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.
More Great Links
- Adventures in Preservation. "Upcoming Adventures." (May 6, 2011)http://www.adventuresinpreservation.org/currentworkshops.htm
- Costello, Colleen R. "Volunteer Vacations," Independent Traveler.com. (May 6, 2011)http://www.independenttraveler.com/resources/article.cfm?AID=595&category=44
- Earthwatch Institute. "Discovering Italy's Ancient Roman Coast." (May 6, 2011)http://www.earthwatch.org/exped/camilli.html
- Earthwatch Institute. "Help restore important mangrove ecosystems." (May 11, 2011)http://www.earthwatch.org/exped/huxham.html
- GVIUSA.com "Volunteer on Dolphin & Whale Research Projects in the Ligurian Sea, Italy." (May 11, 2011)http://www.gviusa.com/projects/europe/italy/whale-dolphin-research-ligurian-sea-italy/home
- Habitat for Humanity. "Fact Sheet." (May 6, 2011)http://www.habitat.org/how/factsheet.aspx
- Harpaz, Beth J. "How to find a volunteer vacation on a budget." USA Today. March 3, 2009. (May 6, 2011)http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2009-03-03-budget-volunteer-vacations_N.htm#
- Kellicker, Patricia. "Volunteer Vacations: The Health Benefits of Helping Others." CVS Pharmacy. (May 6, 2011)http://health.cvs.com/GetContent.aspx?token=f75979d3-9c7c-4b16-af56-3e122a3f19e3&chunkiid=78992
- MSNBC.com. "Volunteer vacations on a budget." (May 6, 2011)http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29515290/ns/travel-active_travel
- Nanos, Janelle. "Top Ten Volunteer Vacations." National Geographic, June 17, 2009. (May 6, 2011)http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2009/06/17/top_ten_volunteer_vacations/
- Olson, Mike. "7 Great Volunteer Vacations." Weightwatchers.com. (May 6, 2011)http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=107441
- Responsible Travel.com. "Habitat Conservation Holidays." (May 6, 2011)http://www.responsibletravel.com/search/results.asp?category=0&country=0&location=0&activity=899&day=0&month=0&offset=7&duration=0
- Responsible Travel.com. "Marine conservation expedition in Mexico." (May 6, 2011)http://www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/1726/marine-conservation-expedition-in-mexico
- Responsible Travel.com. "Teach children swimming in India." (May 6, 2011)http://www.responsiblevacation.com/vacation/6741/volunteer-in-india
- Travellers Worldwide.com. "Teach Music to Underprivileged Children in Schools in Auckland." (May 6, 2011)http://www.travellersworldwide.com/21-new-zealand/nz-music.htm
- Volunteer Match. "Volunteers." (May 6, 2011)http://www.volunteermatch.org/volunteers/
- Women-on-the-road.com. "A Volunteer Vacation." (May 6, 2011)http://www.women-on-the-road.com/volunteer-vacation.html
Does the Peace Corps want retired volunteers? Learn about the Peace Corps and how retired volunteers can serve