Use Your Spring Break to Volunteer

Photo (cc) by Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire

It’s springtime, classes are done and college students are traveling all over the place to get a little rest and relaxation in before next semester. A popular spot of course: the beaches in Florida.

So, for some spring breakers, the vacation is about soaking up the sun by day and going wild by night. But, what if you want to do a little more with your time away from class? There’s plenty of options out there. For example, working with animals like monkeys, tigers and birds at the Peace River Refuge in Zolfo Springs, Florida.

Carley Westfall of SMU calls it a volunteer vacation. “I like to get the fresh air, I like to be in nature. Personally, I feel quite peaceful around animals. I feel kind of like I rejuvenate myself when I’m around ’em, you know? It’s good for the soul.”

Westfall uses her time off not to relax, but to help people, animals or the environment. And for those who do it, what it lacks in relaxation, it makes up for in satisfaction and adventure.

”You can sort of see that you’re helping out here. Every little thing that you do sort of helps the sanctuary.” she adds.

Want to see her working with the animals? Check out this story we did at the refuge. The monkey alone makes the video worth watching!

Volunteer vacations

There are dozens of places to take a volunteer vacation. You can work with scientists to solve environmental problems at Earth Watch, volunteer abroad and build houses for poor people in Chile, or find other opportunities using Transitions Abroad. Want to assist in conservation projects and humanitarian efforts? Check out GVI USA.

While destination hot spots like Florida and Mexico won’t really miss a student or two, a wild animal refuge certainly would.

“We’re very dependent on the volunteers. We don’t have paid staff.” said Lisa Stoner who serves as Vice President of the refuge. “Volunteers are extremely important, they’re critical to our operation.”

Cost and benefits

Volunteer vacations range in price from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the trip and if you need to travel. Best part? Some, even all of the trip may be tax deductible. I’ll bet your friends won’t be bragging about that.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
5 States Where Drivers Pay the Most for Car Insurance
5 States Where Drivers Pay the Most for Car Insurance

Auto insurance will cost you more than three times as much in one state compared with another. Here’s how to lower your rates no matter where you live.

13 Things Retirees Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Retirees Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap and even free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

7 Things I Always Buy at Estate Sales
7 Things I Always Buy at Estate Sales

Here’s what an experienced estate sale shopper always buys.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Comments

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.