Why we no longer visit orphanages

It's human nature to help a child in need, and most of us would do anything to make a difference when we are travelling. Which is why orphanages have become such popular destinations for travellers.

But the sad reality is that there’s a growing industry that’s exploiting our good intentions for profit. Around the world, children are being trafficked to fake orphanages as lucrative tourist attractions. They’re kept in deliberately poor conditions to elicit sympathy, and are left vulnerable and exposed.

That’s why Intrepid Travel no longer visits orphanages. Instead, we’re advocating for change and actively donating funds to trusted child protection organisations in countries where the industry is rife.

The good news is, there are ways you can have a positive impact when you travel. Intrepid are continually developing partnerships via The Intrepid Foundation and our NGO partners to facilitate community-based tourism projects that allow you to experience the local culture while empowering the communities you are visiting. Many of our trips also include visits to local homestays and communities that have been developed to directly benefit the people living there. But remember that being a responsible traveller is about being aware that children in any environment can be vulnerable.

Read our full policy on Child Protection

Looking for a trip that will have a positive impact and help you travel for good?

Best of Myanmar

On this trip, you'll stay at a unique community lodge in central Myanmar, a pioneering community-based tourism initiative outside the town of Myaing, north of Bagan.

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Wild Mongolia

Be welcomed into a family ger to see how modern Mongolian nomads are preserving an ancient way of life, and experience nomadic life on this rare and rewarding cultural experience.

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Botswana Adventure

Visit a lodge in the Kalahari region that is owned and run by the San (Bushmen) people, set up as a social enterprise that helps empower the community through employment. 

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Classic Costa Rica

Stay at the Santa Rosa de Pocosol community homestay, in an agricultural area where many women are now able to work and raise their children instead of having to move to bigger cities.

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The Journal Blog

Take a look at the latest stories on The Journal.

There's more than one way to Be Responsible.


Be Fair

Meet Kenya's first female truck driver, and find out what we are doing to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

Be Sustainable

Learn more about what it means to be a B Corp certified company, and our stance on the environment and sustainability.

Be Kind

Find out why we stopped riding elephants, and find trips that support animal welfare projects around the world.