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Travel and Serve the World


While travel for most folks focuses on the “Who,” “What,” “Why,” “When,” and “Where” of a particular destination, there are many who are also incorporating the “How”—as in “How can I help”—into their travel plans.

It’s just this willingness to expand their horizons that has brought new light, outreach and participation in experiencing the priceless benefits of Voluntourism.

Giving Back is where travelers can connect with organizations all over the world to give back with their time, talent, and/or financial support – and truly enrich their life in the process.

General Information

5 Ways To Give Back On Family Vacation
Let’s face it: We love the idea of raising our children to give back, but many of us find it hard to build volunteerism into our busy day-to-day lives. A solution may lie in a growing number of voluntourism organizations that let you give back on a family vacation without giving up your whole trip. The idea is to set aside just a fraction of your getaway — perhaps a few hours, an afternoon, or a day — and put it toward an act of doing good. Along the way, you’ll help teach your kids life lessons about responsibility and compassion. Here are five easy ways to devote a portion of your vacation to giving back as a family. Read more

6 Volunteer Vacations to Experience
Yes, staying in a luxury hotel and parking your bum on the beach makes for an enjoyable getaway, but what if you’re looking for a trip that’s more meaningful? Innovative companies are unveiling enticing voluntourism (volunteer tourism) opportunities in a variety of locations, giving travelers the chance to lend a hand on their next spring break, summer hiatus or family vacation. Read more

7 Ways to Give Back While You Travel
Traveling is one of life’s biggest privileges. Adventures and experiences of a lifetime are ripe for the picking on all seven continents. Having just completed my own 2.5 year adventure across five of those continents, people often ask me how they can give back while they travel — how can they can give a bit to the communities they visit along the way? Here are some suggestions. Read more

10 Ways to Fundraise for Your Volunteer Travel That Actually Work
You want to travel abroad, learn about a different culture and make a difference in your local community. You have only two weeks of vacation time and very little savings. Do you: (a) not take the trip, or (b) defer the trip to when your financial condition improves? The answer is (c): Fundraise! Read more

As ‘Voluntourism’ Explodes In Popularity, Who’s It Helping Most?
As you plan — or even go — on your summer vacation, think about this: More and more Americans are no longer taking a few weeks off to suntan and sightsee abroad. Instead they’re working in orphanages, building schools and teaching English. It’s called volunteer tourism, or “voluntourism,” and it’s one of the fastest growing trends in travel today. More than 1.6 million volunteer tourists are spending about $2 billion each year. Read more

Family Voluntourism – Thoughts to Help You Start Planning!
With daylight savings behind us and an extra hour of sunlight in our days, families are looking forward to summer and their summer travels. More than ever before parents are considering jumping in on the fast growing “voluntourism” trend. In case you’ve missed the boat on the hottest thing in travel since frequent flier miles, voluntourism is essentially what it sounds like. Travelers integrate volunteering into their trip, whether for an afternoon or the entire length of their itinerary. For families, the idea is particularly attractive. Today when many parents are concerned about raising “socially conscious” children, it’s a perfect way to benefit others while also shifting perspective from their own lives. Read more

How Voluntourism Works
Voluntourism is a growing industry that attracts all sorts of people. Everyone from retired baby boomers to college spring breakers are interested in mixing travel with good deeds, and there are voluntourism opportunities available for just about any preference or interest. Read more

Voluntouring: A More Conscious Way to Travel
Vacation means palm trees, tropical weather, and filling recycle bottles with compostable trash to build a children’s school? That doesn’t sound like the classic vaca by the beach we’re used to, but for an increasing amount of people, volunteering has become a way to see the world while gaining perspective. Often referred to as “voluntourism”, the word refers to the tourist who combines their vacation and sightseeing with volunteer work for a nonprofit or local cause. Voluntourism is for those who want to revamp the common vacation format to include giving back, and gaining perspective on their own circumstances. Read more

There’s a reason why the volunteer vacation is one of the fastest-growing parts of the travel industry. In the global village, we are becoming more and more committed to giving back when we travel; to contributing to communities rather than taking from it. Volunteer vacations are also a way we can give back to ourselves. Read more

Voluntourism: 6 Relaxing Vacations That Give Back 
Your idea of a relaxing vacation may not involve volunteer work or sustainability initiatives, but there are ways to give back during your travels that can still be fun and stress-free. If a enjoying a traditional family vacation is more your speed than heading overseas to build houses, you can still plan a getaway that you feel good about. Whether it’s a sustainable spa getaway or an affordable outdoor trip restoring national park trails, vacations that give back are a great way to relieve stress by doing something positive for yourself and others. Read more



Cross-Cultural Solutions
Cross-Cultural Solutions is a nonprofit working to address critical global issues by providing meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad, and contributing responsibly to local economies.

Global Volunteers

Since 1984, Global Volunteers has helped over 30,000 short-term “volunteer vacationers” work on long-term community development projects in 32 countries. This private, non-profit, non-sectarian, international NGO organization works in consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC and UNICEF to help deliver Essential Services to partner communities on five continents. In 2014, they launched their first ever International LGBT Volunteer Vacations and People-to-People Programs, with volunteers traveling to local communities in Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, Peru and other countries.

Habitat for Humanity
As a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry that builds with people in need regardless of race or religion, we welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds. We have more than 1,500 local affiliates in the United States and more than 70 national organizations around the world. Together, we have helped to build or repair more than 800,000 houses and serve more than 4 million people worldwide.

HandsOn New Orleans
HandsOn New Orleans hosts citizens from around the world, as well as provides service opportunities for residents in the New Orleans community. Whether you are one person or a corporate team, HandsOn New Orleans provides worthwhile and effective volunteer options. We gladly engage out-of-state individuals and groups, local residents, corporate groups, and tourists, all in service to our community.

Hands Up Holidays
Hands Up Holidays is a luxury travel company with one BIG difference. We are obsessive about you having more than an amazing vacation; our passion is for you to have a remarkable luxury travel experience that you will treasure forever, by combining expertly-led sightseeing with meaningful community development through volunteering or philanthropy. Touch lives, including your own. 

Idaho Adventures in Living
Ernest Hemingway once said “… a lot of state, this Idaho, that I didn’t know about…”. We invite visitors to come, explore, and participate while they enjoy our beautiful state. Whether your experience lasts 2 hours, 2 days, or 2 weeks; events, campgrounds, archeological digs, trail crews and other opportunities to get involved can be found.

The International Ecotourism Society
You don’t need to be affluent, or be able to afford months of free time, to be part of something meaningful and rewarding that helps empower local people, support communities, and enhance skills, capacity and knowledge through travel.

Jordan Tourism
Volunteer while on vacation in Jordan. Take a couple of hours or a day to play with children in wheel chairs, paint a school, build a house with Habitat for Humanity, hold a baby in the orphanage or sit with the elderly to listen to their stories. Voluntourism gives you a chance to interact with the local community and give back at the same time. Make a difference by spending a few hours giving back; it will make your vacation richer and your stories unforgettable. Join us in our journey to a better tomorrow.

Micato Safaris
Micato has always aimed not only to be the best safari operator, but to make a difference to the people and places we visit. Our non-profit arm, AmericaShare, was founded on that premise over 20 years ago. Dedicated to helping populations in Nairobi, Kenya who have been affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, AmericaShare has made a tremendous impact by providing a bridge between children and women in need and people wishing to make a meaningful difference in Africa.

Oceana Society
Oceanic Society was founded in 1969 by a small group of people who were concerned about health of our oceans and wanted to make a difference. Our Volunteer Vacations offer hands-on opportunities for you to participate in conservation-focused research efforts that study a range of threatened species and habitats.

Sierra Club
Explore, Enjoy, and Protect the Planet. Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization — with more than two million members and supporters.

Turtle Village Trust
Trinidad & Tobago supports one of the largest populations of nesting leatherback sea turtles. In many of the local communities there are more turtles nesting on the beaches than there are human inhabitants. The Trust works to deliver sustainable development of local communities along with the conservation of natural resources within the communities.

United Planet
United Planet volunteers travel to over 35 countries worldwide to work in three main areas – Children and Education, Global Health, and Environmental Sustainability. We’re here to help you to personalize your Quest based on where and how long you want to volunteer abroad, what type of work you want to do, and when you want travel!

Viengping Children’s Home
Viengping Children’s Home cares for more than 600 children who have been abandoned or abused, or whose families cannot support them. We are located in northern Thailand, about 15 kilometers north of the city of Chiang Mai. The children come to us from 17 provinces across northern Thailand. We welcome everyone who wishes to volunteer their time with us, whether you’re visiting for a day or consider Chiang Mai home too.
We are a group of like-minded women dedicated to international volunteering. We have volunteered abroad, worked in the field and are committed to voluntourism and its role in making the world a better place.

Voluntourism Institute
The VolunTourism Institute Blog builds on the work of David Clemmons, founder of, and his colleagues from around the world who have been studying volunteer tourism and voluntourism for more than a decade. … focus on current research, discoveries, and breakthroughs in volunteer tourism and voluntourism across the globe.

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