Destinations / TRAVEL BUZZ
BREW WITH A VIEW Tired of lugging your pale ale up the trail?
Pat’s Backcountry Beverages has come up with a carbonation
system and dehydrated beer pack that is 87 percent lighter than
that can of beer and takes up 89 percent less space. Every pack
makes a 16-ounce beer. You just need a source of cold, filtered
water and a well-earned view. patsbcb.com M. T.
BORROW A BOAT
GetMyBoat.com is like Airbnb
for the nautical set. A list of
availabilities lets boat owners
(who generally only use their
vessels 8 percent of the time)
defray the cost of ownership
by renting out their boats to
potential users around the
world. And non-boat owners
get to have the experience of
being on the water. The website has more than 14,000 listings in 50 states, from kayaks
to 100-foot yachts. MIMI TOWLE
Muir Beach filmmakers Steve and Joanie Wynn recently received three regional Emmy awards for their “
voluntourism” documentary Journeys for Good: Cambodia. “Volunteer travel, or ‘voluntourism,’ is an emerging trend
in travel that can have many positive benefits for families,” Joanie says. The Wynns travel with their 11-year-old
son, Ryan, and have experienced those benefits (as well as challenges) firsthand. For children, voluntourism
“helps to foster a sense of global citizenship, broaden understanding of different cultures and develop empathy,”
Joanie says. “For parents, it offers a sense of cultural immersion well beyond the tourist track, and it can be a
positive bonding opportunity for everyone.” Here are the Wynns’ tips for finding the right tour. M. T.
CONSIDER AGE It’s essential to choose an experi-
ence and location that is age appropriate. Look for a
voluntour provider geared to families.
KEEP IT LOCAL The best volunteer projects are locally
driven, wherein volunteers work alongside locals to
augment projects with their own sweat equity.
WILL IT LAST? Consider the sustainability of a
project. Handouts or donations are Band-Aids that
create dependency without addressing underlying
issues. Look for projects with long-term benefits.
AVOID SCAMS Be wary of orphanage visits.
Although these types of experiences sound
good, there have been some abuses (especially in
Cambodia) with orphanages being developed solely
to attract Western dollars.
HAVE FUN Prep your children with photos, videos
and kid-friendly books so they’ll know what to
expect. Make sure to schedule some fun time in
your trip so that it’s not all work and no play.
RESOURCES Pepy Tours ( pepytours.com) has a
great guide to help future volunteers choose a
responsible placement. You can also find inspiration in trips profiled on the Journeys for Good
website ( journeys4good.com).