Do you want a vacation where you can reduce stress and rejuvenate yourself physically? And do you also want a vacation that benefits the world around you? The answer to your quest is a Volunteer Vacation. To find these vacations, you can travel across the country or around the world with opportunities to study the environment and preserve the landscape. Your choices are limitless.
There are some things to consider in planning that may help you have a successful volunteer vacation.
- What kind of an impact are you looking to have?
- How will the project you choose benefit the local community? (The latter is of particular concern, since less reputable charities and companies that overstate responsible-travel claims are all too common.)
- Determine if you have the rights skills set. If you’re not a numbers person, you probably don’t want to collect data for a field team-even if it is in the Caribbean
- Make sure to ask what the other volunteers are like? Are they mostly retired? College graduates? Church? Find a group that’s comfortable for you.
- Find out about the intensity of the labor – will you work all day in the sun or have days off?
- Check out the volunteer organization’s experience level. It’s best to find one that offers more than 20 trips a year with more than 200 volunteers.
- If you’re donating your time for a charitable cause, find out if you can write off your entire vacation. Check with your accountant on this one.
Types of active volunteer vacations:
Do you want to help the earth and the wilderness?
Then you may want to check out BobMarshallWildernessFoundation.
You can explore the wilderness of Montana by helping to build and maintain trails there. You can volunteer for as little as one day or weekend, or you can spend a week backpacking in the Western Montana wilderness. Families and people of all different ages are welcome. Volunteers clear and maintain trails during the day and have plenty of time to bond with campmates at night, during meals cooked together and in classes such as “Wildflower ID” or “Tracks and Scat.” Overnight trips require a refundable deposit and volunteers must bring their own gear — but the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation does not charge for its volunteer trips. Most meals are provided, too.
Do you want a trip to Europe with multiple choices?
Then you many want to check out BritishTrustConservationVolunteering.
You can choose from maintaining ancient forests in England, protecting wetlands in Germany to building nests on the Black Sea in Bulgaria. These are not your typical European vacation activities. But each promises an unforgettable experience. Toss out your travel guidebooks and explore a foreign country while helping to protect it. This organization offers conservation holidays around the world but focuses mainly in the U.K. and other parts of Europe.
Do you want to swim with the Dolphins?
Then you may want to check out earthwatchinstitute.
This volunteer opportunity is a project that lets you help Bottlenose Dolphins in Greece. The project is based on the Greek village of Vonitsa on the Amvrakikos Gulf. As a volunteer you will work with researchers in a small boat to monitor the activity of Bottlenose dolphins, follow them and record their numbers, activities, interactions and identifying marks. Volunteers work together to understand and control the damage as much as possible. Since the gulf has one of the densest dolphin populations ever reported in the Mediterranean, their lives and home are under constant threat from fishermen, pollution and ecosystem changes and scientists and volunteers.
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