What Is Voluntourism?

There are many different ways to travel. As any experienced traveler will tell you, no trip is ever the same. Each trip across the country or abroad is a unique experience you can look back on fondly.

Much of the same can be said about volunteering. Evidently, both are rewarding activities that provide opportunities to explore, meet new people, and experience some profound personal growth.

Imagine you could do both things at the same time. In other words, you can travel and have your own adventure, all while helping other people and doing some good in the world. This is the idea behind voluntourism, a travel trend that gives travelers the opportunity to see the world and participate in voluntary activities along the way. Voluntourism is an innovative form of modern tourism, though with the combined element of providing voluntary assistance to those in need.

The-Birth-of-VoluntourismChatchai Somwat / Shutterstock

The Birth of Voluntourism

Some people claim voluntourism began with the inception of the Peace Corps in the 1960s. The purpose of this organization has always been to provide assistance to those in need around the world, especially in developing countries. Volunteers serve the country they travel to by providing aid to those who live there. They’re given the opportunity to live and work in these areas and are encouraged to interact with the local population and integrate themselves into the local culture.