Travel with purpose in 2019

These meaningful experiences are for travellers looking to make a positive impact

Now more than ever before, travel can be a catalyst for positive social change, an economic driver for environmental conservation and transformative in nearly every sense of the word.

Come 2019, instead of looking at travel as merely a means of discovery and exploration, consider how your trip could be more purposeful, whether that means challenging yourself physically, seeking out a road less travelled or making a meaningful impact on the destination you visit.

Don't know where to start? Here are seven purposeful holidays for the next year, as recommended by Toronto- and Hong Kong-based travel and tourism consultancy Bannikin.


Choosing socially-aware travel that involves slow food, local initiatives and responsible destination development is a way to make travel more purposeful.

Adventure Canada's circumnavigation of Newfoundland (above) delivers all of the above.

Visit the indigenous community of Miawpukek - its residents have successfully married centuries-old traditions with contemporary culture.

Also journey to L'Anse aux Meadows, a well-preserved Unesco World Heritage Site and home to a 1,000-year-old Norse settlement.


While there may not be many places left undiscovered on this planet, there are plenty of opportunities to dig deeper into existing destinations and uncover cultures that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Ireland, a country filled with deep history, is still home to communities rich with ancient Irish culture. Explore Ireland's raw wilderness with Wilderness Ireland's hike along the Wicklow Way, or discover its historic towns filled with ancient un-colonised culture.

One such place is Dingle which boasts the sixth-century Reask Monastic Site. This ancient city is also home to some of the oldest archaeological sites in the country, such as the Gallarus Oratory, said to be the best-preserved early Christian Church in Ireland, and the Dunbeg Fort, which dates back to around 500BC.


According to the Huffington Post, risk-taking can open up a world of unforeseen opportunities for those willing to make the leap.

On your next trip, go beyond your comfort zone and take a daring journey meant to challenge your physical and geographical limits.

Ascend the peaks of Mount Kenya in Kenya or the Julius Alps (above) in Slovenia, cycle the iconic climbs of the Pyrenees (featured on the Tour de France) or discover other ways to travel boldly via Exodus Travels.


Next year, lower your carbon footprint with the World's First Zero Waste Adventure, courtesy of Natural Habitat Adventures, global leaders in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism.

This initiative, debuting as part of Nat Hab's Safari America: Yellowstone Country tour on July 6, will divert 99 per cent or more of all on-trip waste produced as a by-product of Nat Hab-sponsored trip operations.

From arrival to departure, travellers will be encouraged to refuse, recycle, compost, upcycle or reuse potential waste such as plastic straws and individually-wrapped items.


There has never been a better time to go on a natural escape, where unplugging is not just encouraged but necessary.

Beautiful hikes into ancient forests, stunning mountainscapes in isolated lodges and long walks on unchartered powdery coastlines are just as enjoyable without a hashtag.

New Zealand Walking Tours guides lead travellers through paths less trodden that reach locations not accessible by land vehicles, so guests can expect a renewed sense of energy and opportunities for quiet contemplation with every step.


Citizen science, the act of collecting data on flora and fauna, is a great way to give back in-destination.

Rainforest Expeditions' four lodges, a group of retreats in Tambopata, Peru, have designed such experiences called Wired Amazon, an initiative of interactive science projects created specifically for travellers.

Among these activities is Discover A New Species, an experience led by Dr Juan Cardos that studies a rich biodiversity of insect families. Similarly, travellers with Rainforest Expeditions can also partake in the Tambopata Macaw Project, which researches how macaws live in the rainforest (above).


In an attempt to honour our natural resources, permaculture is a growing travel trend that encourages greater respect for the earth.

In April, the first boutique ecolodge of its kind will open its doors in Colombia, ushering in a new era of experiential travel in South America.

Cannua an 18-room retreat set within 11ha of protected forest, was conceptualised as a permaculture retreat from the very beginning, and its overall holistic approach has been rooted in permaculture principles.

Specifically designed to exist in harmony with its natural surroundings using sustainably-sourced building materials such as bamboo and compressed earth blocks, Cannua will supply its on-site restaurant with 0.8ha of organic gardens and permaculture-informed food forests.