Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Finding and Choosing an Alternative Travel Vacation

From cooking classes to photography workshops, volunteer projects to archaeological digs, the world is full of educational, inspiring and exciting alternative travel programs to make your journeys more fulfilling. There are so many options that it can be overwhelming. But with the aid of the following guidelines, finding and choosing a program that appeals to your interests, needs and budget is easy and fun.

Where do you want to go?

Are you interested in visiting the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe or someplace nearer to home? Are you more interested in urban centers or rural areas? Selecting a region or country helps to narrow the choices. 

What do you want to do?

Do you have a passion or hobby you would like to pursue? Are you interested in giving back to a country or community? Do you want to spend time with local artisans or families? Are you interested in cultural immersion? Do you have a special skill you would like to share? If you aren’t sure, some programs offer combinations of activities–learning, volunteering and cultural immersion.

  • When would you like to go?

    While many programs operate year-round, some are only offered at specific times of the year or on specific dates. Being flexible helps, but if you have a set time for your vacation, check the dates of any programs carefully.
  • How much time do you have?

    A few hours, a weekend, a week or two, several months or longer? Do you want to spend your whole vacation in an alternative program or just a portion of it? While some programs are long term, many offer short-term opportunities ranging from a few hours to a few weeks.