9 Travel Destinations to Experience (Sustainably!) in the New Year
What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2018? Should you focus on making the world better? Should you focus on making yourself better? Why not do both at once, by participating in sustainable travel!
Through sustainable travel, you can now explore the world while also ensuring that your trip benefits locals, their economy, and their environment. So, if you’re thinking about doing just that, here are a few travel ideas to add to your bucket list for 2018:
1. Angkor Wat
Get active! Start the New Year off by biking through Angkor Archaeological Park, seeing beautiful Cambodian villages, a shady forest, and 5 undisturbed Angkor temples along the way. What’s best, your visit helps a local do-good organization provide free education to children and vocational training to young adults.
If you’re interested in music, art, and/or fashion, London to your 2018 bucket list! Discover hidden gems around the Big Smoke with the help of a local guide — like see Pink Floyd’s old haunts. Revenue from this artsy underground tour goes toward supporting the local guides, all of whom have been affected by homelessness. So, this is an incredible opportunity to make an impact during your stay.
3. New Delhi
The New Year is an opportunity to gain a new perspective. By spending a day with Salaam Baalak Trust in New Delhi, you’ll be doing just that. There, you will be guided through a unique tour of city life and visit a shelter home. Supporters of Salaam Baalak Trust’s work include the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who visited the local guides, and learned about their experiences in the streets. You too can learn about and contribute to the organization’s efforts to provide children in need with care, protection, and rehabilitation.
Love Italian food? If so, look no further than Milan in 2018 to explore the city’s gastronomical history through the eyes of ten food-related entrepreneurs. This Milan tour can be personalized with workshops, lectures, lunches, and dinners! Additionally, the organization supports small and family-owned businesses, so you’d be making a difference while also learning more about Italy’s cherished culinary history.
5. Rio de Janeiro
Visiting Rio de Janeiro favela tour is an incredible opportunity to make an impact on yourself and the world.
Brazil is among the most-visited countries in South America, and Rio de Janeiro is the main tourist destination in Brazil year after year. With local do-good org Favela Phoenix, you can gain a deeper understanding of life in a favela — in an ethical, non-exploitative way. Once there, you’ll visit a graffiti artist’s studio and discover the Brazilian art scene. You’ll also have the exciting opportunity to see a capoeira show.
The organization invests its revenue in local teachers’ wages. Thus, you’ll be making a huge impact by supporting local children and their education.
Feeling bold in Barcelona? Delve into this Spanish city’s cultural phenomenon: castells! This tradition of erecting human towers dates back to the 18th century in Valls, where building castells became a competitive sport. Now, castellers put on a performance both during and outside of major festivals. These performances are held from June – November, which gives you plenty of time to plan your trip in 2018. And, if you’re really feeling bold, you can participate, too! By booking this experience, you help preserve local culture.
New Year’s Resolutions allow you to think about the future, but if you’re fascinated with history, taking a step back in time could be the experience you need in 2018. Urban Athens Collective guides visitors through iconic ancient Athenian archaeological sites, as well as some hidden spots.
And, revenue supports two important causes: providing meals for the homeless in Athens and in an archaeological excavation that aims to empower the local community.
While climbing up the Eiffel Tower is certainly a must-do, exploring some of France’s best-kept secrets in 2018 will unveil an exciting side of the country away from the tourist crowds. Visit Belleville, and explore a Parisian quarter laden with history and a diverse, vibrant community.
By supporting the tour host, Migrantour, you’d be supporting cultural diversity and responsible tourism initiatives, not just in Paris, but also throughout the continent! This is an incredible opportunity to create a widespread impact in the New Year!
For adventure seekers, the New Year is the best time to embark on an unforgettable journey, such as trekking the Salkantay with sustainable tourism organization Refugios Salkantay. This authentic, multi-day trip in Machu Picchu allows you to explore this archaeological wonder and meet local families in the Peruvian mountains. Along the trek, you’ll have the unique opportunity of savoring local meals while fully immersing yourself in Peru’s natural beauty.