Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now comes Giving Tuesday, a national movement that urges people to give back to those less fortunate whether it be through donations, volunteer opportunities, or raising awareness.
We've actually been inspired all this month to teach our children about charity with our own little movement, 30 Days of Giving Back. We initially got the idea from actress Kristen Bell who wrote about this topic in October's Parents magazine. Teaching kids about others who are less fortunate can be tough, especially when they are very young. But the hope is that by watching your actions and listening to your simple explanations of charity, they will pick up on the meaning and eventually be eager to participate. (Real Talk: it's been slow going here. My girls are still attached to every stuffed animal and Beanie Boo they own. But my almost 6-year-old eventually found one stuffie she would give away. Sigh.)
Now, since this site is all about travel, we're staying on topic and listing a few ways that you can give back while making your travel plans. And the deals are good not just for today but forever. We're also always looking for tips and ideas on how to get the children involved in giving back, so if you've got some hints, please pass 'em along!
HOTEL RL'S PROJECT WAKE-UP CALL: Red Lion Hotels' boutique brand, Hotel RL, has created Project Wake-Up Call which benefits a local charity dedicated to helping homelessness. Simply donate $100 to Project Wake-Up Call and you'll receive a complimentary night's stay at one of the Hotel RLs in either Brooklyn, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Salt Lake City, Spokane (pictured above), or Olympia, Wash. Go here to donate/book.
THE GUESTBOOK: This nifty booking site, which includes 500 independent and boutique hotels, gives guests 5% cash back every time they book with the site. Or they can choose to get 10% in Trip Cash to be used towards a future booking with Guestbook. But now, the site is offering guests to use their 5% reward and put it directly toward a vetted community-based charity under the GlobalGiving umbrella.
KIND TRAVELER*: Booking with a conscience can be done with Kind Traveler, a booking site that gives travelers access to special rates, as well as the opportunity to donate $10-nightly to one of 28 local and global charities. Today, Kind Traveler has launched their "Double Your Impact" promotion with several participating hotels which will match guest donations on every booking from now through January 2, 2017. Go here to make your kind booking. *Disclosure: Juliana is a Kind Traveler contributor.
OMNI HOTELS: As we mentioned in our Black Friday/Cyber Monday round-up, Omni Hotels makes a donation to Feeding America with every online booking done through OmniHotels.com. The donation is enough to give a family of four enough food for the week. Since launching the program last year Omni has provided nearly five million meals to Feeding America.
1 HOTELS: The eco-conscious luxury hotel brand is allowing guests to donate lightly worn clothing during their stay from now through December 28. When guest contribute, they get $10 off their stay. The 1 Hotel Central Park also offers a "Get Green or Give Green" promotion where guests can get 30 percent off the room rate and the chance to donate $20 to the New York Restoration Project.
BONUS: TWO MORE WAYS TO GIVE BACK: Don't forget to inquire of your resort or hotel about ways you can give, donate, or volunteer during your stay. Plenty of hotels have corporate social responsibility programs that they participate in and many are open to involvement from guests. Lastly, you can continue to donate after your stay. Recently, we dropped a whole bunch of unused hotel toiletries, that we took home but never used, off at a homeless shelter. These items are in high demand at shelters so don't be a hoarder, be a helper!
[Photos: Hotel RL, Kind Traveler, Omni Hotels and Trips + Giggles]
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