How to Combine Volunteer Work with Travel

Combining travel or vacation with volunteer work can be rewarding. Here is a list of organizations for travel and volunteer work.

There are many opportunities to do volunteer work while you travel abroad to help others. You not only get to visit other countries, learn about other cultures and meet people from all walks of life, you are also helping other people, animals and the environment with volunteer work.

The first thing that you should do is to consider what your skills are, what kind of vlounteer work you could do to help. It could be something like teaching, building, rebuilding historic ruins to helping scientists ensure that endangered species survive.

You normally have to pay your own way there and back, though usually your housing and meals are provided for you. There are support groups and if there is an emergency, help us usually close by. Some groups will also pay for your travel expenses in country and medical insurance. These volunteer work trips could also be tax deductible. The following web sites have links to where you can talk to former volunteers as well and get ideas on what you might like to do and how to plan for a trip.

If you’re concerned about traveling to any of these countries, the US State Department web site has travel warnings and tips for traveling abroad and about all the information you might need to plan a trip overseas.

Habitat for Humanity - Habitat for humanity

Before looking around the world to volunteer your help, there are many programs for you to travel here in the United States. A group called Habitat for Humanity helps building homes for people all over the US. This group has been helping and still more help is needed in the hurricane areas from hurricane Katrina and Rita.

Habitat for Humanity also has programs where you can travel outside of the United States and do volunteer work. As of December 2008, they have programs in Cambodia, China, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay, Thailand and Vietnam. And are always adding more volunteer work programs.

Earthwatch Institute - http://www.earthwatch.org/expedition

In 2008, they sponsored 130 different research projects in 40 countries and 20 states. They have expeditions to all of the continents and do work in the following areas. Archeology and Paleontology, climate change, cultures, human and wildlife conflicts, managing resources, ocean life, threatened animals and threatened habitats.

A sample list of volunteer work they have coming up in 2009, bird study in France, swim and snorkel in the Bahamas to study corals, ecology studies in Madagascar, Brazil and Namibia, climate change from Ecuador to the Arctic and many other projects.

Global Volunteer Network - Global Volunteer Network

Another group that needs volunteers to help worldwide, they are based out of Wellington, New Zealand. They have work in the following countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, China, India, Philippines, Romania, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and also South Dakota to the Sioux Indian reservation to help the Lakota Indians.

Global Volunteer Network has some interesting trips planned, with the Kenya trip you will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, this trip is scheduled for 2010 and will help support the orphaned children in Kenya.

There is a trip scheduled for August 2009 to one of the favorite vacation spots in Peru, Machu Picchu, there you will help a community build a new facility for their local feeding program. This trip is so popular you need to pay by January 1, 2009 Machu Picchu volunteer trip. There most likely will be more like this one in the future.

United Planet - United Planet

Another group with needs for volunteer work in 150 different countries, they have what they call short term volunteer quests that last for 1 – 12 weeks and long term that last for 6 – 12 months.

I to I - i-to-i

This group offers volunteer work trips to many countries as well, they have a program called TEFL which is teaching English abroad among, other volunteer work including, community development, wildlife and conservation work.

They have test and language courses to prepare you to teach English abroad as well as tests to find out what you might like to do on a volunteer vacation.

Here you can find out what trips you can take and what you would do: Find the ideal trip

As you can see there is a wide range of subjects and areas that you can volunteer your time and efforts all over the US and the world and the volunteer work trips are always changing and new.

Sam Montana © 23 December 2008

Helpful web sites:

Responsible travel & volunteer work

First hand accounts of voluntouring

First hand accounts of volunteer vacations

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