Many well-intentioned travelers opt to volunteer abroad during their adventures. However, it can be downright tricky to find a worthwhile voluntourism trip. Some organizations don’t actually help their communities and plenty of others are mismanaged and don’t provide the best volunteer experience.
Don’t let these warnings deter you from volunteering abroad, though. With some careful research and common sense you can find an opportunity that allows you to lend your skills and talents to a worthy cause.
Before diving in to your research, spend some time thinking about your ideal experience. Do you want the support (and associated price tag) of a full-service organization or voluntour company? Are you comfortable volunteering at a small non-profit independently? Be honest with yourself and then check out these five resources for help planning your trip.
Omprakash.org: Search for volunteer opportunities in more than 30 countries with Omprakash. You can even read reviews from former volunteers, which are invaluable.
Idealist.org: This database is another excellent place to start searching for your next voluntourism opportunity. You can search by job type, keyword, location and more.
Barefoot Atlas: Every volunteer project in the Barefoot Atlas guides has been thoroughly researched and vetted, so you can be confident in the information they’re providing.
Grassroots Volunteering: Use this growing site to find free and low-cost volunteer opportunities abroad. The creator is dedicated to responsible voluntourism, making it a great resource for finding an international volunteer opportunity that will truly allow you to have a positive impact.
Go Overseas: There are tons of volunteering programs to be found in the Go Overseas database. You’ll get loads of variety, plus helpful reviews from past volunteers.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
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Bleisure — it’s a term we’re all familiar with these days. After all, millennials drive the rising trend, combining business and leisure trips regularly. Take a few days to decompress in a new destination after a hectic schedule of meetings and business.