You could win a stay in a ‘home away from home’, as we like to call the holiday rentals we’re staying in this year, by entering our monthly blogging competitions. You could also donate $10 to Passports with Purpose and not only get a chance at winning a stay in a holiday rental anywhere in the world, but also get to contribute to building a village in India. That’s right, a whole village, of 25 homes.
This year, in partnership with HomeAway Holiday-Rentals, we’ve been on a quest to explore more enriching and authentic ways of travelling – by slowing down, travelling more sustainably, living like locals, learning and doing things, and, wherever possible, giving something back to the places we visit.
Essentially, we’ve tried to be good travellers by travelling more responsibly, making careful decisions about where we shop, what we buy, what we do, and who we did it with. And wherever possible we’ve donated our money or given our time to highlighting good causes and projects that you can also contribute to when you travel, from an NGO-ran child care centre in a poverty-stricken Rio favela to a tree-planting project in Costa Rica.
Masterminded by travel bloggers Debbie Dubrow, Pam Mandel, Beth Whitman, and Michelle Duffy, Passports with Purpose is an inspirational initiative that first grabbed our attention last year. Here was a bunch of travel bloggers who, like us, believed in the power of travel to do good and change the world. By working together and inspiring other travel bloggers to join them, the team raised money to build a school in Cambodia. That’s right, a whole school.
Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? We certainly did! And so did our very generous partners, HomeAway Holiday-Rentals. It wasn’t enough for them to donate £500 toward a holiday stay every month for our travel blogging competition, now they’ve gone and donated a prize of another £500 (around US$800 at today’s exchange rate) toward a holiday stay booked on the HomeAway Holiday-Rentals website to Passports with Purpose.
So how do you get a go at winning our holiday rental stay? Well, you don’t have to write anything or take any photos as we ask you to do for our competition every month. This one is easy:
1. Click on the green Passports with Purpose widget in the right column.
2. Once at the Passports with Purpose website, click on the orange arrow that says ‘Give Now’.
3. Scroll down the list of prizes and beside our Grantourismo’s HomeAway Holiday-Rentals’ donation of “£500 towards a stay in a vacation rental property anywhere in the world booked on the HomeAway Holiday-Rentals (www.homeaway.co.uk) website” type a number in the ‘entries’ box to indicate the number of times you want to enter. It’s $10 a pop and you’ll be paying by PayPal.
4. Then, if you’re feeling lucky – or just especially generous – why not go and enter the draw for some other fantastic prizes.
5. Once you’re done, check the total amount you’ve donated at the bottom of the list, type your email address in the box below it, and click donate. Easy.
The fundraising efforts all end on 13 December 2010 when entries will be drawn randomly for each prize. Winners and host bloggers (that’s us) will be notified on 17 December 2010.
Passports with Purpose aims to raise $50,000 to go to LAFTI, a non-profit organization working in land reform for India’s Dalit (untouchable) population. With that $50,000, LAFTI will build house for 25 families who have never before had the hope of owning their own home. And you would have contributed to that incredible thing! Plus you might end up enjoying a holiday somewhere in a ‘home away from home’ somewhere exciting in the world. Even India, perhaps?
Big pats on the back should not only go to the Passports with Purpose team, but also to their major sponsors for making this happen: BootsnAll, LiveMocha, Round the World with Us, HomeAway (the mother company of HomeAway Holiday-Rentals), Traveller’s Point, Hostelling International, Quintess, Raveable, TravelPost, and Uptake. And of course our generous partners HomeAway Holiday-Rentals in the UK.
Photo: the little boy above is obviously not from India. He’s a cute little kid we met on a township tour in Cape Town who took a liking to Terence.