Teaching our boys about Responsible Travel
As we continue to learn and grow as parents, we’ve found it increasingly important to teach our boys about responsible travel and how we all need to respect the places we visit. They are like little sponges at this age, so we’re hopeful these lessons will stick.
Responsible travel has become more important to us in recent years. I suppose we’re at that stage of life where we start seriously thinking about the next generation – the one that our boys will be influenced by.
For us, responsible travel is about making choices that will positively impact the places we visit. When we travel, we try to reduce our footprint by recycling and limiting our waste. We bring our own water bottles and we use reusable straws instead of throwing away plastic. We try to take local transit as much as possible and we purchase items from local businesses and merchants.
It may not sound like much, but we believe the summation of our small actions can, and will, make a big difference.
We are now making it a point to talk to our boys about how our travels can impact the local community we visit – both good and bad. They don’t really understand the context of their actions, but they are making an effort to recycle and reuse more often. It’s a start.
That brings us to the topic of today’s blog post.
Have you heard of social enterprise hotels?
We had not, until recently. What are they, exactly?
Well, the short answer is that social enterprise hotels give back to the communities where they’re located. They offer affordable accommodations to travellers and put the revenue towards community service work. Many social enterprise hotels are located in the heart of the city center and offer a similar experience to a standard hotel.
Social Enterprise Hotel in Vancouver
We actually have a social enterprise hotel in our hometown, the YWCA Hotel Vancouver.
We’re familiar with the property because it’s located in the downtown’s art and entertainment scene, right between Vancouver’s two big sports stadiums – BC Place and Rogers Arena (home of the Vancouver Canucks – our local hockey team that may have had a slight influence on the name of this travel blog).
We’ve walked past this property so many times over the years, yet we did not know it was a hotel open for all travellers. We associate the YWCA brand with community service, so it just didn’t register that this property was an option.
We were wrong. It’s actually a really nice hotel (see photos here).
Why are we telling you about this Social Enterprise Hotel in Vancouver?
The simple answer is that we want to shine the light on a hotel that is doing great things for their communities. If you’re going to spend money on a hotel room anyways, wouldn’t you want that money to be put back in the community you’re visiting?
We live in Vancouver, so selfishly, we want people who visit Vancouver to consider staying at this YWCA Hotel because when you do, you are directly supporting women, children and families who need their services the most (women, children and families who are in need right here, in our hometown).
It’s a is a non-profit organization, so proceeds from your stay will go to the YWCA Metro Vancouver’s community programs. The hotel has a variety of room types and it has three full-sized guest kitchens and self-serve laundry, which is a big bonus for traveling families like us.
And, the kicker is that the rooms are actually cheaper than most hotels in Vancouver.
We did an online search before writing this post to see what guests had to say about the property. The YWCA Hotel has great reviews and is currently ranked as the #14 of 92 hotels in Vancouver on TripAdvisor.
Your actions can make a difference
There are lot of people who don’t have the ability to travel. Many people in downtown Vancouver struggle everyday to find nourishment, shelter and safety.
We are fortunate to be in a position to travel with our boys often, so we believe it’s important to highlight an organization that supports our community. We hope you consider staying at a social enterprise hotel on your next vacation. And, if you find yourself in Vancouver, we encourage you to check out the YWCA Metro Vancouver.
Have you stayed at a Social Enterprise Hotel?
If yes, where did you stay? How was your experience?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below, our readers thanks you!