About Meaningful Trips

Meaningful Travel, Responsible Travel is

authentic, experiential, transformational, and socially-responsible.

It cares about the social, economic and environmental benefits of the people and places it touches. Meaningful travelers, just like you, care deeply, practice kindness, crave connection, and live (and travel) purposefully.

Our Vision

We believe that meaningful travel and YOU can change the world!

YOU inspire us.

Together, WE seek out meaning in every day and work to create a better world.

Meaningful Trips

20+ years experience in Responsible Travel, Adventure Travel, and Ecotourism.

We deliver experiences that are authentic, planet & culture friendly, and, give back to the destinations visited. As a small business we try hard to ‘walk-the-walk’.  We follow sustainability and responsible tourism guidelines, we bank at a small community bank, our web host provider is wind-powered and we are very involved in community efforts here at home.

Two smiling south american women wearing traditional clothes and hats

3 Tenets of Travel

Travel with an Open Mind

Be Kind

Respect People & Planet

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”

Mark Twain

Inclusivity & Diversity Statement

At Meaningful Trips, we believe that meaningful travel fosters cross-cultural understanding and world peace. Our tours are inclusive to all races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. 

Where We Stand

We stand in solidarity with those acting against systemic racism, occupation, and bigotry; and with those acting for justice, equality, human rights, and planetary rights both at home and abroad.

Land Acknowledgement

Meaningful Trips is based in Seattle, WA and acknowledges that we are on stolen land of the Coast Salish people. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish tribe and all Coast Salish peoples past and present.

Meet The Team

Joe Staiano

Joe Staiano

(He/Him) Founder

Hello! So happy you found our site and decided to take a look. Am I passionate about travel? You bet! To Meaningful Trips, I bring two decades of experience in responsible adventure travel and personal destination knowledge spanning 87 countries on all 7 continents. Over the years I’ve created tours, guided and worked on responsible tourism efforts in Africa, Asia and Latin America. I spent 10 years creating tours for REI Adventures. I founded Meaningful Trips so travelers can make a difference and give back while enjoying a well-deserved vacation. I believe that meaningful travel can change the world! At home in Seattle, I volunteer with International Refugee Committee, homeless and Sierra Club’s Inner City Outings. At play, my favorite thing is kayaking… among whales! I am so very lucky and blessed – not just for all my travels and for all I have – but for all the countless peoples, hearts and smiles that have touched and continue to touch my soul.

Roniq Bartanen

Roniq Bartanen

(She/Her) Volunteer Support

Roniq is a Certified Interpretive Guide, photographer and bird guide. She leads monthly bird walks for Seattle Audubon Society. She has a keen passion for urban birding, inclusivity, accessibility and promoting female bird guides. Check out her writings about the culture and joy of birds and birding from a female perspective at Shebirds.com.

Kate Walling and Laura Kimball

Kate Walling and Laura Kimball

Social Media

Thank you so much to Kate Walling and Laura Kimball of Scrappy Face for providing assistance on social media strategy and for guidance, mentoring, and general awesomeness!

Anna Thorner

Anna Thorner

Web Design

With bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Japanese, Anna studied abroad at Gifu University in her junior year, and after graduating lived in Japan for three years. She taught herself web design to help non-profits, small businesses and individuals create an internet presence. She enjoys photography and studying Japanese.  Want her to design your website? Email her!

Meet Some of Our Guides




We really “dig” Tiam! She was born in the garden-city of Shiraz, Iran, and has a Masters in Archeology. Tiam has worked in tourism for 14 years as a guide specializing in culture and history of Iran. She loves meeting people from all over the world. She is passionate about history and archeology and is working on a thesis about Persian Carpets.




David is one of the best adventure travel guides in Baja Mexico. He is energetic, personable, knowledgeable about Baja’s diverse ecosystems, and positively enjoys showing off his special corner of the world to visitors. Are you a newcomer to kayaking or SUP? No problem David, and the team will show how fun it is.




Sushila says “Namaste” to all. Meaningful Trips makes a special effort to find local partners who find and train female adventure travel guides. Sushila received her training from Three Sisters Trekking and has been guiding visitors to Nepal for many years. Sushila has an infectious laugh. To you, Sushila, we say: “Namaste”