Make a difference on your next vacation and save money too…plan a volunteer vacation for your next getaway!
The good news…part or all of your program fees and travel expenses may be tax deductible.
Check with the nonprofit organization that you’re planning on donating your time and money to, and always check with your tax preparer.
There are literally hundreds of volunteer travel opportunities all over the world…whether it’s a volunteer work abroad program, or a volunteer vacation right in your own country!
Build a Habitat for Humanity home, help restore Coral Reefs, help preserve a National Park, or volunteer for a medical mission. These are just a few examples of how you can help out your favorite cause and save in the process.
A few tips before you go:
1. Think about where you want to go and what you want to do. Are you looking to pass on your talent and expertise or to do something totally different than you’ve ever done before?
2. Find out what the cost will be, if the group really is a nonprofit, you may be able write off part or all of your trip on your taxes.
3. Find out what the accommodations will be…some trips may include a stay in a tent, simple motel, or in a dormitory setting. Ask if there will there be electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing? Ask what type of food will be served? Will you have to assist in the preparation of the food? If you’re staying at a hotel, ask for a discounts..they may offer special deals to volunteers.
4. Find out what the physical requirements will be…Clearing trails in a national park can be strenuous, but many are considered easy and are for any age group.
5. Also, find out about what the weather is like where you are going. Some age groups like young children and seniors may be sensitive to extreme heat for example.
6. Do your homework! Check out the organization that you’re interested in working with, talk to others who have volunteered, and research on the internet. The sites listed below are a great place to start:
- Habitat for Humanity to build 30 homes in south Columbia (columbiamissourian.com)
- Frommer’s 500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference Offers Volunteer Ideas for Every Traveler (prweb.com)
A volunteer vacation can be rewarding in more ways than one! Please let us know what your volunteer travel experience has been, we’d love to hear from you. Leave your comment below, or contact us anytime.