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Volunteer Travel – Is It for You?

The not-so-hidden-benefits of volunteerism (cause travel)

For some people, travel is an opportunity to escape their lives and explore someone else's world for a while. For those who island hop, beach surf or cruise, that exploring normally involves lots of umbrella-decorated drinks sipped in endless sunshine. But a vacation can also mean an opportunity to engage in humanitarian efforts or do volunteer work abroad.

Volunteering in the Dominican RepublicVolunteering in the Dominican RepublicHave you ever considered volunteer travel as a way to see the world? Volunteer vacations are diverse, experience-rich and best suited to people who like planning ahead but are agile enough to switch gears quickly if the situation warrants. They're also a lot of hard work with little time to relax on the beach - but the rewards are endless.

February & March - volunteer travel

Some people call it travel philanthropy, voluntourism (volunteerism) or cause travel but whatever name you use, it's a way to help others around the world by investing your time, energy or money while traveling. Volunteering while traveling can be a great way to use special skills like medicine, writing, working with animals or physical labor. It's also a cost-effective way to stay at destinations for longer periods of time. My friend James, who died in the Haiti earthquake, was a pro at finding volunteer work abroad while traveling.

Olivia MillwoodOlivia MillwoodOlivia Millwood, who I met through Twitter and then in person in 2011, recently traveled to Haiti to help. She'll be sharing her amazing stories about how she began the planning, what she did while she was there and what she's doing now that she's back home again.

During February and March, we'll be highlighting articles from across the web on volunteerism (cause travel). If you'd like to contribute an article to GoGirlfriend on your volunteer travel experiences, we'd love to read it. Shoot us an email and let's talk.

Scott Pralinsky, Tropical AdventuresScott Pralinsky, Tropical AdventuresTo help get you inspired, have a look at some of our previously published volunteer travel articles.

Scott Pralinsky, former chaplain to the US Air Force and founder of Tropical Adventures, shared his cultural enrichment programs in Costa Rica.

Kelly McIntyreKelly McIntyreKelly McIntyre volunteered in the Dominican Republic and wrote three stories for us.

I'm looking forward to the sharing of ideas we're in for on GoGirlfriend. Don't forget, we want to hear from you and share your volunteer travel stories too.

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