Traveling, whether to a neighboring town or to a country across the globe, has proven to be beneficial to people of all ages. It offers time to practice skills like flexibility and problem solving, as well as building character traits like empathy. As you plan your summer and autumn travel this year, consider trying out an emerging trend among both Boomers and Millennials – vacations with a purpose.

Traveling with a purpose to give back to the community you visit is becoming popular, as is staying at more ecofriendly homes or hotels. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired to plan your next trip.

Yoga and Volunteerism

Yoga retreats are an easy way to find travel opportunities that positively impact the neighboring towns. Companies like SoulJourn Yoga offer yoga retreats in exotic destinations with an equal emphasis on yoga, community, and volunteerism. If you can’t travel too far in this season, try contacting your local yoga studio to see if they have any volunteerism excursions in the local area planned.

Clean Up as You Go

Seek out experiences during your trip that offer ways to clean up the environment. Many kayak or outdoor water companies offer tours that are interesting and ask participants to pick up litter while out on the adventure. It’s a great way to clean up and decrease the impact on the environment while doing a tour you love. You can also make an effort to hike or walk with a garbage bag in your backpack, picking up trash along your walk. Small efforts can make a major impact.

Schedule Volunteer Time

When you book your vacation, find nonprofits in the area that you would like to support. Love animals? Contact a local animal shelter and see if you can help for a half day, or full day, while you visit the area. This takes some work on your end to find a nonprofit you want to support and to contact them, but it is worth it!

Spend Local

You can make a positive impact in the community you visit by choosing to spend your money at local shops and restaurants. Steer clear from national chains when possible and pour your money into small businesses instead.

How do you travel with a purpose? We would love to hear – tell us about your favorite vacation and how you gave your time and money to the community you visited. We just may publish your story. Happy travels!