Alternative Spring Breaks: Go Traveling for Good

Alternative spring breaks include humanitarian aid, educational volunteering, environmental work, or any other form of charitable offering. These types of breaks are becoming very popular with students, and for good reason: They tend to be cheaper, safer and much more fulfilling.

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Alternative Spring Break

Finding the Right Alternative Spring Break Program

Before committing to an alternative Spring Break program, you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • What do I want to get out of my trip? If you don't know exactly, that's OK. However, if you can answer in more detail, that will inform your research and narrow your search.
  • Do I want to travel internationally? If so, where? The sooner you know where you want to travel the better. If you are traveling internationally, you should start looking for programs a few months in advance so you can get any visas in order. This will also make your flight cheaper.
  • Do I want to find something related to my interests and/or major? Knowing the answer to this question can drastically help narrow your search. For example, if you are an architecture student, then perhaps a construction volunteering program like Build Abroad is a good fit for you.

Researching Alternative Spring Break Programs

Even when you can answer the questions above, there are still many volunteer organizations to choose from. Performing a simple internet search can yield thousands of results and it can be hard to tell the good from the bad. Luckily there are trusted volunteer review sites where you can read firsthand volunteer accounts and search by location and program type:

Starting a Fund-raising Campaign for an Alternative Spring Break

One of the best things about an alternative Spring Break is the fact you're doing something positive for the world. This affords you the opportunity to fund-raise for your trip. You can then use this money to cover the cost of your flight, the trip itself, or to donate directly to the cause you are supporting. If you do decide to donate to your cause, just make sure the organization accepts cash donations. Sometimes organizations would rather you donate things like tools, clothes, or vitamins to locals. There are many ways you can fund-raise for your trip and if you choose to fund-raise online, there are multiple options for you:

  • GoFundMe - One of the original fund-raising sites for volunteers. They also have a ton of great articles and tutorials to help your campaign reach its goal.
  • Fundrazr - Another easy-to-use fund-raising website that will get your campaign up and running in minutes.

Bring Friends... and Make New Ones

Trips are always more fun with friends, but one of the best things about volunteering abroad is the friends you'll make. Even if you're only traveling for a week or so, that's still plenty of time to make some memories and befriend volunteers from other countries.

- Chad Johnson, Director of International Programs, Build Abroad

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