Can traveler crowdfund travel expenses through reward-based crowdfunding?

Can traveler crowdfund travel expenses through reward-based crowdfunding?

While traveling the world and visiting distant lands is a dream many of us have, it can feel completely unattainable at times. Although commitments at home and work typically stand in the way, the biggest stumbling block is inevitably money.

There are still various ways to cut the cost of going away, such as last-minute flights and late deals for accommodation, but fundraising holidays are another emerging alternative.

In the past, the collective effort of raising and pooling money has mainly been used to support start-up companies with a new and exciting idea in exchange for the finished product or nonprofits working for some socio-cultural benefit.

But now intrepid travelers and adventurous backpackers are hoping that crowdfunding will provide much-needed cash for a once in a lifetime experiences.

Crowdfunding travel is a plausible idea today, thanks to online crowdfunding sites in India such as Impact Guru, Kickstarter, Wishberry, and more. There are several examples of people across the world who owe their road trips, honeymoons or even flight tickets to a bunch of well-wishers they have never met.

Rohit, a resident of Adambakkar, Chennai, went on a 46-country tour, and he did not spend a penny from his pocket. Instead, an odd mix of 87 people, a majority being strangers, funded him.  

Today, people have moved from treating the question ‘Why would anyone pay for me?’ apprehensively, to something that has a logical answer. Just like Rohith did. The question had him brainstorm for weeks until he came up with an honest, short video about why he wanted to take up the biking tour and uploaded it as a part of his campaign on Fundmydream, a site he co-founded with a friend at the age of 19.

To be clear, virtually every crowdfunding India campaign — for travel, creative projects, or otherwise — involves some level of charitable philanthropy. Donors aren’t just paying for the rewards offered; they’re paying to bolster a cause, support an individual they admire or participate in something bigger than themselves. In other words: They’re buying meaning. That’s why it’s not wrong to offer thank-you postcards or any other form of reward.

For instance, a Los Angeles-based couple raised $16,000 for a 23 country road trip to South America and back through Kickstarter. This journey is captured in their blog – Our Open Road, through writings and photos, for their donors to see.

A 24-years-old raised a part of the money to travel from Australia to Disneyland to meet his long-distance girlfriend through GoFundMe and promised to give each of his donors a custom-made puppet.