Giving back on your vacation (even if it's short!)

When you own your own business it can be hard to find time to give back. I dedicated myself to 50 hours of community service this year and it's a struggle just for me to hit my monthly goal. That being said, I think giving back and learning about new cultures is so important. And for me, it is one of the main reasons I travel. Even if you only get one short vacation a year, you can easily add one hour, one half day or one full day of voluntourism to you trip.

When we were in Africa, we took an incredible day tour with Uthando. When I founds out we would be going to Cape Town, I knew I wanted to take a township tour. Townships are home to a huge percentage of the South African population and were built during Apartheid times. I was a little nervous about visiting a Township because I didn’t want to go on an invasive tour where I gawked at people who are less fortunate. Luckily we found Uthando Tours and they provided us with an incredible, unique experience of visiting a township.

Xolani, our tour guide, took us to the Khayelitsha township, which is the largest township in Cape Town. We visited three amazing non-profits within the township: a school, an old folks home and a women’s empowerment program. I was so inspired by the work of these non-profits, which are supported heavily by Uthando. In fact, it was great to see that the money we paid for our tour went to help so many amazing programs. Also, the people…just incredible.

If you have even less time to spare on your vacation, you can also try Pack for a Purpose. You can make a big impact just by saving some space in your luggage and using it to bring school supplies to underprivileged children in other countries.

Once you know your destination, do a quick Google search and see if there are any unique volunteer opportunities available. You won't regret it!