Voluntourism: Giving on the go
- “Voluntourism”, or philanthropic travel, allows you to travel while also giving back to those in need.
- There are many options available in different areas on the world - all allow you to share your skills, deepen your understanding of global issues, and connect with locals on a meaningful level.
- Your advisor can help you weigh the financial tradeoffs you’d be making and come up with a plan that doesn’t cut into your savings.
Are you torn between taking an interesting trip somewhere and spending your spare time helping others? You may not have to choose.
What is Voluntourism?
“Voluntourism” — travel that involves aiding those in need — offers the opportunity to give back while giving yourself the gift of a fulfilling experience. Whether you have a week’s vacation to use or you are fully retired, there are options that offer varying levels of commitment.
Do you enjoy working with kids?
Consider connecting with WorldTeach, an organization that places volunteer educators in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Pacific. Volunteers receive training, language preparation and field support before being placed in schools and host communities.
Help to heal
Are you a health care professional or interested in social welfare? Medical volunteer projects like Doctors Without Borders offer ongoing initiatives around the world — as well as in the United States when disasters strike closer to home. There are also programs that organize shorter-term, well-being initiatives such as Volunteering Solutions, which has hosted volunteers in more than 25-plus countries including Nepal, India, Thailand, South Africa, Peru and Costa Rica.
Interested in plant and animal life?
Earthwatch allows you to join respected scientists in the field and make clinical assessments on more than 50 research expeditions both at home and abroad. You could study elephant habitat in India, coral communities in the Seychelles, rain forest canopies in Ecuador and more.
Do you enjoy home improvement projects?
Habitat for Humanity offers the opportunity to help construct homes in the United States and around the world. Or, join inhelp building and repairing entire communities through Build Abroad, a volunteer organization that facilitates housing, school and disaster relief projects. Build Abroad locations include Asia, Central and South America, Thailand, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru.