Top 5 Volunteer Vacations for Retirees
volunteers release a rescued sea turtle back into the ocean

Retirement offers the perfect opportunity to donate your time and skills to a worthy cause.

Sara Davis-Stringer/Getty Images

You've probably thought often enough that you need a vacation. But did you ever think that a vacation might need you? Especially if you're enjoying the flexibility of retirement, you can turn a vacation into a chance to donate your time and skills to a worthy cause. Plus, you may visit faraway places and meet interesting people in the process. The opportunity to work and make a meaningful contribution can be very rewarding for retirees.

A stint of volunteer service offers a lot more than sightseeing. You're more likely to learn about the local culture and get to know the people than on an ordinary vacation. You don't need special talent, but any special skills you have, such as medical expertise or computer experience, can make you even more valuable.

Don't look on volunteering simply as a cheap vacation. Most agencies that arrange volunteer vacations charge fees in order to pay for programs and accommodations. You'll also have to pay for your air fare.

You can't expect to save the world in two weeks, but if you pick a program that fits your needs and work with a well-established nonprofit agency, you're likely to have a very fulfilling vacation experience. It'll be a wonderful break from your normal routine, and you'll feel good about yourself when you return.

Read on to find out some of the fascinating vacations awaiting your volunteer time.