Vacations are normally meant to rejuvenate, reduce stress, relax and even rekindle relationships. It’s also a way to immerse yourself in a different culture and experience different cuisines. Or for the not so faint-hearted it’s a time to go on an adventure. If you’ve already been there or done that then try a volunteer vacation and do something that will also help Mother Earth.
Check out some of the different volunteer vacation options below:
1) Want to learn more about the past? If you want to go on an archaeological expedition you can join EarthWatch on many of their expeditions. You can help unearth dinosaur fossils in Texas, discover Italy’s ancient Estruscan and Roman coast, excavate a Roman fort in England’s north coast, or piece together at an Ice Age at a mammoth site. Join scientists as research assistants and go an an adventure. Learn more.
2) Are you a scuba diver? Take an active role in helping conserve coral reefs and help the scientists gather data. You can join the folks at ReefCheck.org on numerous expeditions. You can visit destinations such as Malaysia, Honduras, Philippines, Maldives, and Oman. The trips. are generally 1-2 weeks with an average price of $2000 (not including airfare). Learn more.
3) Do you have an interest in agricultural farming? If you’ve always wondered where organic food comes from you can join the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms for your next volunteer vacation. They provide opportunities to work at an organic farm or smallhold in exchange for room and board. There’s a $20 annual membership fee to access the directory. You don’t need to have much farming experience and the program encourages the exchange of agricultural knowledge. Learn more.
4) Love dolphins and whales? You can join a research team in Scotland and help with the conservation and protection of dolphins, whales, porpoises. You will get hands on experience on all levels of the research, become knowledgeable of the animals and their environment. Learn more.
5) Want to explore Old Europe? Experience an unforgettable European vacation by exploring the hiking trails and glaciers in Iceland, help conserve the enchanted woods in Germany, or what about harvest olives at a beautiful Villa in Italy? The Conservation Volunteers in Europe has some amazing volunteer opportunities. Learn more.
Have you been on a volunteer vacation lately? I’d love to hear our experience and leave us a comment below.
Photo credit: J. D. Ebberly / CC 2.0