With everyone from ex-presidents to movie stars getting involved in voluntourism, travel to underdeveloped and emerging nations isn’t just about seeing remote and exotic parts of the world. Today more and more travelers want their visit to have a more lasting impact than just dropping a few dollars into the local economy.
Opportunities to do a little good (or a lot) on your vacation range from rehabbing Montana trails and New Orleans flood-affected areas to bringing fresh water and sanitation to remote areas of Asia, Africa, and South America. Travelers young and old are finding voluntourism as a means to immerse themselves into local cultures in ways more meaningful than the typical sanitized tours and safaris.
You can find excursions that match your interests and skill levels, travel time, and budget. There are opportunities for teachers, medical pros, carpenters, and engineers to spend anywhere from a few days to several weeks helping on a huge variety of projects. Seniors are welcome, too. Hands Up Holidays is one of several voluntourism organizations that offer 4-5 days of volunteer work as part of longer “upmarket” luxury trips including ones tailored to the needs and interests of more mature travelers. As you browse the variety of voluntourism options, you will notice that several of these tours bring travelers to orphanages that lack even the most basic caregiving resources, so sometimes all that’s needed is a willingness to help for a few days. Continue reading