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Top Five Volunteering Holidays

  • Tom Marvin
  • 28 March 2012

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.

Humanitarian horseback rider in the desert

Horseback riding and humanitarian aid go together with Relief Riders International

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.

Kids and volunteer teacher

Teach English in Borneo, Malaysia, with Ecoteer

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.

Student holding baby turtle

Student holding a baby turtle as part of his volunteer work with SEE Turtles

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.

Reef targeted with conservation, seen from a boat

Reef conservation and diving are twin pursuits of Reef Conservation International

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.

There are many more opportunities than the five presented here. Why not start your adventure on Much Better Adventures’ Volunteering Holidays page?

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Much Better Adventures is a place where adventure seekers can find a wide range of fantastic locally owned and independent adventure travel choices from around the world. By putting travellers in direct contact with providers we cut time and costs for all involved. We love sustainability, so those companies who can show us their commitment to sustainable practice rise to the top!
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adventure travel, animal conservation, cities, festivals & events, marine conservation, oceans & reefs, opinion, top five, voluntourism, whl.travel,

2 Responses to “Top Five Volunteering Holidays”

  1. What great ideas here for volunteering – excellent list!

  2. junny says:

    The kids of Malaysia make a cute post, I love them!
    You realy have a wonderful volunteer holidays, the horse, the baby turtle, the incredible submarine environment, all of them are so exciting!

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