Since 2006, Christopher Hill of Holiday Up Holidays has helped affluent families tailor luxury vacations that encompass once in a lifetime experiences, combined with lending a helping hand and funding to meet a need, creating meaningful shared memories. On a trip to South Africa in 2002, in addition to a safari, wine tasting and exploration, Hill helped to build a house in a township, an experience he found so enriching that he was inspired to create a travel company “to enable families to have similar experiences.” With a sophisticated platform, Hill notes that the vacation possibilities are “limitless.”
Tailoring each client’s preferences into a custom designed package, he states that Hands Up Holidays, “prides itself on consulting with each client and finding out what their preferences are, how they like to spend their leisure time and if they have any skills they’d like to use in their volunteering.” He explores “the time of year they’re thinking of traveling, and how long they’ve got to travel” which can influence recommendations in terms of weather and proximity to where they live. While the company takes care to provide custom designed luxury vacations, the experiences and memories families share by giving back trumps it all. By engaging with other cultures and meaningfully interacting with the locals, parents and children alike gain insights into other ways of life and return home humbler, and more empathetic as a result.
Hill notes, “The result is that families bond closer together, relate to each other better, and gain an appreciation for how fortunate they are, and don’t take their privileged lives for granted. Families return from their vacation more socially aware, which makes them more humane and desirous to keep making a difference.” If clients have specific skills that they would like to use, these can be put to use. For example, Hill shares, “they may be doctors, or they may have business skills that they would really like to apply.”
“Our clients love the fact that they are able to have a luxury vacation, they can do some of the sight-seeing they want to do, plus they get to make a difference and they get to know the local people, who are all too often an overlooked, hidden treasure of a destination,” Hill adds. The idea is that these are luxury family vacations that include a taste of giving back. So in addition to facilitating meaningful philanthropic-volunteer experiences, these vacations are packaged with unique experiences. One of the most popular destinations for Hill’s clients is South Africa.
Hill shared that, “there are so many different possibilities in South Africa. One itinerary could start with a few days around Cape Town, perhaps a day out in the winelands, wine tasting and enjoying the spectacular scenery. Another day might be going out to the Cape Peninsula area, where there are penguins that you can kayak to…the following day you may like visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was a prisoner for eighteen years and get to hear the stories of the guards, who are now the tour guides. Then, finish up with a luxury safari. South Africa is famous for its safaris and there’s lots of options, from Sabi Sabi to Kruger to Madikwe to the Kalahari.” Hill’s perspective of giving back is echoed by tennis legend Arthur Ashe who said, “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.
To learn more about Hands Up Holidays visit: http://www.HandsUpHolidays.com.