If you are looking to take a different type of vacation this year consider a volunteer vacation. Volunteer vacations give you the opportunity to see a different part of the world and make a small difference by contributing to a specific project while you are away. Each trip can last anywhere from a week to several weeks and range from working with scientists on research projects to building schools in Guatemala to maintaining forest trails.
Besides benefiting the project that you volunteer with you will benefit from the well deserved downtime and an experience that you cannot get from a regular vacation. Here are four well known organizations that have been matching up travelers with worthwhile projects for years.
This non profit organization sets up volunteer vacations to nine countries in Central and South America and Asia. Globe Aware sets up their vacations in one week intervals and the work projects range from working with Buddhists monks in Thailand to teaching English to Peruvian children in an isolated mountain village. The trips allow plenty of time for after work exploring and sightseeing and because most of the locations are in residential rather than in tourist locations you are able to immerse yourself in the culture.