Are you looking for a different kind of vacation opporuntity for your teen? A new trend called Voluntourism provides an amazing opportunity for young people to do good with their vacation time and give back while exploring the world.
Families can pick a destination and type of project. Here are some example voluntourism trips:
- Wildlife conservation in Peru
- Endangered species work in Africa
- Building Schools in Southeast Asia
- Helping Orphanages in South America
How can parents and teens voluntour successfully? Here are some tips for you:
1. Don’t Expect Luxury
Voluntourism is about helping others–it’s not about luxury hotels or big buffets. So be sure to get in the right mindset.
2. Practice A Language
While many trips do not require foreign language skills. if you took Spanish or French in High School consider signing up for a trip in a country that speaks that language. This can help you practice and your connection with local people.
3. It’s Not Free!
Usually voluntourists pay for travel expenses and sometimes even lodging or food. While this is far less than a vacation, think about it as part of your investment in doing good.
4. Safety First
Check the political climate and area crime reports before booking your trip. Also be sure to get immunizations and a full medical check-up before leaving.
5. Do Your Due Dilligence
Make sure your program is legitimate and has had success in the past. Go through a reputable organization and get references from past participants. Here are some great programs for teens.
Voluntourism Trips for Teens
- People to People Ambassador Programs for Teens
- United Planet – China Summer Teaching Program
- GVI Foundations – Greece
- Ecology Project International – Yellowstone Wildlife Ecology Summer Research Program
- Amigos summer programs – Nicaragua : Boaco
- Travel For Teens – Cinque Terre Service
- Journeys Within – Student Volunteer Tour and Journeys Within Global Connections