Give back while kicking back.
One of the best parts about traveling is that there are so many ways to, well, go away. You can chill on a beach, go hiking the woods, check out a new city, or even use your time away to do some good in the world.
About that last one: The nonprofit organization Ethical Traveler recently published its annual list of the top 10 most ethical developing countries in the world. If you decide to go to one of the places on the list, you'll be contributing to the world in a positive way — simply by putting your travel money there instead of somewhere else. « By spending your travel dollars in forward-thinking countries, you can reward the good guys—and encourage good practices worldwide, » says Ethical Traveler in their press release about the list.
Via Flickr: leeco
1. Cabo Verde: The Gender Equalizer
This island nation off the coast of Africa not only holds dozens of women in high-ranking public and private sector positions, but it also just celebrated its third annual Gay Pride week. And since Cabo Verde is home to one of the world's largest populations of loggerhead turtles, environmentalists and NGOs have spent years working to protect their native nesting grounds.
2. Dominica: The Protector of the Whales
The Caribbean island nation Dominica has long been a proponent of oceanic protection, but they recently upped their efforts to stand against the whaling industry. This past year, the government instated a compulsory nationwide school program that teaches students to protect and respect the ocean's largest mammals, along with all forms of marine life.
3. Grenada: The LGBT Watchdog
Citizens of this Caribbean archipelago use nurseries to protect and regenerate their coral reefs, and they are considering constitutional reform to improve the rights of LGBT people.