Top 5 Volunteer Vacations for Retirees


Help Out Close to Home

Travel is great, but a volunteer vacation close to home can be even better. Here's why:

  • It's cheaper. You save the cost of air fare and accommodations.
  • Arrangements are easier. You can usually organize the vacation on short notice.
  • You can test your preferences. If you don't like restoring an old house or counting migratory birds close to home, you probably wouldn't enjoy a similar project in Timbuktu.

For a volunteer "staycation," all you need to do is put aside your routine for a week or a month and devote that time to a charitable project. You might join crews cleaning up city parks or building playgrounds. Maybe you'll volunteer full-time at a hospital or animal shelter. Or you could spend a holiday week preparing food at a local food bank.

Volunteering close to home also enables you to follow up on your efforts. Form an ongoing relationship with a volunteer organization by pitching in from time to time, or simply walk past a park you helped restore and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Adventures in Preservation. "Upcoming Adventures." (May 6, 2011)
  • Costello, Colleen R. "Volunteer Vacations," Independent (May 6, 2011)
  • Earthwatch Institute. "Discovering Italy's Ancient Roman Coast." (May 6, 2011)
  • Earthwatch Institute. "Help restore important mangrove ecosystems." (May 11, 2011)
  • "Volunteer on Dolphin & Whale Research Projects in the Ligurian Sea, Italy." (May 11, 2011)
  • Habitat for Humanity. "Fact Sheet." (May 6, 2011)
  • Harpaz, Beth J. "How to find a volunteer vacation on a budget." USA Today. March 3, 2009. (May 6, 2011)
  • Kellicker, Patricia. "Volunteer Vacations: The Health Benefits of Helping Others." CVS Pharmacy. (May 6, 2011)
  • "Volunteer vacations on a budget." (May 6, 2011)
  • Nanos, Janelle. "Top Ten Volunteer Vacations." National Geographic, June 17, 2009. (May 6, 2011)
  • Olson, Mike. "7 Great Volunteer Vacations." (May 6, 2011)
  • Responsible "Habitat Conservation Holidays." (May 6, 2011)
  • Responsible "Marine conservation expedition in Mexico." (May 6, 2011)
  • Responsible "Teach children swimming in India." (May 6, 2011)
  • Travellers "Teach Music to Underprivileged Children in Schools in Auckland." (May 6, 2011)
  • Volunteer Match. "Volunteers." (May 6, 2011)
  • "A Volunteer Vacation." (May 6, 2011)


Does the Peace Corps want retired volunteers?

Does the Peace Corps want retired volunteers?

Does the Peace Corps want retired volunteers? Learn about the Peace Corps and how retired volunteers can serve