Grown-Up Spring Break

by Nick Livermore

Are you tired of getting the same emails from Gilt, Travel & Leisure and such touting glorified hotels with equally photosopped luxury suite images? Yeah, we are too. Well.. kind of. But one vacation that we haven’t gotten an email touting yet is the volunteer vacation.

One may ask, what is a volunteer vacation? Good question. Think of it as an alternative spring break for adults. Anyone looking for an incredibly rewarding vacation at any time of the year or at any stage of their life may be very interested in volunteering while away.

Rather than play travel agent, and compete with the likes of Hipmunk, Orbitz and so on, we scoured the interwebs to bring you the best resources out there to plan your volunteer vacation. We have outlined a great variety of different activities to suit everyone from the African safari enthusiast to the Yellowstone hiking lover. Oh, and don’t forget, for those who can’t get that big vacation, it can be equally rewarding to take a staycation and volunteer at your local Habitat for Humanity or ASPCA branch!

National Geographic Traveler posted a list of ten rather outlandish volunteer vacations that includes raising tiger cubs, collecting butterflies in Ecuador and restoring a monastery in Nepal.

The American Hiking Society has a whole host of programs across the country where hiking and outdoor enthusiasts can see some of the most beautiful places in the country while repairing the trails that we all so enjoy.

The Volunteer Guide offers a great resource which allows volunteers to find a suitable vacation based on the cause they feel most committed to aiding.

Go Abroad take an alternative approach, allowing volunteers to choose a program based upon the country they want to travel.

World Teach offers volunteer the opportunity to teach a variety of different skills and academics across the globe.

Habitat for Humanity offers school-aged children the chance to travel, explore and helped out those in need.

Support for International Change offers volunteers the opportunity to run community health campaigns in Tanzania to limit the impact of HIV/AIDS.

We hope you take the chance to explore some of these great opportunities. As always, feel free to share with us your experiences and organizations you recommend!

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