Meridian Industrial


3/1/2023 | MIASHA LEE


Traveling creates long lasting memories. It gives families the chance to enjoy new experiences and appreciate the world around them. In 2018, Western Mass. native Amanda Renna created Travelnitch, a nonprofit organization inspiring children through virtual and real-world travel, whilc also encouraging families to travel, learn and grow together through global exploration.

“There are so many benefits to traveling with our children,” said Renna. “It teaches them resilience and builds confidence. It encourages them to get out of their bubble and experience new things, meet new people and see new places. It’s a huge passion of mine and something I really wanted to instill in my own children.”

Travelnitch came about when Renna was trying to engage her own children in-between trips. She started it as a way to pull together all the resources she could find to get them excited about the world and their next family adventure. Whether it was crafts, reading books or sharing stories, Renna began building a website and found a lot of support for what she was doing. The deeper she got, the more people were interested in gaining access to these resources.

When Renna formed the business, she was mostly interested in the publishing aspect and started out as Travelnitch Publishing, with a focus on digital content. The goal was to inform and entertain through book recommendations, product reviews, travel stories and hands-on-learning activities. Anything that would get families to sit around the table together and learn about places far away.

Four years later, Travelnitch has been going strong and attention it needed. Thanks to a donation from Monson Savings Bank last year, Travelnitch will be launching a new Postcard Pals destination this year with hopes to grow their virtual adventures even more.

In January of 2023, Travelnitch received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help kick off their newest program, Big Writers, Little Ears. It is a podcast series created by teen writers for little listeners sharing their own passion for travel through the power of storytelling. For this, Travelnitch is seeking high-school students who love to write. There will be a three-week travel writing workshop online; walking them through what it takes to be a travel writer. Then they will put together their own travel story to use for the podcast series.

Once Travelnitch has those stories, they also hope to turn them into a collection of print stories with illustrations. Travelnitch is looking for student artists in the community who are willing to illustrate stories for them. According to Renna, they will likely begin recruiting in April and May. Renna’s hope is to partner with art organizations in the Western Mass. community to make that happen, but students are also welcome to submit artwork on an individual basis. She noted she would be be posting submission guidelines online when the time comes. For now, anyone interested should sign up on Travelnitch’s Big Writers, Little Ears page for updates or reach out to her directly.

On June 10, Travelnitch will be hosting their annual fundraising event called Spring Into Adventure: A Family Travel Fair at Silver Bell Farm in Monson from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. The purpose of this event is to get families excited about the idea of backyard travel. They are hoping to collaborate with nearby family-friendly destinations to share information about all of the amazing travel opportunities right here at home.

“Travelnitch is all about connecting with kids and inspiring them through exploration,” said Renna. “Any opportunity I have to interact with children around this concept is a huge win for me.”

She went on to say, “Every day I get to do what I love. I get to write about travel, talk about travel and work with like-minded people who share my passion for the world. I have the honor of helping other kids get excited about travel and my own children, which is hugely important to me I love it all. Our work brings families together through a shared love of travel.”

Visit to learn more or to make a donation. Volunteer opportunities are shared on Facebook. Travelnitch often needs event support, storytellers, and children’s book reviewers and among other positions. Sponsors are also needed to connect families to the wonder of travel through their Virtual Adventures program.


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