Over the last few years, it has been slowly becoming more and more popular for young travel enthusiasts to jet off around the world to do work for various charities or take up volunteer work. In some cases, you will be working with children in an undeveloped village, and in others, you could find yourself buildings homes for local people. The range of work that groups like this do is huge, making it great for those looking for cheap travel. Of course, though, like most things, this comes with some negatives which have to be considered before you start considering this kind of travel. This post intends to exploring the new trend of charity travel and some issues associated with it.

In most cases, chances to travel with charities are rarely labeled as a vacation. Instead, you will be expected to work hard, and will need to do your part if your work is going to be successful. A lot of people struggle with this when they are first getting started. While they aren’t advertised as such, a lot of people look at things like conservation work and other charity ventures as a chance to see the world without having to pay for it. In reality, though, this will be taking resources directly out of the hands of people who desperately need them.

Avoiding the Allure of Charity or Volunteer Travel

Volunteers at a permaculture farm

The impact of people treating these trips without the right level of respect is massive, and it hurts a lot of people down the line. Likewise, though, even when people do turn up properly, this sort of holiday might not be so good for the local people. When it comes to building homes, for example, you are most certainly not the most qualified person in the area to be doing the work. This means that your presence there will be taking jobs directly from those who need them the most. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but it’s worth considering before you take the plunge. Along with this, you should also be realistic about the level of help you can give or make sure that your skills match the volunteer travel experiences you are seeking.

Avoiding the Allure of Charity or Volunteer Travel

Volunteers at an Antarctica Expedition

Just because some of these vacations aren’t great for the world, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find some work which will be useful. Conservation work is some of the most overlooked by people looking for this sort of travel opportunity. Giving you the chance to experience responsible wildlife travel in Africa, world changing work in Antarctica, and anything in between, most people will love this sort of option more than anything else. In reality, as long as the charity you’re working for does some good, it will be worth going on the trip you’re so excited about.

Hopefully, this piece will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your charity or volunteer travel. With options like this becoming more popular, it’s always worth being aware of the issues which can come with it. It’s never worth hurting a place when you’re there to help them. Instead, if you think an option could be harmful to your potential hosts, it will be worth looking at other options until you find the perfect one. After all, the whole idea behind this approach is to ‘travel with a purpose’.

Have you ever taken up volunteering during your travels? How was your experience? If you haven’t, is that something you would like to consider doing in the future?