Combining travel with volunteering allows you to experience the culture and beauty of a destination while providing valuable resources to those in need. With current economic times putting a strain on travel budgets, many people find it rewarding to combine their sense of adventure with their desire to help.
This week the final results of the Volunteer Travel Insights 2009 survey, conducted in conjunction with Brandt Travel Guides and Lasso Communications, were reported by GeckoGo. The survey compiled answers from 2481 people worldwide and is considered the largest international volunteer survey ever conducted to date.
While volunteer travel is often considered a group effort the survey revealed that 57% of respondents take part alone. Overall, activities of choice include humanitarian work (62%), conservation and teaching (56%), community development (53%) and building (28%).
Currently the most popular destinations for volunteer travel overall are Peru and Brazil while respondents in the U.S. rank Peru and Costa Rica among their top destinations.
Volunteer travelers often leave their experience feeling as though they have gained much more than they have given. Seventy-seven percent of respondents agree that they had a very meaningful experience and an additional 22% rated the experience as meaningful.
Volunteering abroad does require a time investment as the survey indicates that 76% of respondents traveled for at least two weeks and 51% had traveled for more than a month for one trip. However, with almost 100% of the survey respondentsindicating that they had a meaningful experience that may be reason enough to save up the time off and make your next vacation a volunteering vacation abroad.
Photo by Columbus GV Team