Ritz-Carlton's Give Back Getaways
One travel fad that's sure to last longer than the staycation is voluntourism. These trips combine typical sightseeing with volunteering opportunities, which also open up an entirely atypical window into a foreign culture. You can find lots of companies that organize volunteer vacations. But to my knowledge, the only hotel chain to have a formal voluntourism program is the Ritz-Carlton. Surprised? So was I.
At a time when the word ritz has become synonymous with excess, I think it only fair to point out some great good works being done in the name of this luxury hotel brand. Every Ritz-Carlton has partnered with a community organization through which guests can volunteer a short amount of time but still make a difference. On Amelia Island, this means helping the Boys & Girls Club expand its garden. In Washington, D.C., you can help prepare a meal at the DC Central Kitchen, which feeds the hungry with food that would otherwise go to waste. The program has been running for over a year, so I'm curious: Have any of you out there participated in a Give Back Getaway? If you stayed at a Ritz-Carlton, were you aware that they had such a program? Would you consider signing up in the future?