Book Authentic Travel Experiences: Visit.org
Book Authentic Travel Experience With Do-Good Organizations
By Anna Levine
Looking to engage in society and travel at the same time? Visit.org aims 'to enhance the mission of great social organizations by facilitating mutually beneficial virtual and in-person interactions between people and communities around the world.'
Funded in part by Columbia University in New York City, Visit.org is all about bringing travelers and local providers together to benefit both.
Choose from over 65 different countries anywhere from Argentina to Greece to Kenya. The website neatly lays out everything one would need to find out more information on their tour. It includes tour highlights, details and a thorough, organized description of each day.
The website also includes the price and length of each tour which you are able to book directly on the website at any time. 100% of the host revenue is also invested back into the local community.
The tours range in length and price, while a 2.5-hour tour in Canada learning about the art and culture of the First Nations is $45 per person a 4-day tour in Chile hiking the Andes will cost $440.
There is truly something for everyone with trips even including helping to save donkeys in Aruba, a one hour tour, free of charge. The Donkey Sanctuary Aruba is a nonprofit organization who's goal is to support and care for the shrinking donkey population in Aruba. Only 20 donkeys remain on the island and the sanctuary hopes to help raise these numbers.
One visitor explains, "I'm not an animal lover, but this sanctuary made me fall in love with donkeys. The staff is very dedicated to the donkeys, they know about every donkey on the island and care about each of them. We stayed for about an hour but I could have stayed more!" - Matthew Teachout, September 2016
Another useful feature on visit.org is the visitor reviews section. Here website goers can check out previous visitors comments and get the raw scoop on how their trip went.
The comments also include helpful tips that will improve your experience. The comments are also anonymous so they can be completely honest.
One comment from a recent visitor to the Donkey Sanctuary in Aruba reads, "A very enjoyable stop. Be sure to walk back and talk to a volunteer for more information. Also, bring apples, but pass them out from behind the fence, unless you like being swarmed by the donkeys."
Add Your Organization
If you are not looking to travel but want to add your own travel organization to visit.org there is a designated section just for that. 'Visit.org lets your org raise funds and awareness for your cause by opening your door to visitors.' Simply fill out a few brief questions and submit it to begin the steps to helping your organization.
Visit.org also publishes a blog where those interested in touring can read a detailed first-hand account of a previous travelers experience. Everything from Animals to Food to travel trips are included in the blogs.
There are plenty of low commitment and low-cost tours as well appealing to students abroad or travelers looking to stay on a budget. For example, a Madrid Street Art Tour which is 3 hours and costs $19 per person. On this tour, visitors are able to explore authentic graffiti with an artist guided tour of Madrid's Lavapiés neighborhood.
A recent visitor commented, "Very interesting to capture the artistic vibe of the city with a voice over from a guide explaining on the one hand what the artists were trying to express, while on the other what they themselves make of it!" - Simona Iernila, February 2017
The website also includes the difficulty level of the tour, appropriate clothing and equipment and the number of tour participants preparing the tour-goer for their trip extremely well.
One of the comments available on the website says, "It was a really awesome experience, got to know a few more interesting places in Madrid. The guide was very knowledgeable and was willing to offer some additional info for the ones who were interested. Recommend it to everyone."
These comments are reassuring that the tour is what is says and people are satisfied with the experience.
Visit.org generates support and income for local organizations and helps them reach their personal goals. Public policy is improved through creating relationships and educating donors. The visits to these select countries also add revenue that is invested directly back into the community.
Ready to book your tour? Check out https://visit.org
Anna Levine is a freelance writer from Connecticut. She loves traveling, horseback riding, and experimenting with new foods.