Trend: Philanthropic Travel

Many kids in Europe take a "gap year" between high school and university; a lot of them do "voluntourism" involving hard labour and dodgy food, but come away enriched by the experience. Fast Company magazine discusses how those already enriched in other ways can participate in what they call "philanthropic travel."

from FC: "Voluntourism is for people with more time than money," says Exquisite Safari's founder David Chamberlain. "Our trips are for those who have it the other way around." defining it as a sojourn that safely exposes wealthier travelers to downtrodden places glossed over in guidebooks. Though time spent in the trenches can be minimal, participants are frequently transformed. "We spent a week in the slums of Nairobi where we bought bags of rice and delivered them to orphanages,," says Tom Dowd, CEO of industrial chemical company Dowd and Guild Inc. Since his trip last fall, Dowd has made significant contributions to relief organizations. That's what philanthropic travel is all about: Leaving a place stronger than you found it--without the sweat investment.

Sounds a lot more worthwhile than lying round the pool. Don't forget to pack your offsets! ::Fast Company and ::14 Vacations for the Socially Conscious (and lots of money)

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