I’m a big believer of the transformative experiences that can happen through travel but for many, travel seems out of reach. According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, 11% have never left their state, 13% have never flown in an airplane, and 40% have never left the United States.
As an educational nonprofit, Hostelling International USA (HI USA) aims to assist and inspire young Americans to see the world- which often starts in their own backyard.
How to Explore America with HI USA
This year HI USA is offering Explore America Scholarships designed for ages 18-30 with little to no travel experience. The 10 scholarships include 7 nights accommodations and $1000 in spending money.
In order to be eligible, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- 18-30 years old
- Little to no travel experience
- Demonstrated financial need
- US Citizen, Permanent Resident, Green Card, or DACA recipient
Know someone who would like to kick start their travel with an adventure to experience the people, places, and cultures that make up our diverse and beautiful country? Applications for the Explore America travel scholarship are currently being accepted. Details, testimonials, FAQs, and more can be found on the Explore America Travel Scholarship site.
To learn about the other travel scholarships offered by HI USA, including their Explore the World Travel Scholarship for global travelers, visit their travel scholarships page.
Lessons That Can Be Learned from Local Travel
Traveling locally is a great way to build your child’s confidence and is one of the best ways to engage in hands on learning that results in lifelong skills. You don’t need to go far to have a transformative travel experience.
Even in a different part of your own state, you can experience a different way of life, history, culture, and geography. Local travel can assist kids in learning how to navigate using maps on their smartphone, getting acquainted with how to take different modes of transportation (bus, subway, etc.), and so much more.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your next family adventure, read my family travel posts:
- From Bourbon Street to the Bayou: 5 Days in New Orleans with Tweens
- Boeing Tour: Road Trip from Seattle to See Planes Being Built
- Virtual Field Trip to Turkey to #WidenYourWorld
- 14 Tips for a Walt Disney World Trip with Tweens and Teens
- 8 Things Kids Can Learn During Your U.S. Virgin Islands Vacation
- 9 Reasons to Visit Hersheypark
- 8 Things Kids Can Learn from a Brewery Tour
While traveling locally is a great way to build your child’s confidence, international travel gets them thinking as a global citizen and prepares them to study abroad when they’re older. Here are some posts I’ve written about the impact of our international travel adventures:
- The Transformative Effects of Travel on Our Family (and why I hope my kids will #StudyAbroadBecause)
- Why Taking My Daughter to Haiti Was an Investment in Her Future as a Global Citizen
- White House Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad & Global Citizenship Urges Today’s Students to #StudyAbroadBecause
- How to Get Travel Scholarships to Explore the World for Less
About HI USA
For more than 80 years, HI USA has been America’s largest and leading hostel brand. As the nation’s leading hostel brand, HI USA features nearly 50 hostels nationwide that hosts more than 1 million overnights annually. HI USA network of affordable hostels includes converted mansions, reinvented lighthouses, and historic urban buildings all across the country.
Hosting guests from more than 100 countries, this educational nonprofit facilitates interaction among people from diverse backgrounds, from across the country and around the world. HI USA believes as our community of travelers gets to know each other, they are discovering their similarities and their differences, expanding their world views as they build friendships.
HI USA is part of Hostelling International (HI), a collection of more than 4,000 hostels worldwide, whose roots stretch back to the beginning of the hostelling movement more than 100 years ago. The HI brand is a seal of approval recognized around the world.
HI USA is a nonprofit organization with a purpose to create a more tolerant world. I love they believe everyone should be able to experience the transformative power of travel, regardless of socioeconomic status. No compensation was received for this post. Images courtesy of Hosteling International USA.