6 vacation spots to satisfy your inner philanthropist

Take a volunteer vacation that satisfies more than just your wanderlust.

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The diverse and vivid coral reef in the Red Sea. (Photo: Marko Teräs/Flickr) The diverse and vivid coral reef in the Red Sea. (Photo: Marko Teräs/Flickr) (Photo: Marko Teräs/Flickr)

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Taking a volunteer vacation

Sure, vacations bring a welcome change of scenery and much-needed down time. But sometimes there’s just too much down time and not enough authentic connections to create meaningful memories.

Volunteer vacations are one way to avoid that. Opportunities exist around the world to help out on worthy projects – everything from protecting endangered wildlife to teaching educationally deprived kids to read. In exchange, you typically get room and board.

Yes, you have to pay something to play (usually airfare and program fees), and the accommodations can be minimalist. But on the flip side, many volunteer trips are cheaper than booking a hotel and frequenting restaurants in the same location. Plus, most offer ample R&R time to explore the sites around you. Best of all, you get the satisfaction of making a difference while making one-of-a-kind travel memories.

The following do-gooder vacation spots are just a sampling of possibilities for your next family jaunt, summer vacation or spring break.

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