You got a heart of gold — and a second helping of wanderlust. Do good with your good time when you take a vacation that lets you raise money, raise awareness, and even raise walls. Don’t worry: You’ll still have fun.
Hands Up Holidays takes you to Peru to teach English or Spanish (eres genial!) and repair buildings, and to Kenya for bird monitoring and tree planting. DailyCandy’s favorite trip is the Yucatan Explorer: You assist the elderly, but the biking, snorkeling, and kayaking sound more like fun than work. We love the site because it lets you search for trips by comfort level — meaning your benevolent bones won’t have to make do with a tent.
Forgo the jungle for the sea on an Earthwatch expedition. Voluntourists do scientific field research or conservation work in one of 40 countries. Help preserve dolphins while living in a teensy Greek village; travel to the Bering Sea to study declining seal, sea lion, and otter populations; or band too-cute penguins in South Africa.
Trek Amfar’s physically challenging fund-raisers generate money for the group’s research programs and global initiatives. In order to go you must raise at least $10,000. (Dad? Can you do me a favor?) Past excursions have gone to China, Vietnam, and Namibia. This year, it’s a twelve-day hike over Northern Thailand’s Old Elephant Trail through breathtaking countryside.
Who says giving back can’t be glam? The Ritz-Carlton Give Back Getaways let you be do-gooder by day, pampered guest by night. Guard turtles in Cancun, build homes in Jakarta, help save the wetlands in Marina del Rey. Afterward? A well-deserved sleep at the Ritz (if you wish).
And a satisfaction that money can’t buy.
For more voluntour opportunities all over the world, go to voluntourism.org.