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Review of Volunteer Vacations

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

Volunteer Vacations can help any would-be volunteer traveler select opportunities to research and investigate. This book is an excellent planning tool for someone who wants to plan a volunteer vacation, but doesn't know where to start.
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  • The book profiles 150 organizations that offer volunteer travel opportunities.
  • Five indexes help you search for a volunteer vacation that meets your requirements.
  • Organization profiles indicate which opportunities are senior-friendly.


  • The book was published in 2006; an updated edition is expected in early 2009.
  • It lacks indexes to senior-friendly and accessible volunteer vacations.


  • Volunteer Vacations presents organization profiles in alphabetical order.
  • You can find profiles by project cost, project length, and other criteria by using the book's five indexes.
  • Each profile includes information provided by the organization about trips offered, types of opportunities and trip costs.
  • Profiles include accessibility information and details that are helpful to seniors looking at volunteer travel.
  • A small section on long-term volunteer opportunities provides a starting place for future planning.
  • The book includes 22 "volunteer vignettes" written by people who have volunteered with groups profiled in the book.

Guide Review - Review of Volunteer Vacations

Volunteer Vacations is an excellent resource for anyone who's ever thought about volunteer travel. The authors have compiled profiles of 150 organizations around the world that organize volunteer travel opportunities. You can volunteer practically anywhere in the world, helping in practically any capacity you can imagine. Working on organic farms, counting otters, rebuilding historic railroads and rescuing sea turtles are just a few of the ways you can "give back" to your community and the world at large.

Volunteer Vacations doesn't try to profile every volunteer travel organization on the planet. As the authors clearly state, Volunteer Vacations is also not a book of reviews. Instead, it's a resource and planning guide. In addition to the organizational profiles, you'll find hints on how to narrow down your list of potential travel opportunities and tips for using the book to your best advantage.

Whether you want to help save penguins or teach English to young children in South America, you can use Volunteer Vacations to find a group that can help you create your dream volunteer vacation. Of course, living conditions in each location vary - some places don't have running water, for example - but you can find this information easily in the profiles.

This edition of Volunteer Vacations is the first to include information on accessible volunteer travel opportunities. The authors also asked each organization to provide information about age requirements. Happily, many of the groups profiled not only accept senior volunteers, they request them.

Reading Volunteer Vacations is a great way to jump start your volunteer vacation planning. Whether you browse the profiles or use the themed indexes, you'll be able to find ways to share your talents with those most in need of your help.

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