Volunteer Travel is fast becoming an alternative travel experience sought by experienced and new travellers alike. You have the ability to combine travel to your dream destination with volunteering your time to a charitable cause. Volunteer holidays provide you with the opportunity to give back to others by sharing your knowledge and skills to underprivileged communities in different regions all over the world.
Becoming a volunteer can be such an amazing and fulfilling experience. When you join other volunteers in supporting various educational projects, conservation activities, and building homes for displaced families, you’ll feel a sense of achievement. Not only will you get to experience new things, you can also get a different perspective of life by immersing yourself in these communities.
Why volunteer travel instead of a normal holiday? Volunteer travel is something out of the ordinary, because instead of idly staying under the sun on a beach and going on tour to view scenic spots, you get to absorb local culture plus experience a new way of living. With volunteer holidays you can observe how people from different parts of the world go on their day-to-day activities, understand their areas of concern, and see how you can help.
This type of holiday is not for the relaxing type. But what’s great about this kind experince is, that although it is hard work and can definitely be challenging, you will meet people who can change your life completely. Meeting the local townsfolk along with other volunteers will be an overwhelming experience, as you get acquainted with people who believe in the same cause as yours and are willing to devote time as well as effort towards achieving a common goal. You will truly enhance your sense of immersion and experience of a culture.
Sample volunteer holidays you can join. While volunteering, you will be introduced to a foreign language plus acquire new skills, both of which can be extremely gratifying. Whether its wildlife and environmental conservation, training and education or social work, you’re sure to not only enjoy but make an impact on the community you’re working with. Here are a few sample volunteer holidays being offered that you can take on:
– Assist in conserving endangered species
– Teach and care for children in impoverished communities
– Facilitate community development, housing projects
– Work for marine and wildlife conservation
As a volunteer, you have the option of staying for a specific period of time, say a short period of one week to three months or even up to two years. Organizations including charities which support volunteer holiday programs will advise you of visa requirements, program duration, flight recommendations, placement and the amount you may need in support funds while you’re staying in a foreign country. Fees are usually all-inclusive of board and lodging, insurance, local transportation, and program orientation so you don’t have to worry much when you arrive at your destination. Most volunteer travel is are arranged at least two to three months prior to departure, so make sure to plan ahead of time.
Making a difference. Going on a volunteer holiday is a great way to foster harmonious relationships between family members, so certain volunteer programs accommodate those who volunteer as a family. Volunteer travel is essentially a working holiday where you can enjoy and learn at the same time. As a volunteer, you’ll be able to contribute to a better and brighter future for these communities, and at the same time forge bonds with people from all over the world. You’ll also take pleasure in new sights when you’re in a foreign country in a way you won’t experience when you’re on a tourist holiday. Each volunteer program is designed to provide you the best volunteering experience possible.
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Bronwyn White is a travel and tourism industry professional with more than 30 years of experience. Her special interest is helping retirees, semi-retired baby boomers enjoy the dream of travel. She loves to help them plan and get the most out of this time.