Passports with Purpose is now in its fifth year, and TBEX is proud to be a sponsor of this fundraising effort driven totally by travel bloggers. The 2012 beneficiary is Water.org, and the goal is to raise $100,000 to build two community wells in rural Haiti. At first glance, that number is astounding – especially given PwP’s youth – but we all believe it’s possible. Just last year PwP raised $90,000 so that Room to Read could build two libraries in Zambia, right? So, yeah – $100,000 for clean water is totally do-able, and what a worthy cause.
Of course, Passports with Purpose isn’t just about the great causes – it’s also about the exceptionally cool prizes that travel bloggers manage to procure every year so PwP can raise money for those causes. As the fundraising goals get bigger every year, so does the list of awesome prizes – and this year is no different. As soon as this year’s list of prizes went up on Tuesday night, I started drooling over the options. It’s truly a testament to the strong connections travel bloggers can establish with the travel industry that such great travel prize packages are donated to PwP each year.
Oh, and if you wanted a visual representation of the prizes – and who doesn’t? – the clever PwP folks have a Pinterest board dedicated to all the prizes available this year. It’s a feast for the eyes, I tellya.
Here’s a selection of some of the most jaw-dropping prizes up for grabs in the 2012 Passports with Purpose.
- 26-Day Silk Road Tour (value $4300) – Okay, hold the phone. Wandermom and Intrepid Travel teamed up to offer a 26-day tour through Central Asia. Talk about upping the ante! What a phenomenal prize – and one lucky person will win it with a $10 donation. Fantastic.
- 21-Day Photo Trek in Nepal (value $3900) – Oh, those Seattle bloggers know how to bring the good prizes. Peter Carey is offering a spot on his photo trek in Nepal scheduled for next September/October, which includes all lodging, meals, transportation, guides, porters, and photo instruction for 21 days (you just have to get yourself there).
- Exclusive Atlanta Experience at Omni CNN Center (includes a swim with Whale Sharks!) (value $1700) – Yep, you read that right. Not only do you get two nights at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta with this package from Field Trips with Sue, you get a $200 spa credit at the hotel spa, two tickets to the World of Coca-Cola, two VIP tour tickets at CNN Global Headquarters, and – yes – a chance to swim with whale sharks in the Georgia Aquarium.
- Amazon River Cruise (value $3898) – So, who’s up for spending eight nights on the Amazon? Yeah, I thought so. What a cool prize from Green Global Travel – a cabin on the Amazon Voyage for eight nights, including guided tours and most meals.
- 7-Night Vacation at an Inspirato Luxury Penthouse in Mexico (value $4550) – The words “luxury” and “penthouse” go together so nicely, don’t they? Especially when they’re combined in a prize package from Ciao Bambino! that lets you stay in the aforementioned luxury penthouse in Mexico for a full week. Oh, and this place sleeps six – so bring the family!
- A Glorious Week in Provence (value $4700) – Is there any other kind of week in Provence than a “glorious” one? Maybe not, but this package from The Provence Post will help make sure your week is blissful. You’ll get a week’s stay in a villa, private guided tours, meals in top restaurants, and even relaxing massages – and you’re surrounded by Provence for the whole thing. If that doesn’t sound glorious, I don’t know what does.
- Whitewater Rafting Trip for Two on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon (value $3148) – This six-day adventure from OARS and Wanderlust & Lipstick includes catered camping for five nights (which sounds like a pretty swanky way to camp, if you ask me), professional guides to make the river running exciting and fun, and all meals during the trip.
- Revealed Rome’s Perfect Trip to Rome (value $1435) – All your Rome needs are met with this package, which includes two nights in a 5-star hotel, a pizza-making class, a guided tour of the Vatican, and travel planning assistance from Revealed Rome.
- Two Nights in Paradise (value $1160) – This package from No Vacation Required will give one lucky winner the chance to spend two nights at the oceanfront Makena Beach and Golf Resort in Maui, including breakfast at their lush buffet, plus an authentic Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe experience and a snorkeling excursion.
- Three-night stay at Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Nicaragua (value $1500) – Participating in PwP makes us all feel good, right? Well, you can carry that feel-good mentality with you whenever you travel by selecting green accommodation like the ecolodge in this prize from Ever the Nomad. Your stay includes three meals a day and non-alcoholic beverages for two people.
- European Tour with Busabout and Haggis Adventures (value $950) – One of the things I love about this package from A Dangerous Business is its flexibility. The 6-stop Busabout pass means you can spend as long as you like in each place, so you could use this package on a two-week trip or a two-month trip. When you’ve used up your last Busabout day, then you can top off your trip with a 5-day Highland Fling tour of Scotland from Haggis Adventures.
- 2 Nights in New Orleans at Hotel Monteleone (value $750) – I’ll admit, I’m biased about this one… Because I won this prize from A Traveler’s Library two years ago in PwP! My stay at the Hotel Monteleone was fabulous (it’s right in the heart of the French Quarter), and the city of New Orleans never disappoints.
- 2013 Kahumoku Ohana Music and Lifestyle Workshop (value $1450) – By now we’re all well aware of PwP co-founder Pam Mandel’s affinity for the uke, but she’s not the only travel blogger who loves the diminuitive instrument. The winner of this prize from Live Ukulele will get a week’s worth of tuition to this ukulele workshop on the Big Island, including three meals a day during the workshop. After that week, Pam might just be begging you to join her uke band. (And y’know what? If you don’t already have a uke, Pam’s got you covered with her PwP prize this year – a Kamoa Concert Ukulele.)
No matter which PwP prizes you have your eye on this year, the important thing is that you donate to Passports with Purpose and help them get closer to their lofty $100,000 goal to build community wells in Haiti. The donations page is open now, and will be open until December 11, 2012 at 11:59pm (EST). Each entry for a prize you’d like to win will cost you $10, and that handy page will tally your total at the bottom as you go.
Go on, support a worthy cause this holiday season, and simultaneously give the world another reason to think travel bloggers are pretty incredible people!