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The Vacation You May Have Never Dreamed Of

Summer is right around the corner and in your mind you may be on the beach already. Before you slather on the sunscreen, you may want to consider a different kind of getaway this year. Rather than a traditional vacation, you could rejuvenate yourself by volunteering your time to a nonprofit. This has become so popular they’ve even coined the term “voluntourism” to promote the notion.

There are numerous opportunities with various organizations from researching whales to teaching English to children. You could build houses, plant flowers or even help prevent disease.

Once you’ve determined what kind of volunteering you want to do, it’s time to research a nonprofit organization whose mission matches your passions. A volunteer vacation can whisk you away to foreign lands or you can stay right in your hometown.

Many nonprofits offer volunteer vacation packages and the programs are specifically outlined on their websites, including the length of time you would need to devote. With some organizations you may have to work with them to create a specific plan.

If you decide to travel a long distance, you will likely be responsible for the costs associated with the travel, including lodging. Some programs may actually cost to participate but know that the money goes to promote the mission of the organization.

You may not see the largest ball of twine, but a volunteer vacation may be one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences you will ever have.