Volunteer vacations are a great way to broaden your horizons without breaking the bank and undergo truly life-changing experiences along the way. Help children in impoverished nations go to school, provide food and water for needy villages, or help wildlife out of desperate situations. Learn about the world, it`s cultures and yourself while knowing that you are doing something truly good to help others.
The 10 best volunteer vacations are:
Arabian Leopard Conservation, Oman.
Working with a long-term research project, help look for signs of the endangered Arabian Leopard by setting camera traps, speaking to the local populace, searching for evidence of footprints and scouting the local watering holes.
Utila Iguana Conservation, Utila, Caribbean.
The Utila Iguana is nearly extinct. Help maintain the small breeding population by feeding the iguanas, protecting their eggs, nursing orphaned young and maintaining the iguanas` environment.
Giant Panda Conservation, China.
As a volunteer Panda Keeper in the Xi`an Panda Centre you will have exclusive, close-up access to the bears, with the opportunity to observe pandas in the wild nearby.
Big Cat Rehabilitation, Bolivia.
Feed the animals, assemble or clean cages, nurse orphaned young, or take large cats for daily walks in the forest.
Wildlife Training, South Africa.
Learn about African wildlife, conservation projects and ecosystems over a four-week course with a view to providing you with experience and knowledge if you would like to continue on into a conservation career.
Community Volunteering, Nepal.
Over 40% of the population in Nepal live below the poverty line. As a volunteer you will assist by teaching English to young children, providing support to orphaned children and taking part in small, community-based conservation projects – all in the shadow of the breathtaking Himalayan foothills.
Business Mentoring, Kenya.
If you have five years` business experience, you could make a tremendous difference to small businesses in Kenya who are fuelled by enthusiasm but have little to no experience. Offering one-to-one support to several small businesses during your stay will make a big difference to local communities long after you have returned home.
Jungle Conservation and Research, Peru.
Help out on a conservation project in the Peruvian jungle and learn about the ancient Inca culture, rainforest ecology and high cloud forest.
Water Relief Project, Sinai Desert.
Contribute hard work to help build a dam for the Bedouin communities in the Sinai Desert. Over 80 families will benefit from the dam once it is complete, which will save a lot of lives.
Village Africa is a charity dedicated to providing an education for underprivileged children in Tanzania. Help these children learn English in a gorgeous mountain setting.
Volunteer vacations are often a month or longer, so rather than paying for long-term parking at the airport compare car hire Heathrow; returning a hire car to the depot at the airport will be far more cost-effective.