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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McGill chapter.


In this pandemic world, life seems daunting and, any sense of normalcy seems far away. Travel plans have been turned upside down, and we are all longing for the day we can hop on an airplane and fly somewhere new again. Until then, here are some unconventional travel companies and ideas to inspire your next (safe) getaway!


1. Macs Adventure

Girl hiking
Photo by Holly Mandarich from Unsplash

If you’re an active or outdoors person, this company is for you! They offer walking, cycling and active adventures around the globe. They focus on independent travel, with all holidays being self-guided. You’ll be provided with accommodation and a thoroughly planned route through maps, GPX tracks and daily route information. Adventure availability is seasonal depending on the location, so do lots of planning ahead! Adventures are currently available in the UK, Europe, The Americas, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Morocco.


2. Operation Groundswell

This company’s goal is to “spark a movement of socially conscious and globally active travellers”. Their trips centre around ethical volunteering and immersive experiences where you stay and work in local communities to better understand local culture and participate in green and grassroots tourism. If you’re looking for a travel experience that allows you to really make a difference, this company is for you! They are group-oriented, so you’ll be with other like-minded travellers. They are currently offering a 15-day “Mind & Body” trip in India exploring the history of yoga and the effects of globalization, plus a 40-day “Extreme” coast-to-coast backpacking of Guatemala. Trip availability is limited so register in advance.


3. EF Education First

EF offers language immersion programs for high school students, university students and young adults, as well as adults and professionals. Their programs range from one week to 11 months, allowing for lots of flexibility. Languages available include Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Arabic and English in over 50 destinations. You will live and learn with others enrolled in courses. Explore global destinations like Berlin and Seoul while learning something new! They offer basic, general, and intensive courses at various price ranges suited to individual needs. This is a great option for those looking to travel and live in a new place while furthering their education. Courses start every Monday, year-round.


4. G Adventures

person holding small globe
Photo by Valentin Antonucci from Pexels

This company focuses on small group tours with various travel styles: National Geographic journeys, wellness tours, local living tours, marine tours, and tour groups limited to 18-30-year-olds. Their current holidays include trips in North America, South America, Central America, Africa, Asia, Europe, North Africa & Middle East, and Oceania. They also offer mini-adventures ranging from two to four days in length for bite-sized trips to quell your wanderlust. With lots of flexibility and options, G Adventures has something for everyone!



If you’re looking for an unconventional way to travel and experience local ways of life, try WWOOFing! Standing for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, WWOOF connects volunteers with hosts across the globe. As a WWOOF volunteer, you’ll stay with locals and volunteer in exchange for food and accommodation. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about sustainable agriculture and explore new places without the added costs of food and living expenses. Hosts can range from ranches, family gardens and homesteads to urban gardens, co-operatives and vineyards. Available in more than 130 countries, this is a great cost-effective way to sustain long-term travel.




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Amy is a fourth-year student at McGill studying English Literature, East Asian Studies and History. As an aspiring high school teacher, she is passionate about making academic studies diverse in content and accessible to all. When not writing, she can be found learning languages, teaching ESL, watching Killing Eve, listening to Harry Styles and loving her cats.