Photo by Lee Key on Unsplash

We know eating healthy, exercising regularly, and relieving stress is good for us. But did you know travel may be just as beneficial? Traveling is exciting and pushes us outside our comfort zones into new cultures and experiences. It is also said to enhance creativity, relieve stress, and boost mental health.

Now imagine gaining all the many benefits of traveling while also making a positive impact on the world. Could you take your vacations and travel plans and use them to help save the planet? There are plenty of people already using travel as a gateway to helping animals and humans in need.

If you’re interested in making a positive impact on the world while traveling, but you’re not quite sure how to fund your ventures, keep reading. Here’s a few ways people like you are achieving it all and how you can too:

Saving the Big Cats in Africa

Have you always been an animal lover and wish to help protect the wild cats of the world from the cruelty of humans? Keep reading for Kerra’s story and how she’s saving the big cats in Africa.

Kerra is a preschool teacher and student who spends her summers helping the environment, people, and animals as she travels the world. This summer, she’s going to South Africa to work with Volunteer Southern Africa, working on the “Living with Big Cats” project. It’s a rehabilitation center for animals affected by poaching and other illegal acts of cruelty.

Trips like this, even with altruistic intentions, are wildly expensive. How does a student and teacher swing it? Kerra started a FundMyTravel campaign so her friends and family can help pitch in and support her dreams of saving the planet.

Help People with Learning Disabilities

If you’re more of a people-person, you might be interested in working with those affected by mental illnesses or learning disabilities. If you’re a nurse or educator, expanding your knowledge and experience through working in different cultures and environments will grow your career. There are plenty of opportunities around the world to achieve this.

Rebekka is a mental health nursing student looking to diversify her professional experience, all the while helping people in need. She’s not only saving the planet, she’s advancing her career and traveling the world.

Although there are many places in the world you could choose to help educate and work with people with disabilities, Rebekka chose to make her mark in Bali. She’ll be teaching children and young adults English as well as performing physical and mental activities that will be beneficial to people with mental health illnesses and learning disabilities.

Take note of the skills or education you have that could benefit people around the world and take it with you on your travels!

Conserve the Galapagos Islands

If you’re looking for ways to help conserve and protect the environment, the Galapagos Islands are the perfect place to travel! The birthplace of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands are truly unique.

What makes the Galapagos so unique? The islands are the result of violent volcanic action, so native species arrived on the island by way of “rafts of vegetation” or floating until they happened upon this land. Since the islands inhabit an unusual environment, those floating organisms eventually evolved to be unique when compared to their past ancestors.

Major threats to the islands include overfishing, unsustainable tourism, and pollution. How can you make a difference traveling to the Galapagos Islands without contributing the treats on conservation?

REI Adventures offers an 11-day Galapagos Islands Volunteer Vacation multiple times a year. The trip includes some hiking, wildlife viewing, and snorkeling fun all while supporting conservation projects. You’ll have the opportunity of a lifetime in helping protect this unique ecosystem by assisting sea turtle and giant tortoise conservation projects.

From airfare to travel insurance to vaccines and food and accommodations, travel costs add up fast. Like Karra and Rebekka did, you can fund your travel through a FundMyTravel campaign. Friends, family, and colleagues all want to support your goals, especially when you’re saving the planet. Good luck in your travels!

About the Author:

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.