Among the many creative ways to travel for free, or pretty damn close, we cover Volunteering quite a bit in How To Travel For Free.
As the book points out, this one of a kind cultural immersion is a great way to insure against “consumerist travel,” as well as providing the typical end discovery that you have received far more from the volunteer experience than you gave. There is no better way to become immersed in a community than to serve it – and in this way the “volunteer explore” travel concept can’t be beat.
I (Shelley) write a bit for Gap Daemon, a UK-based website geared at people taking a gap year. Recently one of my articles there outlined many aspects to volunteering your way around the world, including tips such as:
- Incorporate Volunteering into Existing Travel Plans
- Volunteer for Longer, Rather Than Shorter, Periods of Time
- Plan Your Volunteer Route for Maximum Effectiveness
- Follow Your Passion
Many non-profit organisations rely on volunteers to carry out their daily missions; if you plan it right, you can work your way around the world very cheaply by doing volunteer service gigs. David Clemmons, founder of VolunTourism, adds another perspective – the value that is created when people of different cultures become role models for each other. The influx of foreign voluntourists into isolated villages and impoverished communities provides a direct contact with alternative cultural traditions, especially for girls.
Seeing a woman from another country bending over a shovel, digging a canal or irrigation ditch, may influence the adult women and their daughters in ways that we are not currently aware,” says Clemmons.
Don’t overlook the possibility of volunteering for free or cheap travel – not to mention the incredible experiences it will bring. Click here to read the entire article at Gap Daemon.
Shelley and Keith