10/06/2016 12:29 EDT | Updated 10/06/2016 12:29 EDT

How To Volunteer On Your Next Trip

Environmentalist volunteers picking up trash in field
Robert Daly via Getty Images
Environmentalist volunteers picking up trash in field

Travelling provides us nourishment to feed the mind, body and soul. For the soul specifically, voluntourism allows travellers to experience the world and make a difference at the same time. From helping children in South Africa, to rebuilding Fiji communities brick by brick, or even helping sea turtles thrive in Costa Rica, volunteering abroad promises to be an experience you'll never forget.

Focusing on our passion for travelling and giving back, we're partnering with WaterAid Canada, an international charity that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation. With 100 per cent of ticket sales from our upcoming travelcuts TRAVEL DOC FILMFEST donated to the charity, we've been inspired to share some of our favourite examples of how you can get involved helping others during your next global adventure:


Fijian Village| Photo Cred -

FINDING FULFILLMENT IN FIJI: If Fiji is on your bucket list, cross it off and give back at the same time by helping to provide remote villages with access to fresh water, restoring local school equipment and teaching English to primary school children.

In the first week you will stay in a 'homestay' in a traditional Fijian village, working with the villagers constructing rainwater catchment tanks and helping out in the local school teaching English through basic lessons and games. In the second week you'll be given the chance to explore and be off on an incredible tropical island hopping adventure, sailing to your own private island to relaxing in a hammock on the beach.


Clifton Beach, Cape Town | Photo Cred -

STOP AND HELP IN SOUTH AFRICA AND SWAZILAND: If you're heading to Africa, you'll be sure to notice so many ways you can make a difference, especially in and around the St Lucia area and Cape Town. Volunteer programs in South Africa include everything from working with children and schools providing educational games, arts and crafts, to renovating and revitalizing facilities.

Take in the natural beauty of surrounding sights and sounds during your off time, and experience the picturesque beaches, combined with stunning architectural traditions.


Leatherback Sea Turtle, Costa Rica | Photo Cred -

SAVE SEA TURTLES IN COSTA RICA: Who doesn't love turtles?! Turn a trip to Costa Rica into a trip of a lifetime with a visit to Tortuguero National Park and help protect endangered sea turtles. You will help monitor endangered green turtles as well as other critically endangered turtle species. During your stay in Costa Rica you'll be able to make a difference and gain a truly hands on understanding of the Costa Rican rainforest and its ecosystem.


Vadakkumnathan Hindu Temple, India | Photo Cred -

INSPIRING CHANGE IN INDIA: Discover the colourful culture of India when you volunteer alongside local teachers supporting disadvantaged children in the Southern state of Kerala. Your work will support low income families by assisting with their educational needs and providing care. In any spare time, be sure to explore Hindu temples, mosques, churches, and even synagogues, or try kayaking along the breath-taking backwaters.


Elephants, Thailand | Photo Cred -

TONS TO DO IN THAILAND: Imagine helping the communities improve their future while living and working in a side of Thailand that so many tourists miss out on. You can discover the stunning Thai province on Phang Nga when you volunteer your time to help mentally and physically disabled children. You'll be providing health and hygiene education in schools and community centers, and given the chance to explore the picturesque island oases of southern Thailand in your free time.

Or, volunteer in the lush mountain forests of Northern Thailand and spend each day in the field with elephants rescued from working in tourist camps. Learn about elephant behaviour, training, biology, social skills and more -- all in their natural habitat.

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