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Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  139 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
For those looking for a way to make a difference while on vacation--simultaneously getting away and using their talents to improve the world--this guide shows you how a short-term volunteer stint can transform your life as much as the people, animals, and ecology you choose to help. This fully updated edition is filled with in-depth information and profiles of more than 15 ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1992)
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Feb 06, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must-have resource for those who wish to use their vacation time to help others, see the world, and apply their skills and interests to a good cause.

The 11th edition is up-to-date, thorough, and filled with just the right balance of important information and personal narratives.

The trips are presented in alphabetical order and are also indexed by:

• Cost
• Length
• Location
• Season
• Project type
• Family-friendly projects
• Disability-friendly projects
• Senior-friendly projects

The book i
Feb 27, 2010 Mo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guide-books
This is essentially a phone/contact book for different organizations around the world that offer volunteer opportunities. Finding organizations that don't charge you an arm and a leg for your volunteer work can sometimes be difficult, unless you're volunteering in the States someplace close to where you live. I never found anything that worked for me, check it out from the library instead of buying it.
Jean Grant
Sep 19, 2011 Jean Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pleasant introduction, and I'm going on a 3-week volunteer trip with one of the groups they recommend. It's a very "factual" book, but only shows the "good" aspect of volunteering. After reading Paul Theroux's Dark Star Safari and V.S. Naipaul's book on Africa (title escapes me), I wish the editors had a section pointing out what some intelligent naysayers believe.
Jan 31, 2012 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great way to start dreaming, scheming, and planning for my next travel adventure! I'm a grad student at the moment, and am excited to see so many opportunities that are relevant to my studies and career growth. It gives me a sense of having meaningful and exciting options, despite the current frustration of the job market.

The information in this book is very balanced--just enough, but not too much--to give a very realistic, usable snapshot into each of the organizations featured.
Mar 04, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, travel
This is the book to read if you are interested in volunteering somewhere for your vacation. The book is arranged alphabetically by volunteer organization and there's a little something for everyone included.

Information included for each entry is:

Name of volunteer group; contact information including email address & website; project type, e.g. historic preservation, natural conservation, education, etc.; mission statement of the organization; year the organization was founded; funding source
If you don't vacation well (can't sit still, don't want to be a tourist), you might want to consider doing something productive/meaningful with the time you have off. Volunteer Vacations offers listings/descriptions/information for many organizations that provide service opportunities for people of all ages and circumstances. There's bound to be something in this volume that will fit into your time schedule, budget, and desired geographic area.

This is probably not something you want to read all
Laser Cat
For what it is, this book isn't bad. It's a reference book that lists all of the various opportunities to travel and volunteer at the same time. I went through the book in s few hours and marked off the various organisations that I was interested in. Even though the index was very helpful, I thought this book could have been organised a little better. For example, some of the organisations were so broad in the type of work that they did, that they covered everything from ecology to teaching Engl ...more
Kyle Kurtzal
This book has a great hook, and is great at getting you excited and making you dream about being a good person, however it's functionality is depressingly low. Many of these "opportunities" are just a page with a name of a business giant and a general description of what they do. There's no real direction given as to how to approach said business. Many other "opportunities" have very high costs involved. I have to wonder if it would be better for me to spend $5,000 flying myself to Africa to hel ...more
Very interesting. I definitely learned what I hoped to learn via this book. It would be greatly improved by other editions being organized some way other than alphabetically by organization name (world region, type of volunteer work, ages of volunteers accepted, etc.). There is an index that covers some of those thing, but it would have been more useful having that information up front. There are many, many ways that people can use their vacation time to help the world.
another one of those books that makes me question why I don't go more places. Then I go to the beach or to Big Basin and realize "oh, yeah, when I lived in SoCal I used to leap at the chance to go away, but now I live HERE"

If i DID take vacations, I'd love to do something like these, likely the trailbuilding kind...
Laura Baker
Sep 01, 2012 Laura Baker rated it really liked it
This book is a pretty good research for anyone interested in volunteering abroad. It gives short descriptions of every imaginable program - only problem is they don't have enough room to go in to depth. If nothing else, it'll give you some ideas. You'll just have to do the rest of the research yourself.
May 26, 2012 Carina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
A lot of good ideas and many, many different companies to choose from to help others in need in a way that lets you really get to know the culture, country and people. It was well detailed on the companies, expectations and what they offer.
Apr 02, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This book isn't really "amazing," but it is certainly indispensable for anyone interested in voluntourism. Although, paper is entirely the wrong format. Needs to be a website so you can sort and filter.
Sep 18, 2008 Denice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gift from my daughter, Jessica! I found an organization that provides medical care in Peru through this book...and it was my "volunteer vaction" last fall! Looking forward to finding my next one.
Jun 05, 2012 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some very interesting volunteer vacations many of which are suitable for seniors. A great way to travel at reasonable rates, view other cultures, and be of some use.
Jan 01, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used this book mainly for research, so cannot claim to have read it word-for-word, but as a guide it's been very helpful.
Jan 15, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great resource for volunteers. Some info is out of date, but there are plenty of options depending on time, budget, and interests.
Jul 11, 2012 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction

Lacing up my hiking boots now!
Apr 08, 2008 Josie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was informative and useful since it only lists organizations that were vetted by the authors. Unfortunately for me, I did not find a project that I plan to undertake.
Trish Steen
Don't buy! You can find everything online!
Arapahoe Libraries
Have fun while making a difference on vacation
Mar 26, 2008 Lily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Lists all the basics about a lot of volunteer programs around the world. A good start for those looking to volunteer abroad, but you will need more information.
May 19, 2010 M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I found a few trips here that I am interested in and may pursue.
Jun 26, 2009 Joyce rated it liked it
I got some good ideas from this book although you can get the most recent opportunities online, I imagine.
Jun 17, 2009 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, non-fiction
Looks like it's better to wait until the kids are in high school. The information in this book was organized so poorly and is probably outdated quickly.
May 17, 2008 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If only I had the money to afford the plane fare to get to these awesome locations.
Craig Fuller
Craig Fuller rated it really liked it
May 02, 2016
AJ rated it did not like it
Mar 16, 2010
Melissa rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2013
Sharon rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2014
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