Volunteering Abroad

[ 0 ] March 14, 2011 |

There are many different ways to experience the world. You can book a trip at an all-inclusive and relax on a beach without a care in the world. But what if that’s not quite your style? Voluntourism United States companies mix the ideas of a vacation and helping the people of the country you visit.

Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a brief outline of what to think about when researching voluntourism opportunities. It’s a big decision, so research is definitely a must.

Countries to Consider

Choosing the country you want to volunteer in is an important decision. Most countries that need help are considered in development, so you will be faced with poverty, dilapidated housing and illness. But you’re here to help, right? Some popular countries include voluntourism Philippines and these:

  • Costa Rica
  • Bolivia
  • Malawi
  • Mexico

Be aware that most of these countries have travel warnings from moderate to severe threat levels. Travel to these destinations is your choice, but you should definitely research the dangers that each country has. You can check up-to-date advisories here: Travel.State.Gov.

Types of Opportunities

Once you’ve made the decision that volunteering trips are for you then choose how to help out. Try to focus on what skills and experience you have to offer and what volunteering you’ve done in the past. Here are a few examples of available volunteer opportunities abroad:

  • Teach English
  • Build Housing
  • Disaster Relief
  • Environmental

You can also choose the amount of time you want to spend from 1 week to long term volunteering abroad. If you decide to build a house, would 1 week allow you to see it through? It’s best to go for longer if the project is more intensive.

Accommodation

Accommodation can range from staying with a host family to luxury villas on the beach. It’s really up to you. For the most part, your accommodation price is included in the package deal. If the idea of a 3-star hotel makes your skin crawl, you may want to choose more comfortable living quarters. For those that crave adventure, find housing within the village. This allows you to get to know those you are actually helping.

Leisure Time

The best part about voluntourism is the split between doing something for others and doing something for you. Once you’ve fulfilled your duties, there is usually a few days to explore on your own. Head to the beach to relax on one of the most beautiful coasts in the world, or explore the capital cities with a completely different view of the country.

Questions to Ask the Service

When choosing which service to go with, ask a few important questions:
Is going for 1 week okay? Is there an application process or paperwork to fill out? Do I need insurance? What’s covered in the package? How much sightseeing time will I have? Is there enough work to do? That way you can work with them to find the perfect blend of trip for you. Voluntourism.org is a great place to start your adventure.

Voluntourism is becoming the new way to travel. On your next break, consider helping out those less fortunate, yet still explore a new place in your own way.

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About Lindy: Lindy started writing at age 8, when she completed her first story entitled Clio the Talking Cat. Fast-forward a few years into the future, and she’s happily moved on to writing celebrity shopping and frugal posts. Lindy lives with her cat (who doesn’t talk), enjoys lazy weekends at the cottage and old episodes of The Golden Girls. View author profile.

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