Volunteer vacations can provide volunteers with a memorable experience. Whether it is a good or a bad memorable experience depends a lot on if the volunteer vacation choice was a good match for the volunteer. One person may enjoy digging water wells in a third world country while living in a dirt floored hut, while another person may prefer to teach at a school and stay in a hotel. Both types of volunteer work are important and provide a needed service. There are many volunteer opportunities available, take your time to do the research to find the one that matches you.
Planning Your Volunteer Vacation
Do your research on volunteer opportunities. What type of volunteer work do you want to do? Do you have any special skills to offer a volunteer organization? If you are a doctor, an engineer or have other special skills, there may be special volunteer opportunities open to you. Even if you do not posses special skills, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available. How long do you want your trip to be? Where do you want to go? How much money do you want to spend? Usually volunteers are expected to pay for there own expenses. What type of living conditions are you willing to be in? For some volunteer vacations, volunteers have to live in third world conditions without utilities and other basic amenities. Once you have the answers to these questions, you can start searching for volunteer opportunities that match your preferences. Always do your research to verify the legitimacy of any charitable organization you choose to work with.
Once you have chosen a volunteer vacation, it is time to make trip preparations. Speak with the organization that you have chosen to work with to find out any special information that you need to know. If you are traveling out of the country, get your passport and visas in order and check to see if you are required to get any vaccinations. Research the weather conditions of the area you will be traveling to so that you can buy clothing if needed. If you are volunteering in an area where the people speak a different language than you do, take some language classes or buy a language book, to teach yourself basic phrases. Most important, research the culture and customs of the area. This is especially important if you will be visiting another country. Some countries have much different dress codes and social customs. Failing to follow these customs can offend the local people.
The Volunteer Vacation
Remember that the purpose of your vacation is to serve others. Pull your own weight and participate whole-heatedly. Some charitable organizations are run better than others. Do not get upset if you do not receive a whole lot of support. If the organization is not really organized, then they need your help even more. Do not assume someone will hold your hand and walk you through everything. Take the initiative to jump in and offer your services, but be careful not to overstep your bounds. Be humble, polite, respectful and willing to serve and you will do well.
Article Written By Rose Kivi
Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.