Everyone deserves the chance to travel. Yet, all too often, seeing the world is a privilege reserved for the global elite. At Elevate Destinations, we bridge the divide. Our goal is to connect local youths to their own environments, as travelers and as stewards.
Through our innovative Buy a Trip, Give a Trip model, 5% of your trip cost goes toward travel opportunities for local kids. For the first time, they experience nearby natural and cultural wonders. They see the sites, have fun, and make the kind of travel memories that we take for granted. Here’s just one example of Buy a Trip, Give a Trip in action:
The big day:
Friday April 3, 2015
30 children (ages 6-16) from the Baan Nokkamin Foundation in the Bung-Kum district of Bangkok
A city tour by charter bus to the top of Bangkok’s tallest skyscraper, then on to the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia.
The day began with a bus ride to Baiyoke Tower, Thailand’s tallest building. Reaching the top by elevator, the group was able to behold their city from a lofty perspective. They took over the observation floor of the 304m (997ft) skyscraper with infectious laughter and wide, smiling eyes. After a buffet lunch at Bangkok Sky Restaurant, the group ascended to the uppermost level of the tower for an open-air viewing of Bangkok on the revolving platform.
Next stop on the city tour was Siam Ocean World, the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia. As the children moved excitedly through the massive exhibit hall, it was clear that the visit to exotic aquatic wonderland was an absolute hit. Shows featuring penguins and mermaids were highlights, but every moment was filled with broad smiles and energetic playfulness. Exhausted from a day of fun and laughter, the children re-boarded the bus to return home in high spirits.
- Looking down on Bangkok from the highest lookout point in the city.
- A buffet lunch on the top floor of a sky-scraper. The all-you-can-eat concept was new to most of the kids, who came back for seconds, thirds, and even fourths! They soon discovered the self-service ice cream machine, and eating contests continued on through dessert.
- Clowning around with a professional magician at the restaurant
- Seeing marine life glide by, just an arms-length away, at the Siam Ocean World Aquarium
The Baan Nokkamin Foundation serves disadvantaged youth in Thailand. They work on rehabilitation and reintegration for orphans, street kids, and kids struggling with substance abuse/addiction. The goal is to break the cycle of poverty and criminal activity that is often transmitted from one generation to the next.
Travelers can get involved by donating money or even time. The Baan Nokkamin Foundation’s volunteer program gives visitors the chance to live with a local family and lend a hand. Choose from projects like teaching English or fine arts, helping out on the foundation’s organic farm, or coaching sports programs. Get in touch with Elevate Destinations for ideas on how to incorporate volunteer service into a customized journey to Southeast Asia.