How to Travel More Kindly

How to Travel More Kindly

Kind Traveler CEO and co-founder Jessica Blotter on working with advisors and how the platform has made a difference so far By: Mindy Poder
<p>Jessica Blotter, CEO and co-founder of Kind Traveler // © 2017 Kind Traveler</p><p>Feature image (above): Kind Traveler, which works with 50...

Jessica Blotter, CEO and co-founder of Kind Traveler // © 2017 Kind Traveler

Feature image (above): Kind Traveler, which works with 50 charities and 57 hotels, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. // © 2017 Arbor Day Foundation

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The Details

When a hotel is booked on the Kind Traveler online platform, travelers give a $10 nightly donation to either a local charity that positively impacts the neighborhood they are visiting or to any of Kind Traveler’s 50 charity partners. As a reward for the donation, travelers unlock an exclusive rate with the hotel that is competitive with other leading travel sites.

Best of all? Kind Traveler is rolling out a tool within the next six to eight months that will allow travel advisors to book directly on Kind Traveler’s website with commission incentives in place. Jessica Blotter, CEO and co-founder of the 1-year-old company, explains how traveling more kindly works.

Can you give us an example of the impact Kind Traveler has made with one of its partners? 
One partnership I’m particularly proud of is with The Benjamin hotel in New York City and local charity, City Harvest. A $10 donation unlocks an incredible exclusive rate and helps end hunger in NYC. To date, Kind Traveler has helped serve 500 meals to in-need individuals in the city. 

Kind Traveler breaks down how a hotel supports its community and the environment. Why also include what it does for wellness? 
One of the elements that makes us unique is that we feature hotels by how they promote kindness — known on the website as a hotel’s “Kind Factors.” We believe kindness in a hotel extends beyond charitable giving as it is also about how a hotel embraces and enhances individual wellness, environmental sustainability and community impact. When hotels embrace wellness, they are helping travelers be kind to themselves, which is equally important to being kind to others and the environment. 

Who is your ideal client?
Kind Traveler’s ideal client is one who seeks to align their values with their purchasing power — those looking to add a greater sense of fulfillment and meaningfulness to their travel experience while making a positive difference in the world.  

What are some of your most popular hotels?
Hotel El Ganzo in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; The Benjamin in NYC; Hotel G in San Francisco; The James in Chicago; and Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

What are some of your most popular charities?
Make-A-Wish, The Salvation Army, City Harvest (NYC), San Francisco SPCA and Animal Defenders International.

Besides the agent booking tool, what other new developments do you hope to roll out next year?
We are looking to develop and facilitate distinctive ways travelers can get involved with charitable experiences via the charities they donate to on Kind Traveler through a program called “Do Good For The Day.” 

This will be a way for travelers to have a visceral experience outside of the financial donation. Examples of how to do good for the day include being part of a sea lion release program, beach clean-up activities, planting trees, walking a dog at a shelter, touring a local food bank and more.

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