Traveling around the world and taking exotic vacations are on a lot of people’s to-do list.  Why not do some good for the community you are visiting and also for yourself by volunteering while traveling?

Here are some ways you can help while accomplishing your goals of traveling:

Put a roof over someone’s head – for those who like some physical activities during vacation, why not help build shelters for those who do not have the physical or financial ability to do so.  Whether you are building a house for a family, a school for children, or a community center for all, volunteering your time and muscles will definitely make you feel better on vacation.  One of the most well-known organizations to offer this type of “volunteer vacation” is Habitat for Humanity.

Heal a heavy heart – for those who have a medical background, there are many places in the world that needs your expertise.  Since people in this profession tend to work long hours, a change in scenery, even if there is still work to be done, can seem like a vacation.  A long-standing organization to offer this type of volunteer is Doctors Without Borders.

Grow a lasting relationship – for those who have a green thumb or love the outdoors, here is your chance to grow and nurture a lasting relationship with a distant community.  Help build irrigation systems, harvest corps, and participate in daily work of a community.  A good start for these kinds of projects can be found at Global Citizens Network.

Feed a hungry mind – for those educators among us, spread the knowledge in remote areas of the world, fuel the imagination of children, and see the world for yourself!  Education goes beyond the classrooms, beside teaching children to read and do math, knowledge in health and nutrition is vital for a growing community.  Start your research with Global Volunteers to learn more.

These are just some of the ways a person can see the world while lending a helping hand, there are so many more opportunities for different interests.

Some may argue that these types of “volunteer vacation” are more beneficial to the traveler than the community they are helping.  It may be true when you see what the traveler is set to gain: being able to visit exotic destinations, save in transportation fees, have safety in numbers, and gain experiences that build characters.  However, any help volunteer help is better than none.

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Noc writes for Travel Advantage Network, which offers a whole vacation programs to families and individuals, which help creates lifelong vacation memories.