Inspiration and tips for an especially meaningful holiday.
As a certified Good Travels Advisor, I am delighted to share a particular magic of the season – the smiles, joy and caring that comes with giving to others.
The job of a Good Travels Advisor goes beyond superb travel advice and service – we are also guides to meaningful experiences and giving in the communities we hold dear, near and far.
Here are 6 special ways to celebrate the giving spirit this year!
1. Looking for beautiful gifts that also make a difference? Here’s a very special list of 7 items that also directly help a cause, whether its breast cancer, Cambodian girls, anti-trafficking, endangered species conservation, and more – choose one gift and cause, or all! (With exception to the rice bags, all are still available from this remarkable 2015 list.)
2. Discover the surprising way you can actually buy happiness, along with other TED Talk inspiration. Watch Michael Norton on How to Buy Happiness; spoiler alert -- the key is not to buy for yourself but to give to others, with great stories and data to prove it! Also check out Bill and Melinda Gates and their reflections on wealth and giving, starting off with an anecdote about their very first trip to Africa.
3. Find your favorite quote on giving while sipping some egg nog, scotch or tea. Peruse this list of philanthropic quotes from the National Philanthropic Trust, which includes James Baldwin: “We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it.”
4. Give yourself and give for others. Here’s a list of 12 surprising charitable giving options that will likely tickle anyone’s curiosity and inspire you to explore and act, in addition to what you may give to your favorite organizations and in your hometown community. There’s also a shorter list for engaging your kids!
5. Use the new year to revisit your giving overall, along with your resolutions. Your guides include “How to be smart about charitable giving over the holidays” and tips from Guidestar, the national nonprofit database.
6. Think about giving back to a destination you care about, or a place following a disaster. What are your favorite places far from home, domestic or overseas? Think about the special experiences you’ve had in the last year or two and where you think you can make a difference, even with a small charitable donation. Think back to the nonprofits, museums and community organizations you encountered – or look up the local “community foundation,” a hub for local giving. It’s a great way to connect as a family and get back in touch with places you love. Alternatively, think of a place that was hit by a disaster this year; look into the latest and make a gift to the first one that comes to mind.
About Good Travels Advisors (GTA): The GTA program from Tourism Cares is a training program and learning community of travel agents committed to promoting good giving and good volunteering among travelers. Effective giving and travel fulfills the good intentions of travelers, boosts trip satisfaction and connections, and increases the benefit to local communities.
The Good Travels Advisor program is made possible by Marriott, AIG, Fathom Cruises and
Abercrombie & Kent I Amadeus I Avanti I Collette I Cox & Kings I Monograms I Micato Safaris I
NYC & Company I Paul Gauguin Cruises I Rovia I Royal Caribbean International I Treadright Foundation I TripAssure