Discover Corps’ “Vacations with Purpose” Help Families Discover from Within

Discover Corps’ “Vacations with Purpose” Help Families Discover from Within

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Families travel for a variety of reasons, but one thing remains clear – feeling a sense of togetherness and connectedness is important. In today’s world, this becomes more and more difficult in everyday life, making the few vacations we take more important than ever.

Discover Corps offers what it calls “Vacations with Purpose” for families who want to do something meaningful and different with their vacation, a niche the Family Travel Association (FTA) has identified in its annual survey. Special Offer: Any FTA travel agent member can now offer their clients Discover Corps’ group discount for four or more travelers (instead of the usual six), for a savings of up to $250 off per person. (Reservations must be made before midnight, Dec. 31, 2019.)

According to the FTA’s 2018 Family Travel Survey, conducted by the FTA and New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, and supported by Travel + Leisure magazine, about 5 percent of parents say they have taken a volunteer/mission trip, while 8 percent say they are planning to.

“Vacations with purpose don’t necessarily mean volunteering every hour of every day of your vacation – they are about inspiring travelers to become advocates for our planet and communities through purposeful projects and culturally immersive experiences,” said Discover Corps’ Marketing Manager Amanda DiSilvestro.

Discover Corps was founded by Andrew Motiwalla, a returned Peace Corps volunteer, as a way to show the real world to his kids in a meaningful way and share with them experiences they will never forget.

“We believe that the right type of travel can make the world a better place; and being able to share in this mindset and practice responsible travel with your family is powerful,” DiSilvestro said. “We hope that these trips will help create our next generation of global citizens.”

Discover Corps offers trips ranging from 4-10 days with anywhere from 1-16 hours of volunteer time throughout the trip. Purposeful projects also vary – from setting camera traps with conservationists in South Africa, to collecting data on dolphins with a local nonprofit in Croatia, to volunteering at a local music and arts center in Cuba – trips all have a different focus. You can learn more about their impact not only to travelers, but also to the communities their trips visit, here.

Because each trip is specifically designed with families in mind, from children to grandparents, comfortable accommodations, adventure activities, downtime, and flexibility are also infused into each itinerary.

“I speak with all of the families when they return, and they always tell me that this type of travel uncovered characteristics they didn’t even know about their children said Angela Bailey, Discover Corps Lead Travel Specialist.

“The activities and behind-the-scene encounters provide a learning space for all ages. Our trips lend themselves to being truly unplugged, allowing that face-to-face that is becoming rarer to find on your typical vacation. It is always one of our favorite pieces of feedback to hear,” Bailey said.

Most parents tell the FTA that they see positive changes in their relationships with their children because of family vacations. When you look at families that have either taken a volunteer/mission trip, or who are interested in one, parents describe an even more profound awareness of these changes.

For example, according to the 2018 Survey 85 percent of parents who have taken volunteer/mission trips said that traveling with children has changed their relationship with their children for the better, versus slightly less than 70 percent of the overall parent respondent population.

Additionally, 84 percent of parents who have taken their families on volunteer vacations said it is important to them that their children understand different cultures, while 78 percent said that travel has helped their children see the world from a broader perspective. These results compare with about 70 percent of the general parent respondents.

Discover Corps testimonials also provide a view into the eyes of travelers who have benefited from this kind of family travel.

“Our Costa Rica trip was an amazing experience where we learned so much about the sea turtles and the people of Costa Rica!” said Gretchen Mora, Discover Corps alumna. “We had beach patrols every evening looking for females laying eggs. When the females were found, we helped move the batch of eggs to a safe location in the “hatchery” down the beach so the eggs could be protected from poachers and dogs.”

The Discover Corp guides work with local eco-organizations who seek to educate the public as well as tourists on this important mission to save the turtles. When they hatch in a few weeks, the baby turtles are taken to the beach to go their own way and hopefully grow up to adulthood.

“It was a once in a lifetime experience to watch a female laying eggs and help to save this species. Everything was handled for us and there is no way we could have had this experience without all the planning from DC. The guides were awesome and we also had some super fun days at the end when we went white water tubing and zip lining,” said Mora.

If you are interested in speaking further with Discover Corps about their trip offerings and commission structure, email Travel Specialist Angela Bailey at or call her at 858-367-5007.

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