Tips for Turning A Vacation Into A Volunteer Opportunity

When most people consider the idea of taking a vacation, one word tends to comes to mind – relaxation. With the hyper-busy lifestyle that exists today, a vacation offers a much-needed relief to the everyday hustle-and-bustle of the business world. For many, the vacation objectives are simple: to get as far away from reality as humanly possible, to leave all work-related issues and stressors behind, and to enjoy the time off relaxing with family and friends. While many Americans still prefer the more “traditional” type of vacation, a relatively new trend is gaining much popularity in the travel industry today: voluntourism.

What is voluntourism? As the name implies, voluntourism combines vacationing and volunteering at the destination visited. Instead of extravagant beach getaways, some Americans are sharing their time with people in need. In fact, according to some recent studies, the number of organizations offering volunteer vacations has doubled over the past few years. One of the many great things about voluntourism is that people of all ages and lifestyles can participate and offer something unique to the cause.

For those who aren’t too keen on traveling overseas or simply want to volunteer their time to causes within the United States, there are many voluntoursim opportunities that exist here in your own backyard. The US government has a site (serve.gov) dedicated to helping Americans connect with volunteering opportunities. Websites like these offer a starting point for those interested in giving their time and efforts to a cause like yours.

In this article, we cover a few helpful tips for those interested in launching a voluntourism event.

Keeping It Affordable

Keeping expenses low can make a voluntourism trip even more enjoyable. Every effort should be made to reduce the expenses incurred by your volunteers. Think creatively for ways that your organization can partner with other local nonprofits and businesses to reduce costs. For example, contact local restaurants or churches to see if they would be willing to provide reduced-cost or free meals for your volunteers. Ideas like these are great ways to reduce costs and make the experience that much more enjoyable for your participants. After all, providing a memorable experience will help to build a lasting relationship with the individuals involved in your cause – and make them that much more likely to return in the future.

Research Fun Things To Do In The Area

Your location may have more to offer than you think. Don’t rule out your organization as a potential voluntourism destination just because you believe that you live in a boring city. Often times, people overlook the many interesting sites in an area. Do your research. Request travel guides for your state, search the Internet, and maybe even take a road trip to explore your location with an open mind. Recreational parks, monuments, historical sites, and even sporting events are great attractions to keep in mind. Remember to look beyond your backyard – you may find something of interest as much as a couple hours from your …

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