Volunteer travel offers a unique way to explore the world while giving back to communities. It’s a niche that’s perfect for those who wish to immerse themselves in new cultures and contribute positively. While I haven’t experienced a dedicated volunteer travel experience as an adult, I have fond memories of a mission trip to Jamaica during my teenage years with my church youth group, and my family and I spent a day at a school when we visited Ghana a few years ago. If you’re intrigued by the idea of volunteer travel, here are some starting points.
Consider looking into International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ), a fantastic option for travelers aiming to broaden their cultural horizons and global awareness. Established in 2007, IVHQ has facilitated more than 80,000 volunteer journeys across over 40 countries. The programs cater to various categories, including solo travelers, teens, gap year students, families, mature travelers, groups and those interested in medical or mission volunteering.
Another remarkable organization is Global Leadership Adventures, which offers purposeful leadership programs for teenagers and young adults. Its adventures integrate community service into the experience. Among its popular destinations, adventures typically last two to three weeks in places like Ghana, Bali, Thailand, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Galapagos, Peru, Alaska and Hawaii.
As we reflect on our blessings and seek ways to serve during the holiday season, it would be wonderful to hear about your experiences and thoughts regarding volunteer travel. Here’s to seizing the day and making meaningful contributions to the world.
Contributed by Edina resident Jasmine Brett Stringer, a professional keynote speaker, on-air lifestyle expert, author and founder of Carpe Diem with Jasmine and #ShareTheMicMN. Find her on Instagram @carpediemjbs or jasminebrettstringer.com.