Why You Should Volunteer While You Vacation
You’ve worked all winter and spring. You’ve had your eyes set on your summer vacation plans for months. And the days leading up to it are here.
Now here comes this pestering blogger, suggesting you should spend part of that precious time off helping out. Giving back. Paying it forward.
- I don’t have enough time
- I don’t have enough information/volunteering isn’t interesting
- No one asked me to
Overall, 90% of people say they would like to volunteer, yet 25% of us actually do. With your vacation, you could (in theory!) use a bit of that time you always wished you had.
While we’re big fans of bettering our communities, we’re also in favor of lending a hand in the places we visit, too. Though host communities benefit from the money that comes into their place from hotel visits and guided tours and souvenirs, there’s also something to be said about investing a little time, too.
So if you have some extra time on your next trip - or you’re up for making the time - here are some ways to get involved while you travel.
5 Ways To Get Involved When You’re On The Road
Get Inspired By Global Opportunities - If you don’t yet have your trip planned, look through Give A Day Global to see what kinds of brief volunteer opportunities might exist in the places you’re considering going. While volunteer tourism can be a bit of a complicated subject, these limited engagement opportunities allow you to find ways to engage with local communities in areas that you feel qualified to do.
- Give Back Like Grenada - Grenada recently announced their own official voluntourism program with activities like fish hunting and beach clean-ups, farm visits, animal care, and more. While you may not be heading to the Caribbean, browsing through their offerings can give you an idea of the ways you can get involved wherever you’re heading to next.
Sort By Skills - Another host of one-day volunteer opportunities, GivingWay has an intuitive filtering system that lets you find opportunities that align with your skills, your time, or your region. Available activities include archaeological work, microfinance, construction, and more.
Stay Local - Traveling domestically? While you may already be familiar with an organization like VolunteerMatch, give them another look in the area you’ll be heading toward. From finding groups similar to the ones you support and meeting new people, this can be a great way to support a community while you’re on the road.
- Stay Open - While the above options are great for getting plans laid before you arrive, part of the joy of travel is being open to the moment. Feel free to ask around once you arrive if the hotel you’re staying at or the guides who’re leading you around know of any ways you can get involved. The main thing to consider with this option is guarding a little bit of space on your itinerary!
What about you? Have you ever given back or volunteered while on vacation?