Travelanthropy: Is Traveling the New Face of Philanthropy?

Travel philanthropy - using travel as a means to give back, is having an upward surge in an age of increasing awareness of world issues and global needs. What was once reserved only for missionaries and the super wealthy is now becoming a social norm.

America has always been considered one of the most generous nations, but now there's even more evidence in a new study called "Good Travels: The Philanthropic Profile of the American Traveler," released recently.

The study gives a holistic view of giving and volunteering motivations, and had some interesting and surprising findings:

·      Travel is a popular new form of philanthropy. 

·      Millennials are the new Generous Generation. 

·      Families who travel with children learn and give more together. 

·      The affluent of all ages are especially powerful social travelers. 

·      Giving back while traveling creates a more satisfying trip.

Increasingly people want to get involved and do something that will help causes that matter most to them. Many are beginning to feel compelled to help in a more hands-on way, rather than donating cash. What better way to do so than by traveling to areas in need? 

Vacations are no longer just recreational; as philanthropic vacations offer a remembrance and restoration of humanity many of us no longer practice in our everyday lives.

People are becoming more eager to reconnect with humanity and an effective way to do this is by serving others. Many are finding the need to rediscover their own sense of meaning in a world that has become increasingly electronically driven, competitive and commercial.

Philanthropic travel can be generally be divided into three different categories:

·       Volunteer opportunities in disaster zones, orphanages and animal shelters.  This type of urgent service travel is particularly attractive to many people because it is less expensive than many other offerings and can work for people from all walks of life. Travelers are typically required to raise a minimum amount for the project in addition to the trip cost. 

·       Donor travel is for committed philanthropists that want to witness their investments at work in real-life situations. It can upset idealism, but ultimately brings people closer to the issues and communities that they care about. It also deepens sustainable investment and strengthens the connection between travelers and community organizations. 

·       Private Travel is for travelers that want to dig a little deeper during a vacation in terms of cultural and community exchange. Private travel often involves families that want to pass on values of caring or service to the next generation.

Travel philanthropy is not without its challenges and well-intentioned travelers can often be overwhelmed and confused with the options available, wanting to be sure their contribution will have an actual positive impact. 

That is where Fair Trade safaris can assist - with so many volunteer opportunities and organizations and no ranking system or review site like those that exist for hotels, tour operators or other stakeholders in the travel sector, it can be extremely difficult to locate reputable programs to connect and partner with, and we can vet these programs for you.

Contact us at for a tailor made itinerary that feels good and does good!


Saurabh Khetrapal

I am a recovering tech entrepreneur and angel investor. Now, my passions and life's missions are to impact the local communities, the wildlife, and the environment in Africa. I am the founder of Fair Trade Safaris, an organization that offers amazing African safaris and travel experiences and donates 100% of its profits to a variety of community development and wildlife conservation projects in Africa.