Travelling is awesome we all know that. But what makes it EVEN better, is giving something back to the country you’re falling in love with. Whether it’s working with animals or teaching children, travelling with a conscience strengthens your skills, gives you a deeper understanding of your destination, helps those in need and oh yeah, it’s great fun! So if you’re thinking of giving something back to our incredible planet then look no further…
1. EXPLORE THE LOCAL SIDE
Choose a company that loves locals! You’ll get to see a side of the country that is often overlooked, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re having a positive effect on the community. Living locally gives you a different view of the people and their country, your chosen company should be integrated into local life and have the community’s well-being as their priority.
2. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Choosing a trip like SocialCycle across Cambodia has health benefits straight from the word go! You’ll burn calories riding a bike and feel more relaxed. Studies have found that when you focus on helping others your stress levels start to decrease, your immune system is strengthened and your overall sense of life satisfaction increases. Get buns of steel while helping others?! Sign me up!
3. GAIN NEW SKILLS
You will deal with a mix of personalities, all while adjusting to life outside of your comfort zone. This all adds up and helps to improve your teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and people skills. And well, who doesn’t want to learn something new?!
4. RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
The two most important questions to ask yourself before choosing a trip are… what benefits will the local community see? And will the organisation I choose respect the local culture?
Always keep in mind that you are there to make a difference and you can’t do that if the needs of the community aren’t being met. Including a charity in your adventure allows you to travel responsibly and gives your trip more of a purpose.
We’re big on finding delicious food and tasty treats over here at Backpacker Deals! A lot of volunteering organisations encourage home stays or know the best places in town to keep your taste buds satisfied. You’ll be dreaming about your new found delicacies long after your trip has ended. YUM!
6. MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Get up close and see first hand the difference you could make to a community or animal’s wellbeing! Form strong relationships that will have a lasting effect, not only on your life but on those you’ve chosen to donate your time too. No matter the size of the donation or type of volunteering, your actions are guaranteed to have an impact on someone’s or something’s life.
7. LEARN THE LINGO
SO you may not become fluent in a couple of weeks, but learning the basics is fun and will open up your chosen country even more. Boost that brainpower and challenge yourself to learn a new phrase every day. Automatic bonus points are given if you can use the basics such as please, thank you and hello. Suck at languages? The locals will love you for trying. A warm smile and laughter is an international language after all!
8. IT’S FUN!
It goes without saying that it is not something to be taken lightly, having respect for your chosen country and community is of utmost importance. But hey! That doesn’t mean that you can’t have some fun along the way right?! You may find your new BFF or try something you would never do in everyday life!