We’re nearly halfway through the year, and it’s summer vacation time for many. We thought we’d take a deeper dive into one of the top travel trends for 2018 that we highlighted back in January: voluntourism.
This very rewarding way to travel internationally lets you explore a new country and culture while making a lasting contribution to sustainable development and the local community. Volunteer vacations are increasing in popularity every year because they offer:
- World-class adventure
- Extreme fun
- Cultural immersion
- Community engagement
- Leadership development
- Win-win outcomes for all involved
There are countless ways to engage in impact travel, whether you prefer to participate as an individual or as part of a group. Numerous companies specialize in curating global volunteering trips. Some place you with a local host family which welcomes you into their home, others arrange for lodging in boutique hotels or safari tents.
No matter how much time or money you have to spend, there’s a volunteer vacation designed to deliver a life-changing and world-changing travel experience that's perfectly suited to your skills and interests.
Location-specific voluntourism opportunities
Do the majestic mountains of Nepal call to you? Organizations such as Himalayan Voluntourism (HV) make it easy to plan your volunteer vacation by destination. Revenue-generating tourism is vital for the Nepalese economy. You can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience while contributing your own skills in agriculture, medicine, energy, or environmental conservation to the local community.
Is Costa Rica your dream vacation? Planet One World offers very affordable short- and long-term volunteer opportunities that will find you working to help preserve endangered plant and animal species. You can also play a role in educating the local people to encourage the implementation of long-term approaches to conservation.
Teaching volunteer vacations
Put your English-speaking skills to great use by volunteering to teach children, teenagers, and adults in a country you’d love to visit. You might work in partnership with local teachers, or lead your own class in subjects such as English, IT, German, or French. Opportunities with Projects Abroad include helping to improve literacy skills in Madagascar, teaching kids conversational English in Mongolia or Hanoi, and teaching art, music, or sports in the Philippines.
Global volunteering in microfinance
Business majors and would-be entrepreneurs can work alongside grassroots small loan and business development projects with microfinance internships through Projects Abroad. Choose from a large number of volunteer locations, including Cambodia, Senegal, and Ghana:
- The project in Cambodia facilitates small loans to disadvantaged individuals in Phnom Penh, primarily female garment workers earning less than $3 a day sewing clothes for major brands
- Projects Abroad works with young male street children in Senegal to provide an alternative to begging for food and money through small-scale entrepreneurship
- The Ghana project provides an empowering head start to people trying to work their way out of poverty by providing the funding and training needed to start a business — work with members of a leprosy camp or help women in a local fishing community
If “blue and green” volunteer vacations are your passion, you’ll find countless international adventures focused on environmental conservation efforts on land or in the sea. Combine your love for scuba diving with a trip to Belize where you can participate in an underwater preservation and research program. GoEco’s voluntourism trip takes you to an island off of Belize where the underwater ecosystem of the Caribbean coral reefs is under threat. Use your dive skills to contribute to the preservation of these ecosystems and leave a lasting, positive impact long after you return home.
Working with wildlife
Love the creatures of the Earth? GoEco currently offers about 70 volunteer projects that put you into hands-on roles with wildlife. Opportunities at worldwide locations and their responsibilities include:
- Giant Panda Center, China: Care for the pandas, prepare their food, and clean the enclosures and observations
- African Wildlife Orphanage, Zimbabwe: Handle the animals, prepare food, clean out enclosures, and promote environmental education
- Bali Sea Turtle Rescue, Indonesia: Participate in Sea Turtle conservation and environmental education
- Giant Tortoise Center in the Galapagos, Ecuador: Feed and care for the giant tortoises
Would you like to leverage your passion for travel, tourism, sustainability, or hospitality into a graduate degree and a new career? Learn more about pursuing your Master of Science in Global Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development or your MBA in Hospitality at Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education by completing the “Request Info” form on this page, calling 855-JWU-1881, or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.