5 Websites to Help You Plan The Adventure of a Lifetime

Take a trip with meaning [LIST]

Jan 31, 2014

Flickr user Bertrand Monney

Do you ever come back from a trip and feel as if you could have contributed more to the place you visited or learned more about your surroundings? You are not alone. Travel with meaning is a growing global trend that's all about exploring the world while doing some great things for yourselfother people and the planet along the way. Check out this list of five awesome meaningful travel websites that will help you organize the trip of a lifetime.

1. GOVOLUNTOURING

THE LOWDOWN: With a huge database of both volunteering and applied learning programs around the world, this awesome organization is a great starting point for finding a trip with meaning. Along with its sister organization Holidays for Humanity, the "voluntourism" community helps connect those willing to do good with the projects that are most suited to them.
STAY INFORMED: The fundraising tool is a clever platform that allows volunteers to gather necessary funds for travel expenses so they can concentrate on what's really important - making a difference in the world.
BOOK NOW: Help save an important endangered species as part of this fascinating sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica.

Screenshot: Go Volunteering

2. TRAVEL SOUL THERAPY

THE LOWDOWN: Psychology expert Anatoly Petrenko believes that travel with intention is an excellent way to experience freedom of being, and his personal website is loaded with interesting insights on the subject. Learn all about how being aware of your surroundings while traveling can be good for your soul, leading to new levels of freedom.
STAY INFORMED: Read all about practical tips on how to prepare for a meaningful trip, what to do upon departure, and how to process a trip in a positive way once back home.
BOOK NOW: Go on a journey of self-discovery by taking a trip alone.

3. GREEN TRAVELER GUIDES

THE LOWDOWN: Traveling green doesn't necessarily mean having to give up on the finer things in life - this comprehensive guide is all about making green travel fun and accessible. With handy tips, gorgeous photos, and even the option to book cool trips, you'll have no problem finding the perfect eco-friendly destination.
STAY INFORMED: Keep up to date with the latest green travel news and read insightful views and opinions in the handy info section.
BOOK NOW: Travel in style to the Big (Green) Apple with a stay at Element Times Square West, one of New York City’s eco-pioneers.

4. MEANINGFUL TRIPS

THE LOWDOWN: Inspiring change through travel, Meaningful Trips is a small business that's big on sustainability. It's all about responsible, sustainable ecotourism with these guys and they put a big focus on contributing to projects that bring about change. They offer small group trips with open-minded travelers to a relatively limited number of destinations.
STAY INFORMED: The enlightening blog covers the latest developments in the world of meaningful travel.
BOOK NOW: Help indigenous communities in Colombia's Sierra Nevada while exploring the coffee region and pristine beaches on the Caribbean Coast.

Screenshot: Meaningful Trips

5. CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE DESTINATIONS

THE LOWDOWN: The National Geographic is the mastermind of the Center for Sustainable Destinations - that helps protect the world's distinctive places through wisely managed tourism. The CSD connects local residents and travelers as well as travel companies, governments and tourism bureaus to provide useful information about how to travel responsibly.
STAY INFORMED: This handy blog about intelligent travel is a great resource for learning about cool new projects and diverse destinations.
BOOK NOW: Explore one of the most rural and authentic corners of Vermont as part of the impressive Northeast Kingdom Geotourism Alliance

As well as managing Goodnet.org, Elana writes happy headlines with a particular focus on yoga, meditation and family matters. She has a background in online journalism and web content.