People have traveled for religious pilgrimages for centuries. Today religious travel is a growing trend that mixes faith, fellowship and fun with visiting spiritual and inspiring destinations. Escorted group travel is particularly popular and several tour operators specialize in religious packages.
Individuals can join a religious itinerary as a vacation or organizations can use faith-based trips as fund raisers. Globus and Cosmos tour operators have a new program for 2013 called Get Out & Give Back where they will donate up to $1000 back to the church or qualified organization after the trip’s conclusion.
Israel is a perennial favorite for religious travel because all three major monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – trace their roots to Israel. Be aware that the U.S. Department of State does currently have a travel warning in place for U.S. citizens traveling to Israel. Maintaining security vigilance and caution are necessary; however, travel to Israel reached an all-time high in April 2012. Travel Maestro tip: We recommend cruises or escorted tours for travel to Israel.
Italy enjoys a rich heritage of Christian religious tradition. From the holy St. Peter’s Basilica and incomparable Vatican Museum to the art of Michelangelo, Bernini and other grand masters, Rome holds special spiritual and historical significance. St. Francis’ Assisi, the Benedictine Abbey of Montecassino, DaVinci’s Last Supper in Milan, the magnificent Duomo in Florence and the Byzantine Basilica of St. Mark in Venice are but a few of the many meaningful religious sites in Italy.
Turkey and Greece are fascinating for those who want visit biblical places trace the travels of the apostle Paul. People seeking health and well-being flock to Lourdes, France which is reputed to have healing waters. Additionally, millions of people make religions pilgrimages to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, Islam’s holiest site, and Sabarimala, a Hindu pilgrimage center in southern India each year.
Whether traveling as individuals on vacation or a group raising funds for a religious organization, faith-based travel with like-minded companions fosters a sense of community and fellowship. To find out more about religious travel and fund raising opportunities, please contact Covington Travel’s expert advisors.