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For Sunday, May 11, 2014

By McClatchy News Services


If Mom and Dad refuse to give you money for your travels, this website offers hope.

» What it does: Helps travelers crowd-fund their global adventures.

» Cost: Varies depending on whether you have a fixed or flexible funding campaign. There's also a PayPal fee (the method used to collect donations).

» What's hot: I love that many of the trips are purpose-driven. Your "funding campaign" is placed in a category such as "Charity and Volunteering," "Education and Research," "Music and Arts," "Meaningful" and more. Don't worry; if you're using the website to solicit funds for your post-grad round-the-world romp, there are categories for you, too, such as "Backpacking and Hiking" and "Adventure and Sport." Unique trips get more attention. I was drawn to campaigns such as "20 Cities in 50 Days in a Wheelchair," in which two men are trying to raise $6,000 in order to fund researching and writing a guide to wheelchair-accessible travel in 20 major U.S. cities. I also liked "Shlepping Stethoscopes: A Himalayan Medical Trek," which is trying to raise $20,000 to bring medical care and supplies to villagers in India.

» What's not: As I was looking for travelers to sponsor, I saw campaigns that had already expired. There's value in having them remain on the site so that others can learn how to market their trip, but I'd like a filter so that I could go straight to travelers who still need money. Funding campaigns have a shelf life of 10 to 90 days.

Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times

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