Miss A Columnist

Kara Franker is an experienced journalist and video host, Kara generates content for magazines, websites and television. Residing in Miami, Florida, Kara received her law degree from the University of Denver and her journalism degree from the University of Kansas.

Charitable And Stylish Holiday Travel Gifts 2013

There’s nothing better than giving the gift of travel. This holiday season spoil your favorite people with these travel ideas that will not only take them to fabulous places, but also help support a few really great causes.

Stay at Sandpearl Resort and Save a Dolphin: 

Everyone loves The Dolphin Tale movie! Did you know that Dolphin Tale 2 will begin filming soon at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida? Winter plays herself in the movie, together with Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Harry Connick, Jr., Kris Kristofferson and Nathan Gamble.

The Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach is an official partner, so they are featuring a “Winter the Dolphin Family” package, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the feeding and care of Winter the Dolphin.

The package includes: Two general admission tickets to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Daily breakfast for two adults and two children, A copy of the book Winter’s Tale and Accommodations of your choice! Rates start at $339 per night and requires a minimum two-night stay. Some dates are not available due to the filming of Dolphin Tale 2.

Experience the Wonders of Wynwood in Miami:

Come explore Miami’s hot art scene. The once downtrodden area has experienced a resurgence after the Wynwood Arts District Association dedicated itself to the well-being and improvement of the area, which is now one of the most celebrated creative communities in the nation – not to mention a favorite destination for hip Miami locals and in-the-know visitors.

Photo Credit: Wynwood Arts District

Photo Credit: Wynwood Arts District

As part of the Sense Beach House’s Wonders of Wynwood package, guests will enjoy a walking tour of stunning galleries and street murals that have replaced the area’s abandoned garages, factories and empty lots. Rates start at $284.50 per night and include a two-night stay, daily breakfast and a walking tour through the Wynwood Arts District. This weekends-only package is valid through Dec. 31, 2013.

Get Adventurous and Give Back in Zambia

Guests can experience the extraordinary at Sun International’s The Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia, a 5-star Virtuoso property situated in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Wildlife Park. After arriving by speed boat, guests can see, hear and feel the power of the nearby Victoria Falls while watching the sunset over the Zambezi River. Personal butlers cater to guests’ every whim while families of zebra, monkeys and giraffe roam freely around the hotel grounds, creating a truly magical atmosphere for travelers.


Photo Credit: The Royal Livingstone Hotel

Guests looking to give back and experience the local side of Zambia can do so through the hotel, since Sun International’s Royal Livingstone and nearby three-star Zambezi Sun Hotel have been recognized for their community and economic impact, receiving the Imvelo Responsible Tourism Award four consecutive years.

Sun International has 50 community programs in Zambia, which address community investment initiatives, local outsourcing, community health and welfare and other social issues. The company’s Zambia’s Rays of Light program supports orphanages in greater Livingstone and Kazungula.

Golf for Charity Around the World

No matter where you’re headed, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sign up for a charitable golf tournament. According to the Golf 20/20 Report published by the World Golf Foundation, the sport of golf contributes almost $4 billion to charities each year, more than any other sport. Read this story by Miss A Travel Writer, Alicia Lawrence, to find some cool ways to blend your passion for golf with a desire to give back.

Photo Credit: CACNiagara

Photo Credit: CACNiagara

Save the Turtles!

At Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, there are “Loggy the Turtle” plush toys available in every room for guests to take home as a souvenir, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. The turtles are awfully cute and make a great gift!
Photo Credit: Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

Photo Credit: Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa

Cocktails for a Cause in Fort Lauderdale:

Speaking of our beloved friends in a hard shell, another resort is also working hard to save these adorable creatures. At Sea Level Restaurant & Ocean Bar at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, the signature cocktail is not only delicious, but also philanthropic. One dollar from every Tipsy Turtle Cocktail sold benefits the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation. Enjoy the refreshing rum-based treat overlooking sweeping ocean views. Sea Level gift certificates are available at the resort gift shop.

Volunteer in Cape Town at The Table Bay Hotel:

Positioned on the V&A Waterfront with views overlooking both the bustling working harbor and the new natural wonder of the world, Table Mountain, this luxe hotel boasts the best address in Cape Town, suiting every kind of traveler from the adventurous to the leisurely.


Photo Credit: The Table Bay Hotel

Guests of The Table Bay Hotel can visit SEED’S Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre, a facility that integrates school-bass outdoor classrooms, youth development and career exploration and provides skills development promoting sustainable living. For less than $10, guests can transport to the centre for a two-hour tour and tea and experience the local Flats’ Xhosa, Rastafarian and Muslim cultures.

Purchase a Travel Product that Gives Back

1. Get Organized While You Travel

Never again spend hours attempting to pack your shoes and handbags so they won’t get scuffed up and damaged. Shoe covers from Swathe has a see-through window to locate your item quickly. The company has partnered with Soles4Souls, which is a global non-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing.

Photo Credit: Swathe

Photo Credit: Swathe

2. Pack Your Chic Weekend Bag

This travel bag by Izzy & Ali, fits everything you need for your perfect weekend getaway. Way Easy Gifts donates 10 percent of all its proceeds to Operation Gratitude. Annually, Operation Gratitude sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers.

Photo Credit: WayEasyGifts.com

Photo Credit: WayEasyGifts.com

Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 915,000 packages to American Military members.

3. Don’t Forget to Pack a Toothbrush!

Buy yourself a new toothbrush while donating one to a child in need. Smile Squared has an environmentally friendly toothbrush, hand-crafted with a biodegradable bamboo handle and high quality DuPont Tynex® bristles.

Photo Credit: Smile Squared

Photo Credit: Smile Squared

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