It's summertime and many of us are thinking about our vacation plans. With gas prices still rising and travel becoming even more challenging, I recommend considering a Voluntour Vacation or a Do-Good Vacation.
Voluntour vacations or do-good vacations are fast becoming a popular way to plan your excursions and volunteer. Though Americans volunteer in large numbers annually, using a vacation into a volunteer opportunity is a new phenomenon that, surprising to many, is are often tax-deductible.
Here are some reasons to consider voluntouring on your next vacation:
Alternatively, Do-Good Vacations are money raising adventures combined with European vacations to Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and Spain and include nights in historic castles and visits to lesser-known areas. Do-Good Vacations are about traveling to a distant land, working with a nonprofit outfitter to raise money for a cause -- unlike voluntouring you will not be working with the local community and its residents.
You can start by finding a reputable organization that works in the area in which you want to explore. Here are a few for a voluntour vacation:
Cross-Cultural Solutions was founded in 1995 and has an outstanding reputation. Their tag states:
"Volunteer Abroad - work side-by-side with local people and experience another culture like never before. It's the experience of a lifetime."
Globe Aware, which started volunteer missions in 2000 but has been working in this area since 1993, provides short term weeklong adventures in service, focused on cultural awareness and sustainability. Their tag line is:
"Have Fun. Help People."
According to USA Today, Global Volunteers is the:
"granddaddy of the volunteer vacation movement".Their tag line is:
"travel that feeds the soul"
For Do-Good Vacations, consider these:
For a Cause's mission is to energize and inspire people to make a difference in the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS and Breast Cancer so that no one faces these battles alone.
The World Bank runs a program called Stay Another Day that directs tourists via a website and booklets to pre-evaluated activities that benefit the local community. For instance, vacationers can tour an orphanage in Cambodia, playing with the children and, if they wish, purchase goods such as the silk products the locals have made. The visit is free, but tourists are asked to make a donation.
Here are five recommendations and tips on easy ways to Make A Difference (M.A.D.):
Bonus Tips: Expect none of the comforts of home. In other words, you will be "roughing it" so go with an open mind and see how your heart is transformed. It can be the vacation of a lifetime!
By taking a voluntour or do-good vacation, here are some benefits to you:
Doing something for someone else always adds value to our life! Consider adding a voluntour or do-good component to your next vacation! You just be might surprised at how vacationing can lead to making a difference! Are you M.A.D. today?
Follow Lisa M. Dietlin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lisadietlin