Believe it or not, "vacation" and "volunteerism" can go hand in hand. In fact, what people are calling "voluntourism" is Kind Of A Big Deal these days. That's what Ken Budd talks about on AARP -- the growing trend where people are traveling overseas to exotic places and historic lands to explore other countries -- and make a difference while they're there.
Budd gives folks interested in voluntourism the right tips to make sure their experience is the best that it could possibly be. For example:
Selecting an organization is a bit like getting married: There are plenty of possible partners; the hard part is finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. To narrow the often-overwhelming options, start with these three essential questions:
- What kind of work do you want to do?
- Where do you want to do it?
- How long do you want to stay?
Keep the questions coming. Think about living conditions: Are you OK sharing a closet-sized room with three college students or do you need your own space? How much are you willing to pay for your trip? Do you want to use your professional skills or do something entirely different? Are you hoping to spend eight hours a day working or are you more interested in lounging on the beach?
Check out the entire article; from the skeptics to the gung-ho, this will address all the concerns you might have and allow you to enter a volunteer vacation with eyes (and heart) wide open.