Voluntourism – Making Your Travel Count


Trends, fashions and styles come and go, and the travel industry is not immune to such fluctuations. What’s the newest travel trend on the scene? It’s voluntourism, the bringing together of volunteering with tourism to create an aid-giving, hands-on and feel-good holiday combo.

Voluntourism is a tourist or travelling experience that involves an element of volunteering for a charitable cause. Volunteering trips are nothing new, but whereas they once involved extended periods of community involvement or aid work, voluntourism offers shorter bouts of volunteering opportunities intermixed with sightseeing or other travel or tourism experiences.

Travel companies and charity organisations both jumped on the volunteer bandwagon when in the 1990s when they detected a rising desire from tourists to get more out of – and give more – during their holidays, as well as the increasing popularity of the student ‘gap year’.

Today, these hybrid trips are available in many Third World or underprivileged countries that not only need the time, skills and money of Westerners but also offer beautiful historical and natural attractions. Interested in a trip to Indonesia? Bali holidays are perfect for voluntourism expeditions. Bali flights, accommodation and volunteer opportunities are all readily available for willing travellers.

Interested? Here are some of the benefits of voluntourism

  1. Helping people. Voluntourism allows you to do something good for those less fortunate or the environment and travel at the same time. This mixture of purposes has made voluntourism a popular option for the student Gap Year, because students get to take time out while also doing something good for others.
  2. Get off the beaten track. Because voluntourism often takes place in local villages, communities and isolated areas, voluntourism takes travellers off the beaten track meaning you’ll see places, communities and areas of the countryside that other tourists don’t get to see. Even better, working and meeting the locals allows voluntourists to get a first hand insight into the local culture and customs.
  3. Giving skills as opposed to money. Those participating in voluntourism will be giving their time and their skills as opposed to just money, allowing for a more rewarding and engaging experience.
Source by EN Jio