Voluntourism is a great way to create a memorable vacation and make a difference in people’s lives at the same time. Voluntourism is a term describing the combination of travel and volunteer service.
Guest blogger Scott Couchenour and his family recently embarked on a mission trip to Jamaica. They did construction work and led Bible studies during their visit to the island. Their trip is an excellent example of voluntourism. Scott described his family’s experience in the Everyday Giving Blog post Mission work is doable.
The number of people voluntouring is rising. Travelocity conducted its annual forecast poll and discovered that 11 percent of the respondents plan to volunteer during their vacations in 2007 (up from 6 percent in 2006).
Websites and programs supporting voluntouring are growing as well. Search on the terms "voluntouring" and "voluntourism" and you will be presented with a significant number of websites to learn more about the concept. Here are a couple of organizations to get you started:
- VolunTourism International is an organization dedicated to the topic. There is a significant amount of information regarding voluntouring on their website at http://www.voluntourism.org. It includes a step-by-step explanation on how to identify the perfect voluntouring opportunity for you.
- Travelocity recognizes there are people with a strong dedication to voluntouring who are not able to afford the travel expenses needed. Travelocity’s Travel For Good program provides grants to some of those who are in this situation. You can learn more at http://www.travelocity.com/travelforgood.
Consider helping others when you plan your vacation this year. You will be making a difference, building terrific memories and feeling good about your efforts all at the same time.