With temperatures warming up across the country, the countdown to summer travel season has officially begun. This year, as travelers start scouting out destinations, they’re picking places where they can feel good and do good at the same time. To kick off National Volunteer Month in April, Travelocity is rolling out its new Travel for Good™ platform featuring an interactive online map that helps travelers take advantage of immersive volunteer experiences while on vacation.
Volunteering on vacation is one of the fastest growing travel trends in 2019, according to a recent survey from Travelocity®, with one-in-four (27 percent) U.S. travelers reporting they plan to volunteer on a trip this year1 and more than two-thirds (65 percent) citing that they’ve volunteered on a previous vacation2.
“As consumers become more socially conscious of the impact travel has on communities, we’re seeing an increase in people searching for ways to do good in their favorite destinations,” said Bruce Horner, marketing director at Travelocity. “In fact, nearly half of travelers (47 percent) say that volunteer opportunities would influence where they vacation this summer.”
Traveling for disaster relief
The survey also revealed that U.S. travelers – particularly Gen X bookers – increasingly want to help causes closer to home. More than 40 percent said they will travel out of state to volunteer and over half (54 percent) said they want to volunteer in states and cities affected by natural disasters such as wildfire, flooding or hurricanes.
To support disaster relief efforts in the U.S., Travelocity is collaborating with the American Red Cross. Travelers who book a hotel stay using promo code TRAVELFORGOOD will receive $25 off their booking and trigger a $25 donation from Travelocity throughout April for National Volunteer Month.
Finding nonprofits in need
Travelocity is helping vacationers who want to find and add volunteer opportunities to their itineraries through its refreshed Travel for Good™ program. The new interactive map on Travelocity.com/TravelForGood connects travelers to more than 30 nonprofits throughout the United States. The organizations accept volunteers on an ongoing basis throughout the year and are also registered through Benevity Charity Database and verified by Charity Navigator and Guidestar, ensuring travelers’ volunteer time on vacation is donated to a worthy cause.
Additionally, Travelocity’s featured nonprofit organizations support causes that travelers indicated were most important to them, including humanitarian (61 percent), animal welfare (53 percent) and environmental (40 percent), and are located within the top summer vacation destinations.
The top 10 cities to visit and volunteer on vacation this summer according to Travelocity are:
- Anaheim, Calif.
- Chicago, Ill.
- Las Vegas, Nev.
- Nashville, Tenn.
- New Orleans, La.
- New York City, N.Y.
- Orlando, Fla.
- San Diego, Calif.
- San Francisco, Calif.
- Washington D.C.
Many of the volunteer opportunities are suitable for families and projects range in length from just 30 minutes to a full day, including:
- Help end hunger. Travel to New York City to volunteer for Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a nonprofit organization that saves food from New York City restaurants that would otherwise go to waste, and volunteers deliver food to those in need in 30-minutes or less.
- Care for rescue animals. Dog and cat-lovers can help out at an animal shelter, such as Best Friends Animal Society in New York City, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Washington, D.C., or PAWS Chicago.
- Promote sustainability. Spend a vacation day in San Francisco tending the land at Alemany Farm, the largest urban farm in the Bay Area, which educates visitors on how to become healthy food producers. Sustainable travelers can also build backyard gardens and help install energy-efficient lightbulbs to promote healthy eating and a resilient community with Green Light in New Orleans.
Highlights from Travelocity’s volunteer on vacation survey
- One-in-four travelers say they’re planning to volunteer on vacation this year.
- 62 percent of respondents said they would volunteer on vacation with family (kids over 18) and 31 percent said they would do it alone.
- 42 percent of respondents would travel out of state for a volunteer trip.
- More than half (54 percent) would volunteer in a community affected by natural disasters.
- Almost half of travelers (47 percent) would book a destination because it offers a volunteer opportunity they are passionate about.
- Travelers are most likely to support humanitarian (61 percent), animal welfare (53 percent) and environmental (40 percent) causes.
1 Report based on Google Consumer Survey conducted among 300 US adults 18+ from March 11-13, 2019.
2 Report based on Qualtrics survey conducted among 504 US adults 18+ from November 2018.