How Your Travel Decisions Can Help Ukraine Right Now.

The travel industry is working hard to find ways to support Ukraine in every way it can. With millions seeking refuge, hotels are providing shelter, transport companies are shepherding evacuees to safety free of charge, and tour operators are fundraising for vital supplies and medical needs on the ground. As travellers, we are reminded once again that the right holiday choices can also help. Here’s a selection of a few of the businesses helping those most in need, who you can support with your own travel plans. 

Hospitality for Ukraine sprung up as a global directory for accommodation providers and their platform has so far matched thousands of refugees fleeing Ukraine to rooms with hosts such as Pentahotels and Generator. They are now placing people through 220 accommodation providers in 19 countries. ‘We have volunteers working hard to get in touch with officials on the ground to match refugees to accommodation providers — we would love to hear from more refugee organisations,’ says co-founder Charlotte Hall. ‘Our campaign aims to provide long-term support and we are encouraging all accommodation providers to sign up – particularly in places where there is a fast-rising number of requests, such as Germany and France.’

New initiatives and charities are emerging daily — and it’s needed, as the United Nations estimates the war in Ukraine is making a child a refugee every second. The British hoteliers behind Brody House in Budapest have set up the Ukrainian Relief Foundation to help them host refugees at their boutique hotel in the Hungarian capital and they have pivoted their café The Workshop to create a sanctuary for those fleeing the war. They are providing food and drink, and all donations to support this are welcome and needed. Team Brody’s aim is to dedicate The Workshop’s operations to supporting refugees long term, by getting Ukrainians on the payroll as staff once the visa conditions can be settled with the hope that more opportunities arise from this meeting place and hub.

Airbnb offered a way to support Ukrainians financially at the start by inviting users to book properties in situ through the rental platform as they ceased charging commission — and now hosts across Europe are being urged to contact Airbnb to provide temporary homes for refugees. As of mid-March, they’d seen more than 3,300 Hosts in the UK sign up.

Intrepid’s not-for-profit organisation immediately provided a AUD$50,000 (£27,000) contribution towards efforts and their fundraising for the Red Cross has almost tripled that donation. Sawday’s and its Canopy & Stars and Paws & Stay collections have pledged their support for Ukraine through fundraising and their #HolidaysforGood competition, and this month they have been donating 5% of all revenue to the Choose Love Ukraine Crisis Fundraiser.

Cross-Channel operator Eurostar is offering Ukrainian nationals free Eurostar travel from the continent to the UK. Applicants need to show their passport and valid visa to a member of their station team who will then issue a ticket for travel onwards to London provided they have the relevant paperwork.

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