Whether it’s because so many young people are just struggling for cash or they’re more aware of their role in the world, volunteering abroad is quickly becoming the norm. But with so many programs popping up everywhere, it’s a little daunting to figure out where to start.
It’s best to just sit down with a map and pick a place. Don’t worry too much about the location screaming “volunteer.” There are plenty of options in almost any part of the world, so go somewhere you’d really enjoy.
Now change every preconceived idea you have about volunteering and take stock of what you’re actually good at. It’s not helpful volunteering on a building project if you’ve never picked up a hammer, but it is if you’re a Habitat for Humanity veteran. Considering your strengths isn’t just important for your overall satisfaction, it’s more respectful to the people opening their homes to you.
Figure out how long you feel comfortable volunteering and find an option that works within that time frame. Some programs require a few months of commitment while others prefer only a few days. Give yourself some wiggle room for independent travel before or after because volunteering, though rewarding, can be demanding.
Unsure of what opportunities are even out there? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Organic farming in France: wwoof.net
- Washing dishes at a family owned restaurant in Turkey: workaway.info
- Protecting the rainforest in Ecuador: jatunsacha.org/jatun-sacha-biological-reserve
- Teaching English in Thailand : travel-to-teach.org
- Building homes in Costa Rica: habitat.org
- Working with Tibetan women refugees in India: tibetanwomen.org
Variety Cruises calls itself the cruise company for non-cruisers. The small-ship cruise line caters to travelers in numbers of just a few dozen at a time, taking them on voyages to luxurious destinations such as Tahiti, West Africa, Egypt and Israel.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*
Looking for the newest hotel for your next ski trip? This December, Maribel Hotel, a new alpine ski chalet, opens in Sierra Nevada in Grenada, Spain. The hotel lies at the foot of the slopes with direct access to the Maribel and Águila slopes.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
Visiting the airport these days means you’ve either booked a flight or you’re simply dropping someone off or picking them up. However, as part of a new initiative from Southern California’s Ontario International Airport, travelers and locals can visit the airport’s terminals to dine and shop without need of a ticket. The new initiative also allows friends and family members to spend more time with travelers before their flights depart.