All Women's Talk

8 Eco-Friendly Vacation Pointers ...

By Neecey

An eco-friendly vacation is becoming the option of choice for many more as our concern for our planet grows. The opportunity to be a volunteer tourist and know you are having no adverse effect on the local ecological system is the big attraction of an eco-friendly vacation. Add in the fact that many of the destinations are among the most amazing on the planet, offering amazing sights and experiences and there are plenty of reasons to be a volunteer on an eco friendly vacation. It is important to ensure you get the right trip or you could find yourself in some way out place that really doesn’t meet your expectations. To avoid disappointment (and indeed danger) here are 8 Eco-Friendly Vacation Pointers:

1 Mission

The point of being a volunteer on an eco-friendly vacation is because you have a conscience or concern for the environment or the plight of disadvantaged peoples. It follows therefore that the mission statement of the company or project you travel with/to is consistent with your ideals. Check the funding sources, how the project destinations are chosen and what needs the organization is addressing.

2 Funding

You want to know that the money you pay for your volunteer vacation is going to be put to good use so check where your money goes. Reputable charities are willing to disclose this and often in good detail.

3 Results

Unless it is a brand new project, which you might want to steer clear of for your first volunteer vacation, charities are usually very proud of the work they do so you should be able to find information about the results that have been achieved and how situations have been improved.

4 Price

An eco-friendly vacation might not come cheap – after all you are buying the experience of a lifetime but it is essential to know exactly what you are paying for. The other thing to consider, given the potential destinations on offer, is evacuation insurance. Your chosen destination might be in an earthquake zone or subject to hurricanes or tsunamis.

5 Refunds

Check the policy on refunds. You will undoubtedly lose some or all of your deposit if your eco-friendly vacation is cancelled. Check your travel insurance carefully for any risks and hazards it excludes.

6 Home Comforts

Part of knowing what your money buys you are the details of where you will be staying and what the meal arrangements are. As you a taking a volunteer vacation plush hotels won’t feature but camping, dormitories, cheap hostels or even local family homes will. Maid and room service will be non-existent and you’ll probably be expected to «muck-in» as a matter of course.

7 Safety

You definitely need to know what safety precautions are in place, for example, evacuation procedures. Also, check that you will have access to a medical facility.

8 Tax

This may seem an odd inclusion given that the reasons for being a volunteer on an eco friendly vacation are altruistic but if a tax break makes the trip more affordable then it’s a valid consideration. If the trip is with a non-profit organization, it is a tax benefit. If your trip is in North America you can deduct the cost of your flight as long as you spend half the time of the trip volunteering. If you volunteer abroad, the deduction is based on a percentage of the airfare according to the proportion of time spent volunteering.

There is now a huge quantity and variety of voluntourism vacations available and it is a fantastic way to see the world, get an insight into different cultures and habitats and make a bit of difference. It is one of those experiences where you get out as much as you put in so take note of these Eco-Friendly Vacation Pointers and be prepared for the trip of a lifetime.

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