and luxury travel

Charity and luxury – do they mix?

September 5 is the UN’s International Day of Charity. The prime purpose of the International Day of Charity is to raise awareness and provide a common platform for charity-related activities all over the world for individuals, charitable, philanthropic and volunteer organizations for their own purposes on the local, national, regional and international level.

All jolly interesting, but what has this to do with luxury travel?

A lot, as it turns out.

It is my belief that luxury travel is so much more meaningful when you add in a charitable component, meaning, doing something that improves the lives of others less fortunate. There are two ways to help:

  1. Philanthropy, and
  2. Volunteering

1. Philanthropy

Some ideas:

  • Whilst on safari in South Africa, fund and witness a rhino relocation, from a heavily poached reserve to a safe one in Botswana; this is where you get to sit in the helicopter while the veterinarian darts the rhino, land and spend time with the sedated rhino, and then help it get airlifted off to Botswana;
  • In Indonesia, after, say, relaxing in Bali, fund and witness the release of an orangutan family from an area facing habitat loss due to palm oil production to a protected reserve;
  • In Australia, fund a scholarship for a promising Aboriginal art student, and in return, commission your own unique work of art from an established Aboriginal artist; or
  • In Italy, experience a cooking masterclass with a Michelin chef in return for a donation to a soup kitchen that the chef supports.

These trips are all about leaving a legacy and having unique dinner party stories to tell.


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2. Volunteering

Some ideas:

  • In Belize, Peru or India, spend a couple of days building an eco-friendly stove for a family. These stoves are fantastic in that they are enclosed, and replace open flames, reducing burn incidents; they have a chimney to expel the smoke, dramatically lowering respiratory problems such as asthma, and they consume much less fuel than traditional stoves, so are better for the environment;
  • In Costa Rica, help for a few days at a wildlife rescue center; preparing meals for monkeys, parrots, and more, feeding them, maintaining their enclosures, creating enrichments to engage the animals, and assisting the vet on his daily rounds;
  • In Morocco and Argentina, install solar panels for families and communities;
  • In Thailand and India, care for elephants: prepare their meals, hand feed them, walk with them, and watch them bathe and socialize;
  • In Zambia, Guatemala, and Cambodia, build a home for a family in need of a decent place to live; and
  • In Bali, build a disabled-accessible bathroom for a paraplegic: immeasurably improving their sense of independence and self-worth

Luxury volunteer vacation PeruAnd the luxury aspect?

A specialist travel agent is skilled at combining charity with luxury travel, on a bespoke tailored trip. For example, some of the places you can stay in the destinations mentioned above include:

Even just one day dedicated to a charitable cause as part of your luxury trip can make a difference, for yourself as well as others. This International Day of Charity, reach out to a specialist luxury volunteer travel or luxury philanthropic travel agent and see for yourself how good this is.

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.

Christopher Hill

Christopher Hill is the Founder of both Hands Up Holidays and Impact Destinations. Hands Up Holidays specialises in sustainable luxury family trips that help kids appreciate how fortunate they are and inspire them to become future leaders by blending curated sightseeing with meaningful volunteering opportunities. For example, in Zambia, experience Victoria Falls, white-water rafting, safari, and help build a home for a widow and her children. Impact Destinations provides ultra-luxe sustainable trips that leave a legacy: a traveller’s philanthropic donation unlocks a unique experience. For example, whilst on safari in South Africa, fund and witness a rhino relocation from a heavily poached reserve to a safe one in Botswana. Christopher’s companies offer over 30 destinations worldwide and personally oversees every client’s trip.

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  1. I didn’t even know that UN charity day was coming up. For such a worthwhile day it really ought to have a higher profile. I really am surprised that there isn’t more of a media campaign around it.

  2. In fact luxury and charity should go together. If you can afford luxury then you should be giving something back to the world.

    1. Hi Ben,
      I prefer not to say ‘should’, as things done out of obligation may not engender the right attitude, but the fact is that combining charity with luxury travel makes travel so much more fulfilling and meaningful, that everyone would benefit from it.

  3. Charity probably means a lot more when you’re involved in it and it is sort of “hands-on”. Like the rhino experience. It’s more likely to leave a memory and keep you involved in the charity.

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