We all need a vacation once and awhile, and the world is an endless place to explore. So many experiences are competing for our attention, and we can never choose them all! Maybe a few of these trips could kill two birds with one stone, giving both excitement and meaning? Yes, a vacation can actually be meaningful. But how, you ask?
Why, a volunteer vacation! The good news is, they are entirely affordable. And there are some pretty spectacular options being organized these days that let you contribute to humanity, nature, and wildlife. If you have ever wanted to see a new part of the country – or even a new part of the world – check out these trips for a few ideas to get started on a trip that packs a powerful one-two punch!
International Volunteer HQ is a major organizer of volunteering trips abroad, and they have outings all over the world in some pretty unique opportunities! Right now, they service 40 different locations throughout Asia, South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, and more. IVHQ is one of the most affordable and highly rated volunteer program organizers in the world: Projects start at just $180 plus airfare. What are some exciting options, you wonder?
Teaching English in Morocco might be one thing that tickles your fancy. Or perhaps you love wildlife. Wild elephant conservation in Sri Lanka or sea turtle work in Madagascar might appeal to you! And if you don’t want to travel abroad, there is even an opportunity in New Orleans in arts and culture preservation. Pretty exciting stuff! Find out more about meaningful volunteer vacations across the globe at the IVHQ homepage.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is pretty well known in the nonprofit world, and there’s a great reason why! The organization has helped to build thousands of homes for underprivileged families since 1976. They have even expanded their operations overseas! Currently they have projects in Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. And with so much going on, they need a lot of volunteers! That’s where you come in.
Around 5,000 high school and university students go on a HFH spring break trip each year, and the cost is very low. Volunteers got the chance to see any one of 35 states in the union, and it’s a great way to make a difference and see new parts of the vast USA! Check out their volunteering page for upcoming trips.
American Hiking Society
The American Hiking Society offers some interesting opportunities to see beautiful nature throughout the nation on unique service trips. With a group of 6-15 people, you can spend a week repairing trails to ensure outdoor enthusiasts have great hiking options throughout the year. You might also find yourself replanting land, helping an organic farm, or moving around natural stones and logs to create a more usable terrain.
There are a wide range of trips, and you can choose the level of difficulty! If you’re in the mood for something easy or super challenging, there’s something out there for you and a few friends. AHS trips also vary in terms of housing, and you might stay in a tent or a rural cabin. Both could be fun, we must admit! You can find out more about upcoming opportunities at the AHS website here. Happy trailing!
If you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in under served communities in the United States, United Way has been around doing just that since 1887! They are actually a big intermediary between thousands of other nonprofits, and they help to organize funds. Their projects usually focus on income, education, and health. And they have some pretty noteworthy volunteer vacations every year!
One upcoming trip include building gardens in Tennessee, and educating the community on how to cook with fresh herbs and veggies! Another trip will involve rebuilding homes in El Paso, Texas. United Way also has some great alternative spring break options for college students, at very low cost! For more information, visit their volunteering page for meaningful up to date opportunities.
Break A Difference
Break A Difference is a catchy name, isn’t it? The trip really provides both – a difference in the lives of under served Ameicans and a meaningful break for college students from the intensity of academic study. After hurricanes Harvey, Katrina, and Sandy, trip participants came to help rebuild the disaster areas. Work included restoring damaged homes and community centers, as well as working at food kitchens that provided needed sustenance for those that lost everything they owned! A great initiative, don’t you think?
Indeed, there are trips every year to help new areas that have been affected by natural disasters. The cost is relatively low, as $450 covers absolutely everything. Housing, meals, local transport, and more is provided with this fee. Participants get to perform good deeds, but there is still time to explore a new local area during free time. To learn more about trips in the near future, see the Break A Difference homepage.