Through your nature & wildlife adventure, volunteer vacation, or cultural exploration, you will rekindle your sense of global interconnectedness. This begins even before you land in your chosen country, as the items you select to tuck away into your luggage can have a large impact on the communities you will soon become a part of. With everyone’s livelihood dependent upon the environment, and developing countries disproportionately affected by climate change, it is essential to spend an extra few minutes to understand what your purchase supports while also keeping your budget in mind.
The average American would need roughly five acres of forest to sequesters just one year of their carbon dioxide emissions, and packing minimally can be the first step to reducing your carbon footprint. Even if you find yourself wishing you could throw in that extra pair of shoes or pants you might need remember that with every item you leave behind the aircraft fuel economy will increase (just an extra magazine adds 5¢ to the aircrafts operating cost). We have created a packing list that is sufficient for anything under three weeks. When referencing this list and taking inventory feel free to be creative with items you already have that just need to be repaired or repurposed. And when it comes to ordering new items online or running out to the store, we have given you a starting point of products that share our client’s aspiration for acting with environmental and social compassion.
Packing is just one part to consider when planning for a trip, there also many other ways to focus on sustainability while still exploring the world. Check out more from the NRDC here.
It’s hard to plan your travel these days without hearing the term “ecotourism” – fortunately, a trend in the right direction. Choosing green hotels or eco-lodges as your travel destinations have risen in popularity in recent years, so exactly constitutes as an eco-lodge, and is there any difference between an eco-lodge and a green hotel?
In short, both terms are often taken for granted and used interchangeably. While both of these institutions rely on using materials made from naturally renewable sources and are greener, or taking initiatives to preserve the nature of our planet, in practice there are some important things that differentiate an eco-lodge from the green hotel:
Green Hotels. No matter how green they tend to be, hotels are demanding large infrastructure and a great amount of cash to build and maintain. It is not out of the question that a large conglomerate or multinational company is behind the entire concept of the hotel. This is not a bad thing, and in fact it’s great to see larger businesses focusing on the planet, it just means you will likely have a more traditional experience. Oftentimes green hotels are positioned inside the large urban areas and cities, which is the main differentiator between green hotels and eco-lodges.
Eco-Lodges. One can say that eco-lodges are a little bit less mainstream and a little bit greener than green hotels. They are often made of natural materials from the country you’re visiting, which often means you’ll see the architecture of the country and feel immersed in nature and the wildlife that surrounds you. Almost always situated in a remote area set amongst impressive terrains, eco-lodges take into consideration all that their presence touches and what it means for those native to the land.
So where do you find the coolest eco-lodges today? Below are just a few of our favorites:
With the turn of the New Year and getting back into the swing of things, most of us are ironing out our resolutions and making exciting plans for the year ahead. If one of your resolutions is to travel more, we’ve got you covered on which Apps will help you breeze through the tough parts so you can enjoy the journey. Between transportation, finding places to eat, getting lost, language barriers, right down to how to pay for your plane ticket in the first place, the right apps can make the whole experience seem like a breeze (and no, you don’t always need wifi). Check out our top picks below:
Discover Corps is proud to offer trips all across the globe, but no trip is more popular than Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative. The population of Costa Rican sea turtles has declined by 90% since 1980 due to boat traffic, bird preying on eggs, climate change, and increased trash in our oceans. For those interested in wildlife conservation, Costa Rica offers plenty of opportunity to aid, and a recent traveler learned firsthand how much help is really needed on the Pacific side of the country digging up hatched nests to determine the hatch success rate, releasing baby turtles back into the ocean, and warding off predators during nesting season.
Barbara went on the trip in November as a solo female traveler and became one of the few who witnessed an arribada, or a mass nesting of Olive Ridley sea turtles. Read about her experiences day-by-day below!
What if you could walk across the same land your great-grandmother once traversed 80 years later? You may have never even met your great-grandmother, but chances are you can easily trace her origins back to Germany or Ireland with a quick browse on the web. Today, websites such as Ancestry and 23andMe make discovering your ancestry more accessible than ever before, which means finding the land of your ancestors is only a click away, too.
So, you’ve spit into a test tube, sent out your DNA, and received the much-anticipated results you’ve always dreamed of discovering. Regardless of your method of discovery, you’ve now uncovered the land of your ancestors and predecessors— which makes now the perfect time to put those Ancestry DNA results to use.
Heritage trips are transforming into the top travel trend across the globe. Whether you have an unrelenting itch to get out and explore or aren’t quite sure where to voyage with your family for your upcoming summer vacation, a trip to the land of your ancestors may just provide you with the sense of discovery you need.
While travel to Cuba may seem complicated, Cuba is actually one of the safest, easiest, and most welcoming places to visit in Latin America – but don’t take it from us. Gina runs a blog called Gypsy Family Travel where she chronicles her trips around the world, and she wrote all about her experience traveling with three women on the Discover Corps Havana Weekend Getaway trip.
While the new regulations placed on Cuba travel require the average person to travel with a tour group, this gave Gina the chance to better immerse herself in the culture and support the local people and communities. Read about her experiences day-by-day below!
If you’re planning a unique, off-the-beaten-path vacation that’s also entertaining and age-appropriate for children, a volunteer vacation could be just what you’re looking for. This niche form of travel is a fun and interactive way to expose kids to diverse cultures and customs, while teaching them about the significance of helping others.
From bringing medical and educational resources into rural communities to protecting native wildlife from environmental impacts, the whole family can benefit from this immersive and rewarding experience. Before jetting off, keep these five criteria in mind to ensure that your volunteer vacation is unforgettable for everyone.
For many families, especially those with more than one child, it can be tough to get those special bonding moments with each. Family trips are amazing and birthday parties spent with friends help celebrate every child individually, but it can be tough to set aside the time to create lasting memories that really focus on reconnecting. Between work, soccer practice, and life’s everyday chores, it’s important to set aside time for new experiences that bring you closer together.
A growing trend is mother-daughter travel abroad. It may sound extreme, but there are plenty of packages (hint hint: Discover Corps) that make traveling easy and affordable so you can focus on creating lasting memories. Check out five reasons traveling abroad makes for the perfect trip below:
For many of us, the holidays start by sitting down at the computer and thinking “what does this person enjoy.” In many cases, this leads us to typing in the search phrase “gifts for people who like to travel.” The truth is, if you’re not a traveler yourself it can be hard to find practical gifts for someone who wants to go everywhere and see everything the world has to offer. If you are the person with the travel bug, then asking for specific gifts from family and friends can be helpful during the busy holiday season (and ensure you get something you’ll actually use).
If you’re looking for a gift for the traveler in your life, check out these 9 awesome gifts for travelers below that won’t break the bank:
We all know about the most popular vacation spots, the ones that include phrases like “all-inclusive” and usually consist of seeing no more than the hotel and other tourists. But what about the hidden gems? The places that aren’t even in all the travel magazines? What about experiences with different communities and meeting interesting people?
Unique destinations that are off the beaten path are some of the most incredible places in the world to experience, but when they’re so elusive, where do you even begin to find them? The answer: Through networking and recommendations.