The professionals at travel accommodation company Easy Villas tell us that for those who like to put something back into a community or just help others less fortunate, volunteering may be the answer to what to do on your holiday travels. There are many different ways you can volunteer and many different countries where people can go to offer their services. Of course, you don’t just turn up somewhere and ask if you can volunteer. There has to be some sort of arrangement and structure.
There are many opportunities for voluntary work and you can find a lot of them on the Internet or by contacting charitable organisations. Here are just some of the opportunities. Choose one that interests you, whether it is to do with sports, animals or conservation.
There are also opportunities for families to have a volunteering holiday and this can be a great way to teach your children about other cultures. Having children along on the trip is a good way to get the children to open up to you quickly, as children often make friends in such situations very easily.
- You can be placed in a school in India to assist with coaching sports or even just to help the children practice their English speaking skills, since many schools now teach English. Project coordinators ensure you can make the best use of your skills and that the children you work with a the right age for your experience.
- Families can also volunteer to help with turtle conservation in Costa Rica. The trip can be tailor made to suit the volunteers at any time of the year, however, July to mid-December are the most important months for turtle nesting and hatching. It can teach the children team work and get the whole family off the beaten track to see some of the lesser known beaches of the country. Much activity is at night, but kids are usually quite happy to stay up late and they can sleep in or nap in the day if they need to. It’s not all work, with plenty of opportunities to go horse riding, swimming, surfing and visiting a butterfly farm.
- Volunteering in a South African school to help children develop skills such as reading and writing can be combined with a mini-safari in Kruger National Park and bird-watching opportunities. Accommodation is provided for the week of volunteering and there is access to other places of interest such as the Blyde River Canyon.
There are also many opportunities for voluntary work for singles or couples. Many people go for three weeks and spend one or two of them volunteering and the rest on holiday sightseeing or just relaxing. You can choose to work in many different countries and not just eastern ones. Many of the opportunities involve some kind of animal conservation and include saving or rehabilitating monkeys, big cats, elephants, bears, dolphins and other marine animals.
It’s the ideal way to see something of what other countries are doing and visit a country you may not have thought about as your holiday or travel destination.