Consider volunteering in another country
Traveling is a personal experience. Choosing a destination is based on countless factors, and deciding on your reason to travel is an entire other piece of the puzzle.
When you can’t justify a beach getaway to the Caribbean, and are bored by visiting another new city, think deeper about why you’re traveling – are you looking to simply get away, or do you want to immerse yourself in a new place, meet and interact with locals, and feel like you are part of the community?
If you’re looking for a more fulfilling reason to travel, shed your tourist status and consider volunteering in another country. You’ll pay a fraction of the cost for accommodations and meals, and get a life-changing experience in a new place.
VolunteerMatch – Need help finding a volunteer organization or voluntourism outfit? VolunteerMatch is No. 1 on Google, Yahoo and Bing for “volunteer.” Build your own volunteer itinerary there or search for trips from many leading voluntourism organizations.
Cross-Cultural Solutions – CCS provides international volunteer opportunities in partnership with local, sustainable organizations, and emphasizes shared cultural understanding. A recognized leader in international volunteerism, CCS developed programs such as the Alternative Spring Break.
Global Volunteers – Active for more than 25 years, this service helps volunteers choose a destination to stay for one week, six months, or a duration of time in between. There are destinations available on every continent.
Volunteer International – A non-governmental organization, Volunteer International emphasizes the responsibility of international service to promote world-wide awareness.
Volunteers For Peace – VFP works through international alliances to help communities meet their local needs, and strives to meet some of the United Nation’s Millennium Declaration goals.
AMIGOS – Amigos de las Américas is a nonprofit international organization devoted to addressing health and education priorities.
Global Service Corps – Since 1993, GSC has implemented programs for community development and service learning in Africa and Asia, year round.
Globe Aware – A leader in short term volunteer vacations, Globe Aware specializes in one week, tax-deductible, volunteer vacations designed to promote cultural awareness and sustainability.
VolunTourism.org – This website is a clearinghouse for everything to do with voluntourism, including information about potential programs, educational resources and materials about volunteering, as well as planning advice and suggestions for those preparing for a volunteer trip.
NGO Abroad – NGOabroad is a unique service that helps you enter or advance in international humanitarian work & provides frugal, customized international volunteer opportunities.
ISV Online – International Student Volunteers provides college and university students from around the world with volunteer programs focusing on conservation and community development projects.
GlobalGiving – GlobalGiving works with hundreds of grassroots nonprofits all over the world. Many projects welcome volunteers and would be thrilled to work with enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about their work.
Eco Surf Volunteers – Eco Surf Volunteers combines humanitarian, medical, and environmental volunteer projects with Ecuador’s surfing, beaches, and outdoor adventures, as well as partnerships with locally owned businesses.
Volunteer Latin America – Volunteer Latin America provides information about voluntourism and low-cost volunteer opportunities in Central and South America, as well as referrals to good Spanish language schools.
Travel to Teach – Travel to Teach provides affordable volunteer opportunities abroad in areas such as teaching English, child care, women’s groups, IT training and animal welfare, run by volunteers.
WAVES For Development – Surf and volunteer in Peru, in projects that aim to improve the lives of local youth, through their Educational Surf Programs.
International Volunteer HQ – IVHQ organizes safe, affordable volunteering placements in developing countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Programs include teaching, medical work, HIV/Aids awareness, conservation and agricultural work, for various periods of time ranging anywhere from one day to six months.
(Featured image: VISONS service)