Photo by Arthur Poulin
Its very likely over the next year you will be staying in an Airbnb somewhere in the world. Exploring a city is something I urgently look forward to every trip I take. Creative cuisine, original cocktails, and electric culture are all things I love to discover when traveling.
One of the most interesting features of Airbnb is its experiences section. In experiences you can book brewery tours, small concerts, cooking classes, hiking trips and much more.
If you dig a little deeper you will find social impact experiences. These can be a little more off the beaten path, but can offer some amazing new memories. Check out some of these social impact experiences during your next Airbnb travels.
Plastic Fishing in Amsterdam
Plastic Whale is on a mission to make the world’s waters plastic-free by creating value from plastic waste. Plastic Whale is the first professional plastic fishing company in the world.
Help make Amsterdam’s canals plastic-free and join Plastic Whale for a two hour plastic fishing adventure. While cleaning up the canals, you get to see the historical center with its many highlights from a unique perspective.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Plastic Whale. Airbnb doesn’t charge any fees for these experiences. With your experience, Plastic Whale will build new boats made from the plastic that you helped retrieve on your trip. More boats means cleaner canals and by re-using these common materials, they hope to make people think differently about single-use plastics and trash.
Explore Urban Farming in Philadelphia
Urban Creators is a grassroots organization rooted in North Philadelphia, transforming neglected landscapes into dynamic safe-spaces that foster connectivity, self-sufficiency, & innovation. They are community organizers who utilize urban agriculture, interest-based learning, artistic expression, and restorative justice as tools for neighborhood stabilization & youth development.
Explore what Urban Creators is all about by visiting and touring the farm. Learn the history of the space and the different experiences it took to create a place with such harmony. Get to know the graffiti art, plants, sculptures, and murals.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Urban Creators. Airbnb doesn’t charge any fees for these experiences.
A Blind Cafe Experience in Denver or Seattle
The Blind Café is a social impact organization that uses concept of social engagement in 100% darkness to create innovative and imaginative pop-up experiences that profoundly impacts people’s social perspective. They’re sponsored under the 501(c)3 of the Boulder County Arts Alliance, which is dedicated to providing professional development to the arts community through its programming and services.
In this experience, you will be challenged to socially engage as you break bread with strangers, participate in a discussion and experience a Live Concert in the dark! There will be no distraction of your visual conditioning, social etiquette, or cell phones.
The Blind Café does not try to perfectly recreate blindness. Instead, it allows people to interact, trust each other, and experience music and community in an entirely new way. In the dark, there are no uncomfortable glances, no self-consciousness about what you’re wearing or what you weigh, and no distinction between the sighted and the blind.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to The Blind Cafe. Airbnb doesn’t charge any fees for these experiences.
Support Rescued Animals in Bali
Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF ) is an Indonesian conservation nonprofit organization working to protect wildlife and habitats, as well as supporting local communities.
Through this experience, you will help rescued wildlife. You’ll start with a short tour around the facility so you can meet the animals. Then you’ll help by cleaning the animal enclosures, preparing food for the animals, and making enrichment for the animals.
For those who have special skills such as wildlife veterinarian or zookeeper, you can work more closely with their vet to examine animal health, and train staff to do rehabilitation.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to National Parks Foundation in Indonesia. Airbnb doesn’t charge any fees for these experiences.
Hike Runyon Canyon with a Rescue Dog in Los Angeles
Free Animal Doctor helps individuals and organizations raise money for animals when they cannot afford some or all of the money needed for their care. The organization provides a secure crowdfunding platform, where all donations are paid to the veterinarian.
You’ll set off from West Hollywood and hike up Runyon Canyon with new friends: a jovial pack of rescue dogs. Along with exercising and socializing these dogs, you’ll help us take photos of them to publicize their cases. As you hike, we’ll photograph the pack in Hollywood-centric locations. Your photos will be used to help bring in donations for the pups’ care and generate adoption interest.
Along the way we will have great views, including of the Hollywood sign, and perhaps a celebrity sighting! Note that your payment for this Experience is a donation to the Animal Welfare Non-Profit, helping pay for the care of the very dogs you will be walking!
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Free Animal Doctor. Airbnb doesn’t charge any fees for these experiences.
Cook with Syrians at Newcomer Kitchen in Toronto
Newcomer Kitchen is a not-for-profit project that hosts newcomer women to gather and cook meals of traditional Syrian home cooking for meal delivery to the surrounding Toronto neighborhoods. Newcomer Kitchen has created meaningful employment for 75 women through pop-up dining, Syrian cooking workshops and special event catering. It has become a hub for social and cultural exchange.
You’ll be joining a group of Syrian newcomer women and hanging out in the bright lively open kitchen at The Depanneur cafe in Toronto’s West End. Newcomer will book the restaurant as a private event for the day. You can expect cooking, conversation, smiles and laughter and often singing. You will get a hands-on experience learning how to make traditional Syrian home cooking. The kitchen lead co-ordinators speak great english and are very welcoming and enjoy sharing the tips and techniques involved in preparing the delicious dishes.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Newcomer Kitchen. Airbnb doesn’t charge any fees for these experiences.
Tour a Horse Sanctuary in Dover Plains, New York
Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue is dedicated to providing a sanctuary for abused & neglected horses and to improve the relationship between horses and people. We are committed to raising funds to support the rescued horses in our care and will pursue the acquisition of grants, gifts, bequests and donations to support the organization. We are a no-kill rescue striving to promote humane treatment.
You will be greeted at our entrance with a pony. Following your arrival, you will be guided on a private tour where you will see all the animals at the sanctuary, all the horses, the goats and the sheep. You will also have a back stage pass to see where the animals’ meals are prepared and how the animals are cared for.
You will have the opportunity to choose a horse you would like to meet personally. Once you choose your horse, you will be able to bring your chosen horse to the barn and groom him or her to get to know him or her. After developing a connection with your horse, you will be able to spend time with your horse one on one in a liberty session in our indoor arena. You will then have the opportunity to have your photo taken with your horse.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue. Airbnb doesn’t charge any fees for these experiences.
Visit the Earthsong Eco-Neighborhood in Auckland, New Zealand
The Earthsong Centre Trust manages the outreach activities, educating the public in the principles of socially, environmentally and economically sustainable urban living based on co-housing. A key motivation for developing the neighborhood was to demonstrate a more sustainable urban neighborhood model. The biggest contribution they can make to sustainability is to share the lessons that have been learned creating this community.
Your visit to Earthsong Eco Neighborhood will include a guided tour of the site and a look through one of the natural houses. The talk will cover the history, philosophy and environmental aspects behind the community and allow for your questions. Earthsong is built on an old organic orchard in a suburb of Auckland city but feels like a small village.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to the Earthsong Education Trust.
Surf Lessons for a Cause in South Padre Island, Texas
SurfVive is a non-profit charity on a mission to show love through surfing, food, and all forms of art. They recognize the importance of responsible food choices, not only for our bodies but for the whole planet.
On your experience you’ll start the lesson in the sand and go over basic ocean safety information. You’ll then practice some techniques such as popping up and balancing before making your way to the water. Once in the ocean you’ll start the lesson in waist-high water, where you can feel comfortable learning to paddle into waves and standing up.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Surfvive.org.
Snorkel at Goat Island Marine Reserve in New Zealand
Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) was established in 2002 and since then they have taken over 45,000 students and their whanau (families) snorkeling around New Zealand. The mission is to teach marine conservation and they do this by running a series of free community led events each summer and funded school programs. For every snorkel you come on – one student gets to experience a marine reserve.
On this experience you will learn how to use the snorkel equipment and have some important safety briefings. Then it’s time to get snorkeling – no experience necessary. Your host will give you a guided tour around the Goat Island Marine Reserve pointing out huge resident snapper, schools of baitfish and feisty hiwihiwi. Once you have finished your snorkel your host will debrief you on your snorkel and what you have seen. They will talk about issues which we are facing in our Hauraki Gulf and what you could do to help.
Then it’s time to head up to the Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre to check out their displays and aquarium touch tanks. Once you are finished, the hosts can make great recommendations for other local activities like the beautiful walk out to Cape Rodney and there are kayaks which can be hired from other operators on the beach front.
This is a social impact experience where 100% of what you pay for this experience goes to Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR).
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