It’s not only Travel Tuesday this week, but Giving Tuesday as well! Aptly timed in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday, when reflections of gratitude are fresh on your mind, Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to focus on ways to make a difference.
It’s no secret that giving back feels good, and we love how this day is dedicated to spreading that message. So for this Travel Tuesday / Giving Tuesday mash-up, we have rounded up some acts of kindness relevant to female travelers! Read on to discover five ways you can make a positive impact while you travel.
Number One: Shop Sherpani
At Sherpani, we believe in supporting the local communities where our company has laid its roots; namely Boulder, Colorado and Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam. In each place, we have built relationships with trustworthy organizations we aim to support however we can (read about Sherpani supporting the Brighter Path Scholarship and Heartbeat Vietnam). For Giving Tuesday this year, we are supporting the Emergency Family Assistance Association.
The Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) works to stabilize and support families in need in our hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Sherpani is proud to have supported EFAA’s noble work for years, mainly through donating Sherpani bags.
In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we wanted to offer our customers the chance to get involved! From now to December 3, every purchase made on Sherpani.com of over $150 will donate a care kit to EFAA. Each kit is a care package of toiletries and other essentials that elevate the everyday lives of families in need.
Number Two: Bring Gift Bags for Your Flight Crew
It doesn’t need to be said that your flight crew is essential to your travel experience, but have you considered how far they go to aid your adventure? Airline workers go to great lengths - literally - to help a traveler on her journey.
The nature of air travel requires its workers to engage in overtime, abnormal work hours and to spend half their time away from home. Especially this time of year, it’s important to recognize what airline workers sacrifice to keep us traveling. Your pilot very well might be missing a holiday with her family to safely deliver you to yours.
So the next time you fly, make your flight crew’s day by bringing them gift bags! A gesture of thanks and recognition for all their hard work. Here are some ideas for items to include: chapstick, face masks, tea bags, cozy socks, gum, snacks, and coffee shop gift cards. (Pro Tip: If you include any homemade goodies, make sure to provide a list of ingredients in case of potential allergies.)
Gift bag or not, remember to always thank the crew when you fly!
Number Three: Give Away Your ________
Travel often requires purchasing an item or two that is specific to your destination.
Example: If you live in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, with its annual rainfall of fewer than ten inches, but are traveling to the lush and famously rainy cities in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll need to buy a raincoat for your trip.
This practical purchase will serve you well on your adventure, but won’t be of much use back home. So on the final day of your trip, we suggest you seek out someone who could use it and give the raincoat away.
We love the idea of passing along the gently-used things that could make a big difference in someone else’s life. So when it’s time to depart from your destination, think about if there’s something in your suitcase that would be better loved if left behind.
It’s rumored that pro surfer and shark attack survivor Bethany Hamilton once did this, giving away her heavy winter coat to someone on the street of New York City before she returned to her home in Kauai, Hawaii.
Next time you travel, be like Bethany!
Number Four: Make a Donation
Of course, one of the most common ways to give back is with a donation. There are many ways you can take this approach when traveling.
To ensure that your travel leaves a positive economic impact on your destination, we suggest supporting an organization that is local to that community.
Not sure where to start? Dr. Jane Goodall’s youth-led organization, Roots and Shoots, is now in over sixty countries. When you donate to the Roots and Shoots program in your destination, that money goes to supporting a community project chosen by the local youth - how's that for a way to guarantee your positive impact?
If you’d like a cause that supports other travelers, we think the Carabiner Collective, which aims to support diversity in the world of female adventure travel, is a pretty noble cause.
Number Five: Pay it Forward
We all know how this works from coffee shop drive-thrus when a generous someone pays for the stranger behind them in the line.
The travel version of this might be picking up someone else’s tab when dining at an airport. Of course, anyone is likely to receive this gesture well, but we suggest finding a solo female traveler to treat because we think that what she’s doing deserves encouragement.
As you make your way to wherever you’re headed, look around for ways to pay it forward to your fellow travelers. Small actions go a long way, so take an extra moment to help that mom pull her luggage off the carousel, or offer the window seat you reserved to the excited child in your row. There’s no shortage of opportunities to show some kindness to someone, and no saying how powerfully it may impact them.
However you’re getting into the spirit of this Giving Tuesday, we hope you’re able to cultivate that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from doing some good. We’d like to leave you with these two quotes that serve as reminders of the power our actions hold:
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” - Coretta Scott King
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” -Mother Teresa
Happy Giving Tuesday!