If you’re looking to book a holiday soon, why not help Ukrainian refugees at the same time?
A public auction has just gone live with more than 50 trips worth over €118,500, in a travel industry initiative aiming to raise funds for the displaced people of Ukraine.
The Travel for Ukraine auction will be live until 23.59 GMT on May 8. The range of breaks - all of which have been donated by the travel and hospitality industry - covers everything from wellness holidays to all-inclusive Caribbean resorts to houseboat stays.
Highlights include a family trip to meet Santa in Lapland, a week-long wellness retreat at The Ranch’s new Italy base inside a palazzo, a poolside rural escape in Lanzarote and a glamping holiday in Persian tents at Penhein in Wales.
And the list is set to grow. Travel companies are being encouraged to donate new trips to the auction site over the course of the bidding period.
Many of the holidays could end up being auctioned off as bargains. To tease out bids, the minimum price for all the lots has been set at around 40 per cent of their retail value. Prices start from just €240 and rise to €6,200 for a trip with a value of €15,400.
The auction has been organised by Kathryn Brierley, the UK-based founder and managing director of The Healthy Holiday Company and in:spa retreats. “Like everyone, I’ve been watching the news and feeling that I really wanted to do something to help. The incredible work done by the #cookforukraine movement really inspired me to reach out to my travel industry partners to see if they wanted to join forces,” she says.
The Healthy Holiday Company has covered the admin costs of the auction so that all proceeds from Travel for Ukraine can go directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, minus a 2.5 per cent card processing fee for successful bids.
The project hopes to raise tens of thousands of pounds for the 11 million people who have fled the conflict in Ukraine, and Brierley stresses that every penny counts. Just €120 could provide emergency food for two families for a month, while €60 could pay for blankets for four families.
“The response has been overwhelming,” she says. Travel for Ukraine managed to raise €55,500 of its €118,500 target within 24 hours of launching. “I’m especially grateful for everyone’s support as all these businesses have been hit hard in the last couple of years by the pandemic.”
The holidays are being auctioned off without flights, so that bidders can be encouraged from all over the world. Full details of each holiday, along with the retail cost of each trip, are listed on the auction website.