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Take a Volunteer Vacation

It’s vacation season from coast to coast. And with voluntourism participation as robust as ever, this may be the best year to make your move. The growth of the industry has led to opportunities across the country and on every continent. You can even head to the Southern Hemisphere for a complete change of season and scene. Here are a few thoughts to help narrow your search.

Get away from the office, with the office.

What better way to lobby for a little extra time away from the office, than to organize a corporate volunteer event? Cross-Cultural Solutions offers corporate volunteer opportunities that not only give employees a chance to make a difference, they can strengthen team relationships, increase employee engagement and enhance problem-solving skills. As a skills-based volunteer with MovingWorlds.org, you and/or your colleagues can join an effort that has led to positive change in more than 70 countries. And GlobeAware offers corporate volunteer vacations for groups of 5 to 500, with no specific skillset required.

Grab some friends and go.

Groups of all sizes have helped make a difference over school holidays and summer break when they team up with Global Volunteers. The organization even offers customized programming for the LGBT community.  ProjectsAbroad is another organization with specific opportunities for teens, college students and graduates, seniors and more, in addition to short-term ideas for one to two week trips. If you don’t want to go overseas, but still what to make a difference outside of town, Habitat for Humanity can help match your group to opportunities all across the country, with as small or large of a time commitment as you’re willing to make.

Make it a family thing.

Visit goeco and learn how you can “explore new cultures and environments, and give your kids a true hands-on understanding of the wildlife and communities you meet.” The organization specializes in family volunteer vacations and offers a Top 7 list of opportunities from which to choose. With Outreach360, you and your family can directly impact communities in Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic, bringing the gift of education to the underserved. And with Casa de Sion, you can travel to Guatemala for a life-changing experience immersed in Mayan culture.

Feel free to fly solo.

Take the volunteer quiz at VolunteerHQ.org and discover where you can make a meaningful impact with new friends and agents of change. The organization has supported more than 100,000 volunteers on five different continents, and has opportunities for all ages, interests, skill levels and time commitments. For a long-term vacation from everyday life, the Peace Corps may be right for you—where 94% of volunteers commit to serving two years or more. There are currently more than 7,000 active Peace Corps volunteers, and the program is ideal for recent college graduates, retirees, or individuals looking for a world-changing experience while in between jobs.

Find more opportunities in your community, and across the country when you use this simple volunteer search and enter keywords “travel,” “international” or “abroad.”    

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