- Travel Topics
Many people use their time travelling to get involved with volunteer work abroad. In fact, recent statistics indicate that in the past three years approximately 1 million Americans have volunteered abroad. It might not be for everyone, but there are a number of reasons why you might want to consider volunteering abroad during your travels.
Volunteering can be the perfect solution for the traveller on a budget. Some volunteer organisations may place you with a host family, which can considerably reduce accommodation costs. Other volunteer plans may include at least one meal each day. Alternatively, you may be able toraise money to fund your volunteering project. There are many crowdfunding websites, whereby you submit your plan and anyone can fund part of it (by the way this is not exclusively for volunteering, but really any venture). If you’re already thinking of booking parking4less at the airport and flying at unsociable hours in order to save money on your travels, then volunteering could be another great way to keep costs down.
Volunteering can also be a great way to meet interesting people. In DC, Vicky and I volunteered regularly with DC Cares and, through one of our events, Vicky met a girl who invited her to join her catering company. Had we not been volunteering, Vicky never would have had this interaction and the business opportunity that ensued.
If you’re keen to avoid the tourist hotspots and find out what local life is all about, then volunteering can provide you with the opportunity to do just that. If there is one thing for sure, volunteering is NOT touristy. It’s a chance to truly interact with locals and see first hand the state in which they are living. This is an enlightening experience few ever have the chance to involve themselves in.
Above all, volunteering can be a great way to help make a difference by offering the skills, which you have, to others. In poorer parts of the world, there are many causes and communities, which can benefit from the support of volunteers. You don’t need to have a special talent aside from a willingness to dedicate yourself to a cause. It doesn’t need to even be for a long period of time, as many volunteering stints last only weeks, and some only days! This, therefore, can be one of the most rewarding ways to spend your time travelling.
(A Few) Organizations For Volunteering Abroad
If you have a volunteering story, please share it below and we will add it and the organization to the list!