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April 30, 2008

Voluntourism: The Hottest Trend in Travel


by Brook Wilkinson

So you got your May issue of Conde Nast Traveler in the mail the other day, ripped out the five hottest hotels that you just have to check out in the next year, and then settled down on the couch to read our article about the hottest trend in travel right now: Voluntourism.

No? I'll give you a few minutes, then meet me back here.

Okay, now you've read our introduction to voluntourism and how it enriched my trip to Cambodia. Want to know more? You came to the right place. Here are some more resources to help you plan your own volunteer vacation:

Read "The Most Important Question of All," by David Clemmons, founder of, to find out not if voluntourism is right for you, but if you're right for voluntourism.

If the answer is yes, check out Clemmons's "10 Tips from a Voluntourism Master" to guide you toward the right trip for your interests and abilities.

Finally, pick up a copy of Volunteer Vacations, by Bill McMillon, Doug Cutchins, and Anne Geissinger, a resource guide with sections on almost 150 different voluntourism organizations, indexed by cost, length, location, and type of work.

You're on your way!


Being in the travel business when the Tsunami hit we wanted to help in a positive way and went out to Sri Lanka. Once there we could not do much else but spend money, there were many like us there who could not spend the time to join a full volunteer program. In frustration upon my return I found companies in the UK who were starting to offer voluntourism holidays as the term became. Over the years we have supported the concept and this year set up to bring all the UK companies we could find together. Its just starting but we hope that for those in the UK it will be a useful portal to finding this type of holiday.

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