When a kid is stuck in the hospital, his or her imagination can run wild. Who wants to spend the whole day stuck in bed with people visiting regularly to poke and prod you?
Expedia is helping a few of those sick kids in a partnership with St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Children were asked what travel adventure they’d like to go on. The pair then arranged for virtual reality experiences to take these hospital-bound kids on their dream adventures—whether it be swimming in the sea, playing with monkeys, running with horses or digging for dinosaur bones.
According to a press release, 360-degree VR cameras traveled to Argentina, Miami and Mexico to produce the films for each patient. Expedia is encouraging its customers to donate their Expedia+ rewards points directly to the hospital. The Expedia+ rewards program confers points to travelers based on each flight, hotel, car or activity they book across Expedia channels. Typically, Expedia+ points can be redeemed for travel. Now, they can be converted to a donation.
Expedia also plans to build a permanent VR installation on the St. Jude campus in Memphis as soon as possible, according to Today.com. After all, kids who are that sick need any kind of escape they can get.
“We believe travel helps shape your views and makes the world a better place,” said Vic Walia, senior director of brand marketing at Expedia, Today reports. “This is why we build tools and technology to get more people out there. This initiative with St. Jude is our way of bringing the power of travel to those who cannot travel themselves.”
Walia said Expedia plans to do the same kind of VR adventure for lots more boys and girls.