Volunteering while traveling or traveling for volunteer projects is one great way to gain all the traveling experiences while giving the world something back in return. Volunteering is the selfless act of kindness that leaves you no financial or social gain for all those less fortunate ones. Even on a budget, you can get in touch with Dream World Travel, London and travel to contribute in making this world a better place to live in.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could significantly improve the lives of people in the farthest corners of the world? Hundreds of people travel only to help people around the world, families, communities and even neighbourhoods gain their strength, stability as well as independence, which they incapable of achieving on their own. Improvement, transformation, and a better life are, after all, all those millions of people in the third world, and war-ridden countries need.
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”
Volunteerism is a tour for volunteer work, which has, in recent time, encompassed vacation travel. You would be wondering how right? There are non-profit programs, for example, send the volunteers or participants to teach children in a country where education is a dream they can’t make come true without external help. First, they train the participants, give them a little idea about the history of education in that place, about the area itself and its people. These opportunities give them as little time as a week or as long as several months to educate the children until the next shift with new participants come in.
Why is traveling to volunteer so important?
If you watch the news, you know how much the world needs our help. With the war on terror, poverty, and political strategies, immigrants, underprivileged kids, and homeless people need an escape from the violent conflict, the opportunity to get the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, better health and education that can ultimately change their lives. This is why volunteering is so important.
Think of the services you will be providing to the host country, before picking where you want to travel to. Tons of volunteers are willing to help to make a difference that will be beneficial to individual recipients, their communities, the environment and the volunteers themselves.
These include Voluntourism is not just for the less fortunate locals of the destinations these participants travel to. Travelers gain a lot of benefits out of these tours, such as in off hours from their volunteer work, they can go for sightseeing on field trips, visit significant landmarks, and hear lectures, attend orientation, language and technical training, a safe and supportive place to live, logistical support and even counselling, and most importantly, affordability.
Exploring the world
If you are a travel enthusiast, voluntourism is treated for that adrenaline junkie in you. Volunteer programs are available all over the world, from Machu Picchu to Hue, you can tick off as many places in the world as you want from your bucket list by traveling for volunteer work. Some even let you customize your short stay in the area, from trips to the beaches, to rainforests, ancient ruins, you will have some of the best time on your voluntourism.
Travelers don’t have to compare and book cheap flights because such programs provide volunteers with the most affordable fees, from everything you’ll have to make a budget for when you travel on your own, such as your airport pick-up, accommodation, orientation, meals and anything else you might need on your stay, all in one affordable program fee. Even though you will be paying for your travel, accommodations, and meals, if you have travelled alone before, you must have an idea as to how difficult can it be to travel to a country you haven’t been before. Some of these volunteer jobs also pay a small salary, so you have some extra money on your stay. And you can choose from so many options such as poverty, environment, education, or health, whichever you think you learn more from and are passionate about.
Sure, just by traveling you can learn a lot about a new place, the locals, their lifestyle, their cultures and traditions but can you imagine how much you can learn by living with a family in Bangkok and helping them in their rice terraces? Or helping locals support endangered turtle conservation on the island of Australia? Or by teaching Ethiopian children? Or by assisting locals in temple restoration efforts in Sri Lanka? There is absolutely no better way to learn than by dissolving yourself in an unknown world surrounded by unknown people. The learning process is mutual and free of cost – making travel experiences more memorable, and meaningful.
Language is one of the biggest hurdle or barrier in traveling to another country. You might be traveling to a country every five years, or taking classes to learn the basic language, the best way you can learn a language is by living with the natives and learning from them.
Apart from learning from them, there is another great way to learn another language; by taking language lessons on the volunteer programs you will be taking. Some volunteer programs give language lessons, set around your volunteering schedule to make it easier to communicate if you are traveling to a country where locals are at very good at English, for example, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Brazil, Colombia, and Costa Rica, etc. This also gives the volunteer the confidence to meet strange people and get comfortable with them after the first meeting. However, you know love has no language.
Volunteer experience will look great on your resume
From New York to Dubai, you might have seen half of the world with your friends or family, but there is one thing you cannot gain out of traveling for fun; an experience shining brightly on your resume.
By demonstrating your experience in traveling overseas, helping people by taking up a social, economic, environmental or development projects, adapting to new and difficult living environments and conditions, building and breaking things and working alongside locals will scream experience on your resume. This will show how aware you are about what is going on in the world, and how many languages you can understand, or skills you have learned.
Types of Projects:
Listed down below are the three basic types of volunteer or humanitarian trips, you can make this year, no matter your age, nationality, education or experience.
Care Projects: This is the basic project type that allows participants to work and care for children, support early childhood development, especially children with special needs, in kindergartens and care centres to improve their lives.
Conservation Projects: This is the kind of project that allows you to connect with nature and save it. If you are into nature and its beauty, this is the kind of project you should decide to take up. This project will allow to see and breathe in the heart of the earth, the Amazon rainforests, Fiji, Botswana, and to help protect endangered animals and precious ecosystems.
Building Projects: This is a very important project and most third world countries are in need of volunteers like you to take part in such projects. These projects allow you to make the difference in the world by working hard with your two strong hands in designing and building an infrastructure, houses for the homeless and underprivileged, toilets, schools or a library etc.
How many times have you tried to make plans with your friends over coffee? Too many to remember, right? You might haven’t take up on traveling because traveling alone doesn’t sound quite appealing, in fact even quite safe? Well, with volunteer travel, there is no need to make plans after plans and then end up being alone to travel (and scared to death), as volunteer projects take in awesome individuals and send them in groups so you don’t have to worry about clashing with anybody’s calendar neither about traveling alone.
These programs will make sure you are collected by your local team and transported safely back and forth to your accommodation, take orientation, and make friends with your fellow participants so you never will have to be alone. If you are traveling for the first time, you might not be sure about traveling alone, so this is great for you as you will have the opportunity to live and work with people from the same age group as yours, as well as with the same passion to make a difference in the world as you. Chances are, you are going to make friends with some of the kindest and purest of souls out there. Cultural activities and a weekend trip will also help in making a network of new friends from around the world.
Projects cover everything
These volunteer programs take care of your in-country arrangements, from organizing your accommodation and volunteer placement, providing you with all the information and tools (such as volunteer training, language training etc.).
Not only this but before you book that flight, they will take care of your visas, vaccinations, packing lists as well as police checks, travel recommendations, accommodation, and transportation etc.
Get your Volunteer travel funded
In the world of crowdfunding, you don’t have to worry about where you will find the money to fund your volunteer trip. Especially if you are a student, you can convince friends and family or even strangers to fund your volunteer travel as many programs provide you with the opportunity and raise funds for your trip, which is known as “arranged volunteering.”
You can go to an organized program to ask them to do that for you and NGOs or Non-Governmental Organizations from the country where you volunteer will fund you. These fundraising tips and resources will assist you in a great deal in gaining the support of friends and family in helping fund the cost of your volunteer trip or raise donations for your journey of a lifetime.
However, this type of travel is more volunteer focused and might not fund you if you want to do anything else on your trip. And if your focus is entirely to make a difference in the world by volunteering, this type of arranged volunteering is the best way to go as you will be spending all your time, money and energy in bringing about that change, gaining experience, learning the culture, honing your skills, and learning about the people, cultures, and social problems of the host country.
Choose the best organizations to travel to volunteer
Spend as much time in picking the right organization to travel with as you do in picking a travel buddy. Remember, it might sound fun, and it even can be, but it is a big responsibility you are you taking up. You will love living with a host family, help them with their projects, and leave a positive impact on when you leave. And like Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”