Traveling is all about discovering new places and destinations, at least for most travelers. The whole idea of seeing new things, exploring the neighborhood culture and meeting unique local people can be exciting enough. However, have you ever considered adding more purpose to your vacations? Yes, there are some amazing volunteering activities around the world that can engage travelers, allowing them to do more than sightseeing. The whole concept is often is called “voluntourism”, which is a mix of two words – volunteering+tourism. If you are new to the concept, this post will give you the right ideas to plan the next trip.
The quick basics
There are a wide range of projects in voluntourism”. From cleaning the beaches at a popular sea destination to spending time teaching kids, the options are quite varied. For first timers looking for international volunteer program, it is always a good idea to start with a small project. The term for such activities can range from two weeks to months, depending on the nature of work. For most of the projects, you don’t need to have any special skills, except for the desire to do something more. The timings are often very flexible, so the volunteer doesn’t need to slog for eight hours at work. There will be enough time and flexible schedules to explore the destination.3
Facts that matter
Since volunteering is all about pledging for a cause, you won’t get compensation. The whole project will come at a fixed cost, and since you are paying for the trip, it is wise to keep a check on some things.
- Firstly, start with the budget. Can you afford the overall cost of the project? Apart from the actual cost of the project, you will need at least 20% more to deal with any possible contingency and other personal needs.
- Secondly, where are you going to stay? There are professional companies that can offer a complete package for such activities, which will include stay in a house or special dormitory, which will be shared with other volunteers. This can be a great way to meet and be friends with likeminded people.
- Food and cuisine can be a major problem for international projects. Volunteers often may not like the local food and may have special food choices. Check with the concerned company to find the options. For some projects, a cook may be assigned for a group.
- Do you have enough choices for destinations? Most organizers would offer at least a few choices, such as volunteer in Thailand community education, so it is wise to compare the destinations. Keep in mind that you wouldn’t get five-star luxury for such trips. Make it a point to evaluate the practical aspects. What will be the level of security and safety? Will you have the time for other things? Can you stay for two weeks in the same place?
If you can choose the right project, doing something more for your next trip should be easier than ever!