Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to explore one’s faith, a mission trip to assist an underprivileged society, week-long fellowship cruise to the Caribbean, weekend retreat or day-long youth group trip to a local theme or water park, nothing brings a congregation together like spiritual group travel.
All these topics and more are included in the 6th annual edition of Religious Travel Planning Guide, a guidepost for churches and religious organizations to build or enhance their travel offerings and bring their members closer to the mission.
If you have been thinking about organizing a trip to Rome for your parish, Pope Francis couldn’t have given you a clearer sign that 2016 is the year to go. “A Special Year in Rome” provides guidance from tour operators who have packaged programs.
Another significant event, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, is set for 2017 and the countries of Germany and Switzerland are busily preparing for the influx of tourists to witness this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Read about where and when to go in these two special sections.
While religious travel is often steeped in history, a new brand company aims to build a legacy of humanitarian good will. Fathom sets sail this spring on weekly cruises to the Caribbean, alternating between the Dominican Republic and Cuba. These new adventures in the Caribbean provide opportunities to meet the people and lend a helping hand to those less fortunate.
Israel is a perennial favorite for religious travelers. But if your church has never been, it can be daunting to plan a trip to the Holy Land. “Israel: A Journey to the Holy Land in the Footsteps of Jesus” helps first-timers by answering frequently asked questions, spotlighting the top biblical destinations and providing insights from church leaders who’ve taken groups there.
Closer to home, retreats are a popular activity for multiple segments of the church family, including the women’s group, men’s group, youth group and couples. In “Retreat Planning 101,” author Rachel Gilmore helps the smooth the way in putting together an enlightening spiritual experience.
Nothing screams fun for youth groups like a day out at the amusement park. “7 Theme Celebrations that will Rock Your Youth Group” will help you create an unforgettable experience that will mix fun and spiritual growth.
All of us at Religious Travel Planning Guide wish you the best in creating meaningful trips that will energize and inspire your community of faith.
Randy Mink Managing Editor