How It Works

When you book travel or make purchases through Leave a Trace you get exactly the same prices (and the same service quality) that you get with all the leading travel sites. On top of that, you’re also contributing, at no additional cost to you, to impactful charities around the world.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

There are two key pieces to our model: where does the money come from, and where does it go?

Where does the money come from?

For every flight, hotel or rental car that you book through us, Leave a Trace gets paid a portion of the booking amount as a commission from our partners. 100% of the commissions generated go directly towards great causes.

In general, hotels generate the largest commissions (5%+ of the total booking amount) while flights and car rentals each generate a few dollars per booking. Purchases through Amazon typically generate 4-6% commission of the total amount.

While Leave a Trace has some costs of operating, we’re doing our best to keep them as low as possible, and we are covering those ourselves. That means 100% of all commissions generated can go directly towards great causes.

As the site grows, we may want to strategically invest a small portion of the commissions towards growing our audience, doing things like purchasing ads to help spread the word. If we do so, we promise to announce the investments here.

Where does the money go?

We are committed to giving these commissions towards the highest impact charities in the places our users visit around the world. We want you, our users, to help us pick those charities.

The model is as follows: anyone can propose a charity, and every month we’ll conduct a poll in this blog to pick the charity we collectively want to support.

Eventually, we want to ensure that every dollar is given to a charity in the country that was visited. As we get going, however, it likely won’t make sense to divide our impact that finely. If we raise $100 next month, it’ll be better targeted as a single donation than as several smaller ones. Therefore, at first, we’ll be donating to charities in the countries that are our users’ most popular destinations.

What’s next?

This whole process doesn’t work without you. We ultimately need three things from our users to make Leave a Trace work:

Book trips through our site—Use the booking widget to start your search. Bookings are what generates commissions, and it won’t cost you anything extra to use us. If something about using our site makes it harder for you to book, please let us know! We’re working hard to continuously improve and really appreciate all feedback.

Recommend charities—Drop us a note to let us know if you have a fantastic charity in mind.

Vote in our polls—Join our email list to get a note once a month with an update on how much money has been raised, which charities we are picking between and a reminder to vote.

We really appreciate your support. Please contact us if you have any questions about any of this. We’d love to hear from you!