Sound like fun? I think so. But there’s a catch. If you’re concerned with the social responsibility aspect of voluntourism (and you should be) read this article to ensure you’re doing it right. Now that that’s out of the way, here are my top free (or even “paid”) volunteer travel experiences.

    Your local community

    The best place to find an extraordinary, off-beat service experience is in your back yard. You’d be amazed how much service work is being done right under your nose if you take the time to look. I love the example of Kate Mante, who at age 50, spent a year traveling her native New Jersey volunteering at a new organization each week. It was a unique and impactful experience for her, and I’ll bet it cost a lot less and did more good than a week-long trip to Kenya.

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