“Voluntourism is not about martyrdom,” says Christopher Hill, CEO of Hands Up Holidays, a London-based company that arranges high-end excursions that incorporate volunteering. “It’s about making a difference, even if you’re staying at a luxury hotel.”
With a growing number of hotels and tour operators offering trips that give back, the experience is more accessible than ever — from stints building houses with Hands On New Orleans and four-week HIV awareness programs in Thailand with the Global Services Corps to helping orphaned children in Kenya with Micato Safaris.
But the key to a successful volunteer vacation involves a few basic considerations: What kind of an impact are you looking to have? How will the project you choose benefit the local community? (The latter is of particular concern, since less reputable charities and companies that overstate responsible-travel claims are all too common.)
To read the full story visit: http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/traveltips/11/13/volunteer.vacations/index.html