skip to content

The Rise of the Philanthropic Vacations

The Rise of the Philanthropic Vacations

“The old cliché that travel broadens the mind is very true. We were able to have a glimpse of certain things that go beyond staying in a hotel and a day excursion.”
-John Kay, former Steppenwolf singer and current philanthro-tourist.

December 10, 2007 —

It would probably be a bit cynical to call the recent spate of celebrity relief missions by the likes of Bono, Angelina Jolie—and most recently, Paris Hilton—a trend. But however you describe the phenomenon, philanthropic trips to the Global South have recently become fairly common in elite circles, with the super-rich paying upwards of $1,000 a day for getaways that allow them to both make a difference and see it first hand.

The New York Times recently profiled the rise of the philanthropic vacation, an industry that is estimated to have grown 15 percent in the past two years. Some getaways are more luxurious than hands-on, but all reveal a desire on the part of their participants to connect with people and places they would otherwise only read about or see on TV.

For those of us who are interested in less expensive alternatives to the kinds of vacations described in the Times article, here are few places to start:

Comment on this article:

Buy It

Don't Buy It

  • Genetic Engineering and Monopolistic behavior = Monsanto
  • World's largest oil company--human rights, oil spills and misinformation about climate change
  • Processed meat sold as 'natural' food. Union-buster.
  • Unethical marketing of baby formula in developing nations
  • Weapons-maker. Multiple environmental offender.