Looking for something a little more fulfilling from your spring break this year? Why not spend it volunteering and doing something to help other people? We list the best options for your volunteer spring break.
American high school and college students don’t have to think hard to call up mental images when the words “spring break” are thrown around. It’s a rite of passage, right? But why not spend your next spring break helping other people instead of participating in endless beach parties. Let’s go over some amazing options for alternative spring breaks that are not only fun, but will leave you fulfilled as well. Cambodia: This is the other C, the one that isn’t Cancun. You can travel to Asia with Pepy Tours and spend your time immersed in making positive changes as well as learning about another culture entirely different from your own. From their site, “We provide unique travel experiences that allow participants to explore Cambodia on a deeper level while learning about development, responsible tourism, and global citizenship.” Road Monkey: This adventure philanthropy organization says, “Our goal is to produce thoughtful small-group expeditions that avoid the clichés of tourism and instead reward you with connections to people and places others can't see.” You won’t have to go far, as they have expeditions to places as close as the Adirondack Mountains. However, you can also travel with them to countries like Tanzania, Burma, India, Peru, Nicaragua and Vietnam. You might find yourself building a food-generating greenhouse, providing a modern kitchen for a family, or even tackling the problem of illiteracy by creating a school. No matter where you go with Road Monkey, you will come home changed – for the better. Gadventures: One of the world’s best adventure travel tour companies, whose founder also began the fantastic non-profit: PLANETERRA, of course has volunteer tours. Instead of just taking a vacation, with Gadventures, you can give something back. Learn by cultural immersion and work side-by-side with locals in countries like China, Costa Rica, Kenya, Sierra Leone or Brazil. Sierra Club: Another option that allows you to see more of the United States is by joining a service project with the Sierra Club. You’ll spend more time in our beautiful National Parks and green spaces, helping to preserve and maintain them for future generations. They’re one of our best treasures, so why not help ensure we don’t lose them? From planting trees to research projects at whale calving grounds in Maui to assisting with archaeological site restoration in New Mexico, there are a lot of incredible options for having fun while helping your country! Close to Home: Instead of going far away, or going away at all, how about visiting Volunteer Match and looking for ways to help within your own area. They can connect you with projects and organizations that are in your community or in others nearby that need support, muscle, financial help and increased visibility. You’ll likely save money and while you may not get that spring-break tan, you will be able to stay warm and come home reinvigorated from the knowledge that you’ve truly made a difference! Kirsten Alana is a professional photographer, writer, teacher and social media consultant. She has worked with brands like AOL, Expedia and Beck’s Beer; co-hosted #ExpChat, #TNI and #FriFotos on twitter; as well as been on-air talent for commercials and travel shows on networks like CNN and AMC. She enjoys teaching photography at conferences all over the globe but her true passion is simply inspiring people to see and know more of the world. Related Links: Life-Changing Road Monkey Adventure: http://blog.eaglecreek.com/read/adventure-travel/post-1-life-changing-roadmonkey-adventure/ Travel Inspiration: Pushing Boundaries: http://blog.eaglecreek.com/read/adventure-travel/travel-inspiration-pushing-boundaries/ Creeker Volunteer Project: Local Food Bank: http://blog.eaglecreek.com/read/creeker-volunteer-project-local-food-bank/