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Your nest may be empty, but your heart is full. After the kiddos move out is the perfect time to plan a meaningful vacation to bring some goodness into this world, as well as some relaxation and adventure into your world. Follow these tips from our fellow Travelocity Gnomad Ava Roxanne Stritt of Spa Travel Gal. 

Travel for Good 101

Some people call it “voluntourism,” but I like to think of it as “traveling for good.” And it’s a huge trend among Baby Boomers. One of the most prominent traits of Boomers is a deep desire for growth and learning. In addition to a hungry mind and adventurous spirit, some empty-nesters have more time (after retiring and the kids leaving home). Many others may have extra money. Put it all together, and you’ve got the recipe for a vacation with purpose.

Baby Boomers love to travel — as in 99 percent of them told AARP they were planning on traveling in 2016. That’s pretty much everyone.  

Noahs Ark Volunteers – Photo by Ava Roxanne Stritt of Spa Travel Gal

Most of those travelers want to contribute something meaningful to society as they leave the traditional workforce, according to Discover Corps. One great place to volunteer is Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary near Atlanta, GA. 

Here to Help

Not sure where to go or how to make it all happen? Travelocity offers a unique Travel for Good program that aims to inspire travelers on different ways they can give back, whether big or small. Visit Travelocity.com/TravelForGood and look at the map; you’ll find all kinds of destinations and charities that need help, such as a food bank in Florida or Green Light Orleans, a nonprofit that helps sustainability rebuild New Orleans and fight climate change. Here, volunteers can help install energy-efficient light bulbs, help build backyard gardens and more. Travelocity makes it easy to take action by then linking to the information you need to book your trip to the area.

Baby Boomers Recycling – Photos by Ava Roxanne Stritt of Spa Travel Gal

Baby Boomers Give Back

One of the most popular international destinations for Baby Boomers is the Caribbean, according to Discover Corps. You can start your day there by helping locals in needy communities in the Dominican Republic ridding the ocean of debris, and then unwind by the beach with a cocktail by night.

Ocean Cleanse – Photo by Ava Roxanne Stritt

The “travel for good” concept also appeals to Baby Boomers because many of these trips are family-friendly, and Boomers love traveling with their crew, studies show. While not all major tours can cater to various group sizes and the needs related to traveling with extended family or friends, it’s less likely you’re going to find a nonprofit that turns away all the help. It can bring people closer together to solve problems and spread hope together, and it can set a good example for the younger generation, too.

JJ Yosh Volunteering with Life Straw for Clean Water

All Travel Can Be Good

Ultimately, any vacation can be mindful and meaningful. You can often find local nonprofits that welcome volunteers, and you can set it up on your own. Or even if you don’t participate in an organized volunteer effort, every traveler can make gestures toward leaving the world a better place, such as minimizing your travel footprint with reusable or recyclable products, supporting locals when possible and even just picking up trash wherever you go.

I always think you can give back on any trip. Travel just widens the net for you to make a positive impact on more lives.

JJ Yosh Volunteering with Soda Stream Against Plastic

Get Inspired

Want more inspiration? Follow these leaders on Instagram for great ways to turn your travel into something positive:

  • Over the past 6 months, @JJYosh has been traveling for good to Honduras, Kenya, and other countries around the world. In October, JJ visited the island of Roatan in Honduras where he worked with SodaStream to clean up the micro-plastics and soda bottles polluting the ocean. Just this last month, JJ took a journey to western Kenya where he went to a total of nine different schools in order to teach thousands of local children how to use Lifestraw’s community water filters. His endeavors helped to alleviate the local water sources of bacteria, parasites, and protozoa, which will aid in preventing many water-borne illnesses.

    In addition to traveling, JJ uses his social media platforms to promote his altruistic efforts relating to the environment, wildlife, and social justice. JJ’s motto is get outside, get inspired, take action, and live sustainability. He is always urging his followers to get out there and do something that makes a difference in their own communities.

Animal Advocate – BackPackingKitty

  • Not only does JJ support travelling and the environment, he also loves wildlife and specifically, his black panther kitty, Simon, aka the @backpackingkitty. Simon is an animal advocate in his own right as he works to promote issues related to rescuing cats, protecting wildlife, etc.
  • @AlexisGStritt is always sharing great ideas of how to rid the world of plastic on her Instagram stories. Her personal platform is #passonplastic.
  • @SpaTravelGal is about to embark on a trip to British Columbia to remove trash from seaweed and plant lilacs to aid the air.  
  • @Travelocity is always a great resource to find inspiration about travel destinations.

Resources

Looking for more Travel for Good resources? Many volunteer organizations already have planned trips you can easily join and many at a very reasonable prices. The organizations have already scheduled the activities.  All you need to do is book your flight and hotel here with Travelocity.

Travelocity’s Travel for Good™ program aims to inspire travelers to give back in ways big and small throughout their journeys. To learn more about the program, get involved in a local community or start planning your next Travel for Good trip, please visit Travelocity.com/TravelForGood.

Ava Roxanne Stritt of Spa Travel Gal is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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