Volun-tourism on the rise for summer vacation

U.S. & World

(NBC) – As the summer travel season takes off, more Americans are planning to use their vacation time to give back.

“Travelocity found 1 in 4 travelers intend to volunteer while traveling this season,” said Victoria Cagliero with Travelocity.

A rise in what’s known as volun-tourism… with travelers using leisure time to pick up trash, serve meals, or build shelter for those in need.

“It’s nice to see, you know, we’ve got a big mix here from older people to the young people, coming up, and learning how to donate their time,” said Paul Maneely, with Habitat for Humanity.

Now more non-profits are partnering with travel companies for volunteer opportunities, including Travelocity’s “Travel for Good” program.

“You can look at your destination and see what volunteer options there are, it can be as simple as a one hour stop,” Cagliero said.

Donating your time to benefit a good cause can also benefit your well being.

“There’s obviously a feeling of accomplishment; you’re learning new skill sets, you’re giving back to the community,” said Revathi Truong, Volunteer and Community Health Specialist.

But there are scams that take advantage of good intentions. Check out the organization on a site like “Charity Watch” before volunteering or donating. It’s a good idea to limit social media photos. Instead, keep the focus on helping others

“That’s more rewarding than any amount of likes on Instagram,” said Cagliero.

A voluntourism movement inspiring more travelers to use their down time, to build up communities in need.

Travelocity is also offering a discount for volun-tourists.

Use the code “Travel for Good” to get 25-dollars off a hotel stay and Travelocity will also make a 25 dollar donation to Red Cross Disaster relief.

To learn more check out www.travelocity.com/travelforgood

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