Supporting Passports with Purpose – with Christmas gift ideas from Millets

I’m pleased to be supporting Passports with Purpose in this year’s fund-raiser to build three schools and fund literacy programmes in Mali, Africa and I’m teaming up with the Millets, the UK Outdoor Store who’ve offered me a £150 Gift Card to give away, for you to spend on Christmas gifts for yourself or your loved ones.

Building schools in Mali with buildOn Photo:

Passports with Purpose is building schools in Mali with buildOn

About Passports with Purpose

Since it founded in 2008, Passports with Purpose has run an annual fund-raiser, supported by travel bloggers and travellers like you and me, to raise money for a worthwhile cause in a developing country.

You could say that it’s our way as travellers to give something back for the kindness and hospitality that we’ve received on our travels from people all over the world. It’s also a recognition of our good fortune, in the standard of living we enjoy and the education we’ve received, that as global citizens we want to give a helping hand to those who don’t take such things for granted.

This year’s fund-raiser is to support buildOn, a charity that works in developing countries to break the cycle of poverty through education, building schools and running adult literacy programmes in some of the poorest places on the planet. Through the 2013 Passports with Purpose campaign, we aim to raise $115,000 to build three schools and fund three adult literacy programs in the Sikasso region of southern Mali, Africa. If you need any more convincing, read this article about how a new school helped 8 year old Korotoumou hope for a better future.

How it works

This year, over 70 bloggers have worked with generous travel companies and sponsors to offer prizes on their blogs. You can see all the different prizes on offer by going to the 2013 Prize Catalogue with everything from a stay in a luxury resort to backpacks to GoPro video cameras. You can find out more about each prize by following the link in the catalogue to the website of the travel blogger who is offering that prize.

Once you decide which of the fabulous prize or prizes you’d love to win, you make a $10 donation which buys you a chance to win that prize in the draw that takes place once the event ends on 9 December. For us Brits that’s only £6 for a chance to win and of course you can make multiple bids for different prizes as there are so many great travel prizes and possibilities. All the proceeds from your donations this year go to buildOn to build the schools and run the literacy programmes in Mali.

Thanks also go to the global sponsors who have supported Passports with Purpose this year, Expedia, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, Rough Guides, Collette Vacations, TBEX, Eating London Food Tours, HomeAway, Hostelbookers and Go with Oh.

My Prize – a £150 Millets Gift Card

Millets Gift cardWhich leads me to the prize that has kindly been donated by Millets, the UK Outdoor store that you can win through Passports with Purpose, a £150 Gift Card. This gift card can be spent in any of the Millets stores in the UK, Northern Ireland or Channel Islands on clothing and equipment for your travels or your outdoor lifestyle and you’ll find some great gift ideas for all the family. With Christmas approaching, I’m offering some ideas for what’s on my family’s wish list this Christmas, but do pop into the stores or check the website for more gift ideas. As an additional benefit this £150 gift card can be spent in other travel, outdoor and leisure stores in the UK such as JD, Bank, Scotts, Blacks, Tessuti and JD Pro. (Gift Cards cannot be used to purchase items online). The Gift Card is valid for a 12 month period – for more details see the Gift Card Terms and Conditions.

If you’d like to make a $10 (£6) donation to bid for this great prize to help you with your Christmas shopping or any of the other exciting travel prizes, please go the to Passports with Purpose Prize Catalogue.

So now for some Christmas gift ideas to spend your £150 Millets Gift Card

Gifts from Millets for your trendy daughter

Gift ideas for Trendy teens from Millets Photo:

For trendy teens, my daughter picked out some Cebe track ski goggles £30 and Peter Storm Earmuffs £5 to look cute on the slopes this winter while the Peter Storm pom pom hat £12 will keep her cosy on chilly nights when she’s out with friends. But looking forward to long summer days the meadow print water bottle £5 will be just the thing for picnics and festivals with some retro sunnies £10 for posing on the beach in Greece.

Gifts from Millets for your cool teenage son

Christmas gift ideas for Cool teenage boys from Millets- Photo:

For cool dudes my teenage son who is rarely parted from his music picked out a portable iPhone speaker £13 and headphone splitter £3 to share your favourite tracks with your friends. The Thinsulate gloves £10 will prevent cold fingers on the walk to school, a snow slider £4 because you never know whether it will be a white Christmas and waterproof matches £4 for building fires when training for your Duke of Edinburgh award on Dartmoor.

Gifts from Millets for the Camping Crazy men in your life

Christmas gift ideas for camping crazy men from Millets Photo:

For the man in your life who loves camping and the great outdoors, my husband picked out the inexpensive Summit camping stove £10, although secretly he’d love the tip top Jetboil £105 to keep in the car boot for a quick brew. He’s dreaming of camping in comfort with the inflatable chair £18 and the Highlander daysack £9 is just the right size for  a map, picnic and waterproof while the maglite torch £30 will be a pleasure to use at home or on the campsite.

Gifts from Millets for Mums on the go

Christmas gift ideas for Mums on the go from Millets Photo:

For busy mums on the go, I chose some thinsulate gloves £10 for running and hiking and a Bobble sports bottle £10 that filters your waters to keep you well hydrated. The cosy polar chute £8 doubles as a scarf and bandana while I always like to keep a compact portable umbrella £10 in my handbag to whip out for passing showers. Finally I’m dreaming of picnics with friends on the beach in Cornwall, using these colourful plastic wine glasses £9 to sip my chilled white wine or elderflower cordial with my grilled mackerel off the beach BBQ.

All the gift ideas mentioned can be found on the Millets website.

For more Christmas gift ideas from Millets pop into one of their 78 UK stores or check their website and do head over to Passports with Purpose to make your bid for the £150 Millets Gift Card and all the other wonderful gifts in the Passports with Purpose Prize Catalogue.

This article by Heather Cowper is originally published at – Read the original article here

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Santa Baby, please bring me a library in Zambia from Passports with Purpose

If you are part of the travel blogging community, or even if you’re not, hopefully it won’t have escaped you that there’s a travel blogger’s charity initiative going on in the run-up to Christmas called Passports with Purpose. The initiative ends in a couple of days on Friday 16 December, so now is your last chance to support and win one of the great prizes on offer.

Room to Read from Passports with PurposePassports with Purpose was started in 2008 and is a great way for travellers and travel bloggers and just anyone who wants to leave the world a little better than they found it, to give something back to communities that don’t have as much as we do in the UK. Things that we take for granted – like a school to go to, or a library where we can find books to read that give us a window on the world of possibilities.

Each year Passports with Purpose supports a different charity project in the developing world and this year we’re trying to raise money for two libraries in Zambia with Room to Read. The charity works with local communities to provide a library of books relevant to that school or community with resources for children who might struggle to even afford an exercise book can learn and develop their education through reading.

It’s a fantastic project to support, but even better, you can win any number of travel related prizes that have been donated by travel bloggers working with sponsors. I counted over 80 different prizes, from tech travel gear like a Kindle Fire or a digital camera, to luxury hotel stays, travel vouchers and tours. All you have to do is pledge $10 for the prize of your choice and you’re in the draw for that prize – the more pledges you make, the more chances you have to win one of these prizes. To check out all the prizes, go to the Passports with Purpose Donate page and follow the links to the individual blogs that have donated prizes, to find out more.

The Fund raiser ends in just a couple of days this Friday 16th December 2011 – so don’t delay – just hop over to the Passports with Purpose donate page and decide what you’d like Santa to bring your this Christmas. I wish you every luck in winning the prize of your dreams and every hope that we’ll raise enough for those two libraries in Zambia.

Here are some of the prizes that are tempting me;

A Kindle Fire – so much lighter than carrying travel guides and novels around, from Mother of all trips and a nunber of other bloggers too

A Nook tablet – from Foxnomad – an e-reader that is also wifi capable for a quick check of the e-mail or facebook page

A Sony Cyber Shot digital camera – from Amateur Traveler – A neat little camera to slip in your pocket

A stay at the Luxurious Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Troon North – from My Itchy Travel Feet – the perfect place for a romantic gettaway

Four Seasons resort Scottsdale at Troon North

Four Seasons resort Scottsdale at Troon North

$500 stay in an apartment in a European city – from Ottsworld – Ideal for those who love to immerse themselves in local neighbourhoods when they travel

1 year’s worth of wifi with Boingo – from Everything Everywhere – Enabling you to login to any Boingo wifi point around the world

Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to head over now (before Passports with Purpose ends on 16 December 2011) and make your bid for a great travel prize and support the last push to fund those two libraries in Zambia. Go on – you deserve the chance to win, and those kids in Zambia deserve the room to read.

This article is originally published at – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

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Donate now for Passports with Purpose 2011

I’m a supporter of Passports with Purpose, the Travel Blogger’s annual fundraiser and I’ve just made my personal choices from the fabulous array of prizes, in the nick of time. The chance to win prizes closes tomorrow although you can continue to donate to help build the village in India through this year’s chosen charity, Friends of LAFTI. Here’s what I’ve personally put my bids in for – if you read this in time, head over quick to Passports with Purpose before tomorrow and put in yours.

Passports with Purpose

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

The prizes I’m hoping to win are;

Apple iPad 16 GB Wi-Fi + 3G

from Andy Murdock at


Well, any shiny new Apple toy is obviously extremely desirable and I also think it’s good sport of Andy to give up the prize that he won in a competition for this good cause. Also the Winnie the Pooh ebook must be a big bonus although removing the Tie me Kangaroo down sport MP3 is a bit hasty – not everyone is bored with kangaroos and I’m sure it would give my kids endless amusement. If I win this I’ll probably take it on shorter trips when I need to have internet access rather than taking the laptop.

8 GB iPod Nano

from Anil Polat at


Again the shiny new Apple toy rule applies and as a lover of podcasts this little baby will be just the thing for listening to all my faves such as Amateur Traveler, This week in travel, Betty in the sky and Raising Miro. If you happen to win it instead of me, do download some of my Heather on her travels podcasts to enjoy, such as my latest interview with Beth Whitman about Papua New Guinea.

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

3G Wi-Fi Amazon Kindle

from Lisa and Tim Bergren at


If I don’t get the ipad then I’ll settle for a Kindle to play with. If my husband is really nice to me and doesn’t nag me about the  amount of time I spend on my laptop, he might even find it in his Christmas stocking.Or perhaps I’ll be that girl in the deckchair relaxing on the beach with a Kindle in my hand one of these days that I give up the blogging.

$100 gift card to spend on a Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels

from Mr & Mrs Smith blog


Because I love staying in Mr & Mrs Smith hotels and have even been known to write the odd review or guest post for them myself. I know that any boutique hotel that they recommend will be just the sort of stylish, welcoming place that you always hope to find and that I’ll always get the best available price at the time if I book through them. If you don’t believe me, read what I said about these lovelies in their portfolio; The cosy Avenue Hotel in Copenhagen, the country house chic of Fawsley Hall in Northamptonshire or the modern luxe of Avenue Liberdade in Lisbon.

$800 to spend on a HomeAway Holiday Rental property

from HomeAway and Lara Dunston at Grantourismo


Because I love the flexibility of this prize, to book a holiday stay anywhere I like to enjoy with my family, and I love the idea of finding a home from home somewhere where I can soak up the local colour and feel part of the neighbourhood. I met up with  Lara and Terry at the start of their year long Grantourismo project to travel the world, staying in HomeAway properties and writing about their experiences and you can listen to my podcast interview with Lara Dunston here.

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

Passports with Purpose building homes in India

Three Night Stay at Luxury Hotel Tiara Park Atlantic Lisbon

from Matt Long at


Because I fell in love with Lisbon when I visited with my husband in November 2009 and the 2 days we spent there just weren’t enough. I can jump on a plane from Bristol and be settling into the rather sleek Tiara Park Atlantic that is part of Kiwi collection, another hotel site that I trust to find me impeccably luxurious hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park in London that I reviewed for them.

A Four-Night City and Country Getaway in Ireland

from Corey Taratuta at


Because I’ve only once been to Ireland and I remember the unspoilt countryside and windswept charm and because we have friends there that are overdue a visit and because I can easily get there from Bristol courtesy of the charming Mr O’Leary, a man who does not lack the gift of the gab.

A 3 night luxury spa break for two at LeSPORT hotel in St Lucia though the Explorateur

from Jool Stone of


Because my parents have been spending their last few Januaries in St Lucia and love the island, and as I’ve never been to the Caribbean the island is firmly on my wish list. As I find the grey days of January and February rather dreary, I could do with a bit of sunshine with my husband

If none of these tempt you, get over to Passports with Passport in the next 24 hrs and see what other goodies are on offer – if you’re too late, there’s always next year….

Read more Indian stories

Exploring the ‘Abode of snow’ in the Indian Himalayas
Friday photo – my Indian sponsor child

This article is originally published at – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Subscibe to Heatheronhertravels Don’t miss out – subscribe to Heather on her travels

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