Category: Sustainable Travel

Jul
20

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A Belize Vacation in Photos

Posted by on July 20, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

Have you considered a Belize vacation? Why? What comes to mind when you envision the country, culture, wildlife, and food of the Central American country? Does your imagination run away with you to a tropical paradise full of fascinating animals, sparkling azure beaches, and luxury accommodations?

Follow your imagination – it’s a step ahead of you! We’re very excited to announce that we’ve added a second Belize vacation to our list of trips! And since a picture is worth 1,000 words, we thought it’d be fun to share a few thousand with you.

Sit back, relax, listen for the breeze and the birds, breathe in the saltwater air, and soak up some sun – we’re going to Belize!

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Jul
6

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Beyond People: 4 Volunteer Vacations That Help Animals

Posted by on July 6, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

Volunteer vacations aren’t just about humans and the environment. Not hardly! Animals are such an integral part of our world, and sometimes they need our help. But, how can you help? And how can you do it on vacation?

Many of the animals you’ll see on the trip list below are endangered or very close to making the list. Typically, that means you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to get up close and personal with them (in the wild or in captivity). In the case of the volunteer vacations below, what that means is you’ll be on the forefront of helping them get off that list (or to not land on it to begin with)!

And look, we know you’re here to help. We get it. We love it. But you have to have a little fun while you’re out there, too. You have to see some sights. You need to try the food. These are volunteer vacations after all! Be sure to click through to each trip to see the other adventures you might have in each location.

Read on to see what kind of animals you can help, where you’ll find them, and what sights, sounds, and smells you’ll likely see on your adventure!

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May
11

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5 Ways to Experience Cuba

Posted by on May 11, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

Cuba vacation. Yeah, we said it. Vacation. Vacationing in Cuba is possible now! There are some restrictions, but they’re all met by Discover Corps tours.

Once you decide a Cuba vacation is in your future, the ways in which you can experience the country are endless. Our five suggestions: A weekend getaway in Havana, a Yoga & Culture Exploration (think: retreat), a celebration of arts and culture, volunteering in Havana alongside Cuban youth, or exploring Cuba’s natural side – including the lush countryside and biosphere reserves.

Pack your bags, grab your hats and sunglasses, brush up on your Spanish, look forward to your favorite cigar, and let’s go!

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Apr
6

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7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites for Every Travel Bucket List

Posted by on April 6, 2017 · 2 Comments  

Have UNESCO World Heritage Sites made it on to your travel bucket list?

There are few guarantees in the world of travel. But a “World Heritage Site” designation from UNESCO– the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization– ensures that a destination is important enough to deserve protection for future generations.

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Mar
14

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The Importance of Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness

Posted by on March 14, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

In the past few months, the United States has experienced a dramatic increase in hate crimes being reported. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s monitoring group has reported a disturbing rise in the number of hate groups operating within the country, reporting a total of 917 as of this story’s publication.

To say that the Discover Corps team finds this to be an incredibly disturbing trend is an understatement. We are thoroughly disgusted by recently reported events such as the vandalism and destruction of headstones at Jewish cemeteries across the country, hateful rhetoric and violence aimed at Muslim Americans, and way too many other instances of intolerance.

In the first three months following President Trump’s election, the SPLC recorded a whopping 1,372 bias incidents. Of that total, more than 25 percent were motivated by anti-immigrant sentiments.

hate crime statistics

In short, 2017 is turning out to be a challenging year for many Americans. Even simple, rational beliefs about equality and basic human rights have become increasingly politically charged. Here at Discover Corps, we believe that makes culturally immersive travel more important than ever.

We’re proud to be facilitating experiences that open the hearts and minds of travelers to new experiences and cultures around the world. We’re especially aware of the increased importance of promoting cultural sensitivity and awareness through all aspects of our work.

These values are paramount to assuring that citizens of our increasingly globalized planet are able to understand and respect one another. And embracing them is the only way to ensure that we’ll be able to come together as people to ensure that our future holds more peace and promise than our past.

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Feb
19

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Jungle Love: Why Rainforests Are Important

Posted by on February 19, 2017 · 1 Comment  

Anybody who has ever visited one know there’s something special about the jungle. But why are rainforests important? Not just for local people and wildlife, but for the health of our planet?

The Earth was originally packed with these regions, which are centered around the equator. They’re usually full of low-hanging vines, vibrant greenery, brilliantly colored blooms, and predators on the prowl. People travel from all across the world to explore these dense, tropical areas, and the reliance of locals on the regions continues even as threats to their survival increase.

These regions power our planet in more ways than one. They provide us with about 30% of the total oxygen used by all species to sustain life. They also serve as a protective home to millions of unique species of plants and animals. The power and productivity of rainforests is so intense that they’re often referred to as the “lungs of the earth.”

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Jan
26

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Islands and Elephants in Thailand

Posted by on January 26, 2017 · 1 Comment  

More and more frequently, issues surrounding the exploitation of animals are being brought to public eye. Massive organizations like Sea World and TripAdvisor have recently made major changes as a result of outspoken animal activism.

This critical lens has extended to travelers, who face many ethical choices when they travel abroad. Riding Elephants in Thailand is no longer considered responsible travel behavior, nor is walking with Lions in Africa.

From the shutdown of Thailand’s infamous Tiger Temple to Ringling Brothers going out of business after over a century, there’s more awareness of animal abuse than ever before. And that awareness is important for those seeking exotic animal encounters. It enables them to carefully consider their options, and the impact of their actions.

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Jan
22

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Top 10 Things to Do in Costa Rica for Families

Posted by on January 22, 2017 · 1 Comment  

In its first week, the new U.S. administration has already removed all references to Climate Change from its website and is openly looking to sell off drilling rights in National Parks and other public lands to the highest bidder. So the responsibility of parents to educate their children on the importance of nature and wildlife conservation has never been more vital.

There are few nations on the planet that are better for illustrating the beauty of nature than Costa Rica. The country was one of the earlier adopters of responsible ecotourism, with more than 25% of its 19,700 square miles protected from future development. It’s been ranked the best country in the world in terms of environmental sustainability on more than one occasion, and became the first country in the Americas to ban hunting in 2012.

There are so many things to do in Costa Rica, it can be difficult to decide where to start. The country has 26 National Parks and myriad nature reserves and wildlife refuges, encompassing diverse ecosystems ranging from cloud forests and rainforests to wetlands and coastal marine areas. In short, the place is paradise for anyone with an interest in nature, wildlife and outdoor adventure.

Here are our picks for the best things to do in Costa Rica for families…

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Jan
11

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UN Declares 2017 The Year of Sustainable Tourism

Posted by on January 11, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

The phrase “sustainable tourism” has received a lot of attention in the last couple of years, as concerns over climate change increase and travelers become more aware of their contributions to that change.

But in 2017, the buzzword will gain even more visibility, thanks to the United Nation’s decision to deem this the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Tourism is a powerful industry with an enormous impact on the global economy. It employs one out of eleven people worldwide and accounts for 9.8% of the world’s GDP, or “gross domestic product.” That kind of reach and impact puts the travel industry in a unique position to promote responsible, environmentally-friendly practices all over the world.

By calling attention to this potential for a positive (or negative) impact, the United Nations is encouraging everyone involved in the industry– from tour operators to travelers themselves– to demonstrate sustainable travel practices with minimal or beneficial impacts on the ecosystems and communities they travel through.

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