TRAVEL
11/09/2013 07:25 am ET

5 Simple Ways To Give Back While Traveling

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We’d all love to go on a volunteer vacation, learn about the local culture and perhaps save the world. With the average American getting a total of 15 paid vacation days per year, it’s hard to find time to relax and recharge let alone any to give back while we’re traveling.

Just a friendly reminder here: 5 affordable – some even effortless – ways to give back on your next vacation. Because, even if it gets old, it isn’t about how much you give.

1) Donate your leftover change to UNICEF's Change for Good on your plane ride home. American Airlines, Aer Lingus, and Alitalia are among many airlines that's partnered up with UNICEF.

2) Use your extra luggage space to pack much needed supplies for local communities. Websites like Pack For A Purpose and Together For Good keeps an updated list of local schools that can always use more.

3) Book your vacation through a charity website. You’re going to pay for the vacation anyway so why not book at a site like Goodshop, which donates half of its revenue to a charity of your choice.

4) Take advantage of hotel outreach programs – Ritz Carlton's Give Back Getaway Program and Sandals Foundation’s Reading Roadtrip are but a few that offer guests a chance to volunteer for a day at local communities.

5) Donate your unused miles through your airline loyalty program. It's the simplest of all - one click of a button will make all the difference.

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