Travelers Get Criticized for Raising Travel Money Online

June 15, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. solicit [suh-LIS-it] (v.) – to request or ask for something from other people
Example Erica solicited money from her relatives to finance her educational trip.

2. ethics [ETH-iks] (n.) – the rules that dictate whether a certain act or behavior is good or bad
Example The ethics of asking money from strangers is a topic of many debates.

3. call into question [kawl IN-too KWES-chuh n] (v. phrase) – to challenge the validity or accuracy of something
Example The manager called the weekly budget report into question after discovering mistakes in the total expenses.

4. self-indulgent [SELF-in-DUHL-juh nt, self-] (adj.) – allowing oneself to do or have the things that he or she enjoys very much
Example The self-indulgent shopaholic went shopping for clothes and shoes every day.

5. in the right [in th uh rahyt] (idiom) – the state of being morally and legally correct
Example: Jack was not afraid to face his enemies because he knew he was in the right.


Read the text below.
People are starting to question why travelers nowadays are increasingly turning to the Internet to solicit funds for their trips outside their countries.

Many travelers today have "donate" buttons on their blogs, in which people can donate money in exchange for useful travel tips. Other people even use crowd-funding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, offering thank-you postcards and copies of their books or documentaries as rewards.

However, the ethics of this method has been called into question because some people have reacted negatively to the travelers’ request for support.

American couple and travel bloggers Brad and Sheena Van Orden recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for their planned trip to China. The campaign promises donors with digital copies of the book the couple will write about their travel experiences.

However, the Van Ordens began receiving abusive e-mails and comments soon after the campaign was launched. Some people called the couple "self-indulgent" and "frauds." One commenter said that the Van Ordens were shameless for asking strangers to pay for their vacation.

Some readers defended the couple, saying that people can choose whether to give money or not.

According to Blake Boles, a travel education author, online campaigns cannot be considered as charity drive because travelers give rewards to donors in return for the contributions. Boles added that those who criticize this method might just be jealous or might not understand how crowd-funding works. But as long as travelers have developed a respectable campaign, they are in the right, Boles stressed.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is alright to ask money from people on the Internet to fund your travels? Why or why not?
·         Do you think that soliciting money from strangers online is the same as accepting the kindness of strangers that one meets during travels? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think traveling is so appealing to many people?
·         In your opinion, what are the most important factors to consider when preparing for a trip? Please discuss briefly.


June 15, 2013