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Everyone can contribute to changing the world. Be it a resolution to recycle more or you might decide to vacation somewhere which will help people. How about a yoga retreat that makes no profit from your stay and instead builds wells for the local community? How about an elephant experience where you can adopt an elephant?

Here are our picks of the best vacation options in 2018 that will really make a difference and help to make the world a better place.

Tavoos Garden & Wellness Center

“Access to wellness is a basic human right, not a privilege to only those who can afford it.” These are the thoughts of Valentina Lyubiteleva who sold everything and left a typical 9-5 lifestyle in Canada and moved to Cambodia to launch a non-profit luxury wellness program with her fiance and his partners.

That one sentence is what drives the team behind Tavoos Garden & Wellness Center. A motto they stand behind. A belief system that drives them to work hard each day to bring guests luxurious and affordable wellness retreats while giving back to the community.

Tavoos Garden & Wellness Center is a non-profit luxury retreat space offering daily drop-in classes and weekly retreats for those who want to give back to their body and mind, at the same time give back to the community.

“When we travel to countries such as Cambodia in order to indulge in the beauty, culture, food and zenfulness we are always greeted with open arms by the locals. Even when they barely have anything, they share with us the little food they have on their table. They share with us their rich culture, their beautiful land and most importantly allow us to enjoy the zen environment while escaping our stressful lives. They allow us to heal our bodies, minds and souls in their backyard. So why should we not share with them these wellness activities for which we travel thousands of miles to do?

After each successful weekly retreat, Tavoos use its profits to dig a water well for families in communities around Siem Reap. This way, by attending the retreats, guests feel good knowing that not only have they given back to their own body and mind, but also provided access to clean water for years to come to families in need.

“The retreats have been designed to provide a luxury environment and experience which everyone can afford. Healing and wellness are about giving back, not about making profit” Says Valentina.

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle works hand in hand with the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) offering guests the opportunity to help rescue elephants from the streets of Thailand and provide them with a loving home in a humane and natural environment.

The GTAEF believes that in an ideal world, all elephants would be wild and there would be no need to discuss elephants’ working lives. Until that point is reached, the GTAEF performs rescues for elephants, mahouts and families; cooperates with governmental and other organizations in “bigger picture” projects; and at all times endeavours to ensure that good is done.

Four Season’s guests have now assisted in the adoption of more than ten elephants from the streets. Through a monthly sponsorship that includes all their fodder, veterinary and incidental bills (as well as the wages and benefits for their mahouts), these elephants can now live in a natural environment. Donations through similar sponsorships have helped baby elephants separated from their mothers before their natural weaning age, and elephants roaming city streets. These elephants are cared for on-site and can be seen during breakfast.

Not only is the Four Seasons Golden Triangle a wonderful place to experience the joy of elephants and jungle in utter luxury. By staying here and sponsoring an elephant, you can make a real difference.

If you would like to book a stay here, our Luxury Travel Concierge offers upgrades, discounts and free breakfasts at all Four Seasons hotels.

Gorilla Conservation

This idea is perhaps not as luxury as the Four Seasons, but is equally if not more important to changing the world, why take 2 weeks to volunteer with gorillas? Participants in gorilla conservation projects are needed to fight the threats of extinction for these primates. Volunteer with gorillas and you could ultimately be helping the local ecosystems of the area by keeping these species alive and well. Current threats include hunting, trapping, farming violations, commercial logging, construction work in the wild and the illegal trading of bush meat.

Most gorilla conservation projects are hosted in Africa, particularly Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon. These places are home to an abundance of natural beauty and some of the rarest animals on the planet. A particularly unique species of gorilla that needs your help is the mountain gorilla. With less than 900 remaining in the wild living in just a few African countries, the largest living primates on earth are now in danger of extinction.

Volunteers on gorilla conservation projects might be involved in gorilla tracking, educational projects or even tree planting. There might even be opportunities to get involved with community workshops, teaching the locals new and exciting conservation techniques. If you would like to get involved with a gorilla conservation project check out our product listings.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.