These days, people are looking for more from their holidays. Jaded by the mass-produced, identikit travel experiences pushed out by large corporations, they’ve tapped into a growing trend to give something back whilst away from home. And who can blame them? Travel is all about gaining new experiences, seeing new places and developing as a person. Volunteering during a holiday gives you all these opportunities.
Volunteer vacationers are as diverse as our planet’s incredible range of environments and abundance of people. From protecting turtles’ eggs to delivering vital medical supplies, there’s something out there for everyone.
At Much Better Adventures, we work with a host of the world’s leading volunteer holiday providers, bringing the best under one roof. Here are just five worth your consideration.
Deliver Humanitarian Aid on Horseback
For thrill seekers, nothing can beat cantering through the deserts of northern West India. This vast, unspoilt region is ripe for exploration. But it’s remoteness works against it too: many Rajasthan residents suffer from poor medical infrastructure. Deliveries of equipment and expertise are therefore vital.
So if you have plans to be in the area, why not add to the depth of your experience by volunteering on an important humanitarian mission? Horses are excellent for carrying supplies, so load them up with medical equipment. By helping out, you’re able to make a real difference to locals’ lives, while having an epic adventure yourself.
Teach English and Environmental Awareness
Teaching English abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience for all involved. Offering you deep interaction with local people, it is a great way to delve into a new culture. Just as beneficially, local people learn English from a native speaker and are able to develop confidence in their language skills. Volunteers may also be given the chance to share their knowledge about environmental awareness, an important step in convincing locals to protect their natural resources.
These kinds of volunteer holidays often include free time each day, giving you ample opportunity to enjoy activities in the local area, whether they be sports meets or just chatting with new neighbours. English teaching trips vary in length from a couple of weeks to many months.
Volunteer with Lions in South Africa
The lion – the king of the cats – is one of the most majestic animals on the planet. So, what could be better than a volunteer position helping research the impacts of reintroducing it and other animals into an incredible nature reserve?
Volunteer projects could be your best chance to really help animals. Through guided courses and practical work with rangers, you develop new skills that you might not have a chance to otherwise. Research into endangered species, for example, is vital to the preservation of our ecosystems; however the (human and material and financial) resources to do this are sometimes hard to find. This is where volunteer holidays can come in to play: they help fill this gap so that the research can continue.
Protect Turtles as Part of Your College Studies
College students often think of volunteering holidays as rewarding additions to their studies. By putting theory into practice you gain a fuller understanding of your academic pursuits. Such experiences can also provide solid fodder for your CV, showing your commitment to your field and an appetite for contextualising your knowledge.
Turtle conservation projects are great area for students. Not only do they allow for hands-on care of these special marine creatures, but they are often located in rather nice corners of the world. Who would complain about that?
There’s a serious side to it all, of course, as many species are endangered and a lot of hard work is needed to help protect them. Roles can include monitoring beaches, caring for young turtles, researching populations and educating locals about how to prevent poaching.
Mix Diving with Reef Conservation
One of the most magical qualities of diving is experiencing the incredible submarine environment. You have only to look through the range of diving holidays to understand the increase in the number of volunteer holidays set up to help protect these garden hotspot for divers.
As reefs exist all over the world, you rarely have to travel too far to help out. Many reef-restoration volunteer holidays also integrate diving courses, giving you the ideal mix of conservation and learning.