Just like bringing home a new skill from a vacation—like cooking or scuba diving—volunteering while you’re abroad is a great chance to add some self-fulfillment and good karma to any upcoming itinerary. If you’re able to take a long trip, or if you get the chance to take a sabbatical from work, you might want to consider turning your next vacation into an opportunity to do some good while you’re abroad.
There are many rewards to volunteering. Developing new skills, learning about the environment, helping less fortunate communities and people in need are just a few—not to mention that some organizations may offer free room and board or a stipend for your work, which can help make your travel even more affordable. And, taking several weeks or even months to engage with a meaningful cause can offer an amazing opportunity to experience change and see the outcomes of your efforts come to life.
But, before you take off to build schoolhouses in Cambodia or work on a nature preserve in Costa Rica, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you plan your altruistic adventure.