What is a Volunteering Holiday?

Aside from the obvious work involved, how does a volunteering holiday differ from a regular holiday? There is no better way to totally immerse yourself in a countries culture and truly understand what it is like to live in that destination. You come away with a very different attitude than you went in and it’s a very humbling experience. During the time there you will no doubt spend time exploring, relaxing and having fun, but it’s also the the opportunity to learn a new skill in a new environment so quite different to a regular holiday.

Do older people and career breakers take volunteering holidays as well as traditional ‘gappers’? Absolutely, the great thing about i to i Volunteering is that it is available to all ages; young and old alike. We get a great mix of ages which all complement each other as they all have various skills to offer. Volunteering certainly isn’t just for ‘gappers’ any more, it’s a really good trip for anyone who wants to try their hand at volunteering and something new. If you are going to be volunteering during a career break we offer fundraising ideas to help finance a trip.

Do you run short projects as well as full years for Volunteering? We specialise in shorter term volunteering from 1 week upwards. Some people will combine multiple projects and destinations to create longer trips but the vast majority of our travellers will be short-term volunteers who do their bit and then pass on to another volunteer as they arrive. We always remind people that the longer you work on one project the deeper the experience will be. With all our children related projects volunteers will have a minimum of two weeks in situ as this is more beneficial for the children and the projects.

What kind of work can volunteers get involved in and where?I to I Volunteering have a huge range of volunteering options across 20 different countries worldwide; anything from Building homes in Kenya, Saving turtles and surfing in Costa Rica, Working with street kids in India, Helping to raise lion cubs in South Africa or Teaching English in Vietnam. This year we have seen an increase in volunteers working on Teaching English as a Foreign Language related projects as often this is working with children and it’s an excellent way of gaining work experience if teaching is something that is of interest for their future.

What does a typical day involve for a volunteer? A volunteer’s day will vary according to the project but will generally involve working Monday to Friday with weekends off. The focus is on the volunteer work and supporting travelers in their activities. Evenings involve chilling out, cooking dinners and going to bed as volunteers are often very tired at the end of the day. We do have experienced teams in each destination who can help with arrangements to make the most of the local area or help planning visits to the iconic sites in the area.

How does the work done by volunteers impact on local communities? Volunteer Travel is a form of tourism, a hugely beneficial form of tourism to the local communities. Let’s remember that the people who travel with i-to-i Volunteering are hugely committed people of all ages who are prepared to travel to communities in other countries to give their time, energy and passion – and with the guidance of the local project leaders and workers this translates into worthwhile on-going benefits to the communities they work within. We only work directly with and alongside local communities. All projects our volunteers assist with are run by the local community but lack the manpower to do what they would like to do. That’s where volunteer assistance comes in to help those local communities achieve a more than that can by themselves. www.i-to-i.com



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