More and more, I see people drawn to making a difference in the world. That's even being reflected in their choice of vacations, as "voluntourism" increases in popularity:
...More Americans are starting to feel the same way about vacations with a charitable or humanitarian purpose, where they can build housing or schools, collect field data or work at a refugee camp, orphanage or archaeological dig.
While the trend is hard to quantify, a wide variety of environmental, medical, nature, children's and other groups as well as churches report that participation in volunteer vacations is on the rise.
Surveys conducted recently by CheapTickets.com, Travelocity and the Travel Industry Association of America confirm that consumers are becoming more interested in vacations with a voluntarism aspect, also known as "voluntourism."
Opportunities that once existed largely with nonprofit activist groups are being adopted by a wide range of travel agencies and tour operators, too. Sally Brown, who heads the Indianapolis not-for-profit group Ambassadors for Children, said the number of travel organizations of various kinds that offer voluntourism trips has probably doubled in the past three years.