Start Small, Think Big: Ways to Give Back this Season

The challenges of 2020 have led to an eager anticipation for a fresh start in the New Year. Before turning the page though, this holiday season presents an opportunity to recharge, reflect, and give back.

For an industry that was one of the first to be noticeably impacted by the pandemic, the travel sphere has shown a resilience and commitment to finding ways to help out since the beginning. If you’re looking for a way to wrap up 2020 on a positive note, here are a few ideas to consider, both as an individual and as a part of your corporate travel program.

Start Small

COVID-19 redefined how we see the world. Not just with travel, but with everything from grocery shopping and personal hygiene to remote work and virtual events. In addition to phrases like “flatten the curve” and “mask up,” the pandemic also ushered in is the term “essential workers.” Various entities and states have their own definitions, but an essential worker could be anyone from a store cashier or bus driver to an emergency room doctor or nursing home assistant.

Despite their differences in industries or job duties, these workers all share one thing in common: serving on the frontline. Whether its keeping services running or providing vital treatment, these workers deserve recognition for their tireless efforts. You can start small by doing something special for a frontline worker who has made a difference to your travel program or to you personally, such as sending a thank you card or a token of appreciation.

Direct Travel launched Holidays for Heroes to provide an opportunity for our clients, industry colleagues, and the public-at-large to express their gratitude, providing a much-deserved break in sunny Mexico for 10 essential workers and their loved ones. Submitting a nomination may seem like a small act, but it can go a long way towards showing your hero the impact they have made in the lives of those around them.

Think Big

In addition to redefining the lexicon and habits of our daily lives, the pandemic has pushed us all to reconsider how we see ourselves in relation to rest of the world. For corporate travel, COVID-19 not only forced a global shutdown but also led to a slowdown of travel’s impact on the environment.

Like all industries, travel leaves a carbon footprint that impacts the health and wellbeing of both current and future generations. Although it may not be feasible or necessary for all corporate travel programsdepending on budget or program sizea carbon-offsetting initiative is a big picture way to give back to the planet as a whole.

To make this big picture idea a reality for our clients, Direct Travel has partnered with South Pole to help foster an environmentally sustainable approach for business travel. South Pole has helped develop more than 700 carbon emission reduction projects around the world, representing the equivalent of 21 million cars taken off the road. Although the idea of carbon offsetting initially sounds like a high-level concept rater than a practical way to give back, the program allows businesses to specify and invest in distinct projects and tangible initiatives, such as helping preserve forests and developing energy efficient projects for communities in need.

Coming Together

No matter the size of your business or your budgetary restrictions, giving back this holiday season is about coming together—virtually or in-person—to celebrate the success stories that serve as a counterpoint to the challenging narrative of this past year.

The Direct Travel team has found ways throughout the year to show our appreciation for those who have been impacted most by the pandemic. Some of our regional teams have visited hospitals to provide healthcare workers with personal care packages, and others have participated in food drives for needy families in their communities. By coming together, we are stronger together and show the strength of pursuing a Whatever It Takes mission to support one another.

Regardless of how you choose to give back during this special season of giving, we hope you enjoy your time spent with loved ones both near and far. From all of us at Direct Travel, happy holidays and cheers to a bright new year!