A Well-Spring of Opportunities to Vacation With Purpose: CheapTickets.com and United Way Reveal the Year's Top Spring Break Volunteer Destinations


CheapTickets.com , a leading discount online travel agency, and United Way , the nation’s largest charitable organization, have again joined forces to energize and engage young travelers to vacation with purpose. Introducing the top five alternative Spring Break destinations for 2008, college students are challenged to exchange time on the beach for time helping others, both this spring and throughout the course of the year.


From rebuilding homes in the Gulf Coast to urban renewal in New York City, United Way scoured a wide-range of alternative Spring Break opportunities to identify the top five domestic destinations in 2008. And to help students with travel costs, CheapTickets has introduced a Spring Break Sale, offering $75-off vacation packages for the penny-pinched.


United Way spokesperson Randy Punley noted, “The power of young people to help change communities is really amazing. It is exciting to see their engagement in United Way’s work to help rebuild the Gulf Coast and their ongoing involvement when they return home. The United Way Alternative Spring Break participants inspire others in Generation Y to action, and remind us all of what we can do when we act together to change communities.”

United Way’s Top Five Spring Break Volunteer Destinations(1)


  1. New Orleans, LA
     With space for 302 volunteers, New Orleans’ Habitat for Humanity
     invites students to rebuild homes in this vibrant city.  Accommodations
     for Spring Breakers are available at the appropriately named Camp Hope.

  2. Southwest Louisiana
     In Lake Charles, LA, United Way’s Alternative Spring Break program
     will continue reconstruction efforts following Hurricane Rita.  Up to
     350 volunteers may join the effort from March 1 - 29, 2008.

  3. Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast
     Many communities within the Gulf Coast were affected by Hurricane
     Katrina, including Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean
     Springs, Pascagoula and Mobile, AL.  A United Way Alternative Spring
     Break program will focus on these areas, with space for up to 250
     volunteers from March 8 - 22, 2008.

  4. New York, NY
     Appalachian State University of North Carolina has coordinated with the
     YMCA to bring Spring Breakers to New York City for a week mentoring
     inner-city youths.  Students from other universities interested in
     volunteer opportunities in the New York area can visit,
     http://volunteer.cheaptickets.com/.

  5. Washington, DC
     Students of Ohio State University are DC-bound this Spring Break, with
     plans to prepare and deliver meals for those suffering from HIV/Aids,
     cancer and other life-changing illnesses.  Students from other
     universities interested in volunteer opportunities in Washington, DC
     can visit, http://volunteer.cheaptickets.com/.

 
Spring Break Sale ($75-Off) to Help Students Spring to Action(2)
To help Spring Breakers make the trip, CheapTickets’ Spring Sale offers $75-off qualifying flight + hotel packages of four or more nights using the promotional code CTXSPRING75. Travelers must book by April 27, 2008 for travel through June 30, 2008. For example, Spring Breakers can take advantage of the following travel packages ($75 savings have been applied)(3):

Chicago to New Orleans: Fly from Chicago to New Orleans and stay four nights at the 3-star Saint Ann Marie Antoinette Hotel from $372 per person.
Travel dates: March 17-21, 2008

Los Angeles to Washington, DC: Fly from Los Angeles to Washington, DC (BWI) and stay four nights at the 3-star Hyatt Place from $532 per person.
Travel dates: March 17-21, 2008

For more information on CheapTickets’ Spring Sale, visit: http://www.cheaptickets.com/.

 

University Challenge(4)

Beyond Spring Break:

CheapTickets has also teamed with United Way to launch a University Challenge — turning volunteering into a year-long, if not life-long affair. Built upon the United Way’s existing 10,000 Hours Show, the University Challenge will help motivate students at seven prominent universities to collectively volunteer 10,000 hours. At the end of the 2007-2008 school year, students from the university with the highest per capita volunteer hours will receive an alternative Spring Break, courtesy of CheapTickets.


“A shared enthusiasm for compassionate travel inspired us to join forces with United Way exactly one year ago,” said Marita Hudson Thomas of CheapTickets. “We’re elated that this partnership continues to grow as we launch the University Challenge, urging the country’s academic community to share in our passion for volunteering and traveling.”
This new initiative builds upon CheapTickets’ and United Way’s online collaboration to create http://volunteer.cheaptickets.com/, which allows travelers to research cause-specific volunteer opportunities culled from United Way’s vast national network, complemented by travel discounts from CheapTickets.

 

Terms & Conditions:
(1)United Way surveyed some of the leading organizations that place young people in different Alternative Spring programs, including Breakaway, Habitat for Humanity and Lutheran Disaster Services, and developed a list of the top five destinations that college students will be volunteering during Spring Break this year.
(2)Book a qualifying flight + hotel vacation package between March 3, 2008, and April 27, 2008, for 4 nights for travel between March 3, 2008, and June 30, 2008, via CheapTickets and instantly receive $75 off your purchase through the use of the promotion code. To display qualifying vacation packages, click “I have a promotion code.” and enter the promotion code, then look for vacation packages marked with the icon “COUPON.” Limit one discount per hotel room and one promotion code per purchase. Discounts are not redeemable for cash for any reason. Any attempt at fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted. CheapTickets reserves the right to change or limit the promotion in its sole discretion.
Promo code: CTXSPRING75
(3)Sample rates shown were accurate and available on CheapTickets.com on 2/27/08 on the dates specified and may not represent current prices because our real-time pricing booking engine is constantly updating prices and availability. Vacation package prices shown are for one adult, based on double-occupancy, include applicable taxes and fees, and will vary by selected day of departure, departure city, length of stay, hotel selected, hotel room category, and availability. $75 promo code savings have been applied to package costs.
(4)From the seven universities participating in the United Way of America’s 10,000 Hours Show, the United Way of America will supply CheapTickets with the university that has the highest per capita volunteer hours at the end of the 2007-2008 school year. CheapTickets will award that university with a volunteer vacation. The number of students that participate and dates/location of the volunteer vacation will be determined solely by CheapTickets.com.

About CheapTickets
CheapTickets  is a leading seller of discounted leisure travel products online through its Web site, http://www.cheaptickets.com/. CheapTickets provides consumers access to its collection of airfares on hundreds of airlines. In addition to air, CheapTickets’ family of discounted travel products also includes hotel accommodations, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages, condo rentals and Last Minute Trips. Founded in 1986, CheapTickets is a brand that is owned and operated by Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW) .

About United Way of America
United Way is a national network of nearly 1,300 local organizations that advance the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, income and health. United Way of America is the national organization dedicated to leading the United Way movement to create long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of the most significant issues. Living united means being a part of the change. Give. Advocate. Volunteer. For more information about United Way,  visit: http://www.unitedway.org/.

 

Source: CheapTickets.com/prnewswire.com

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".