Increasingly, retirees who find themselves with both the time and the financial resources to travel seek adventures that will allow them to give back to society while seeing the world. Also called "voluntourism" or "service learning," volunteer vacations can be tailored to a wide range of skills and interests.
Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) offers "service learning" trips lasting anywhere from five nights to three weeks. Through these programs, volunteers have the opportunity to participate in activities such as tutoring in Navajo Reservation schools, restoring historic sites, preserving coral reefs, protecting endangered wildlife populations and even digging for dinosaurs [source: Road Scholar].
"Boomers" account for about 30 percent of the ranks of Global Volunteers, an organization providing one-week to 24-week "Adventures in Service" placements in communities throughout the United States and abroad [source: Global Volunteers]. Volunteers in this organization may find themselves teaching English, providing health care services, building or repairing homes, or working with at-risk children and teens -- all at the invitation and direction of local leaders [source: Global Volunteers].