New Year, new you! Now it’s time to choose some travel-related resolutions that will refresh and invigorate your year. This year, put an even richer spin on your travel goals by incorporating aspects of community development into the places that you go.
Below are five exciting traveling opportunities for your 2017 travel resolutions, complete with their own money-saving travel tips that will help you in achieving them.
Work with local people on community development projects in the South Pacific and implement important livelihood strategies to protect the environment for future generations. Travel to one of the most beautiful, remote areas in the world and contribute to building infrastructure for communities.
Tip: Flights to Fiji can sound intimidatingly far and expensive. Search for flights on Kayak and Skyscanner to find the most affordable prices and use their filter to select flight times that best suit your travel needs.
Immerse yourself in the lovely Laotian culture while enhancing the local community’s access to education. Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where quality of education is still struggling for many of local children and young adults. Enable students to empower themselves and their futures, while exploring the spectacular Mekong river basin that is full of mountainous jungle terrain and stunning waterfalls.
Tip: Get extra crafty with your flight search with Google’s power matrix tool, which allows you to choose a ‘calendar of lowest fares’ and specify a range of dates and different airports within driving distance.
Travel to the Chiang Mai province in Thailand to work with elephants who have been rescued from the tourist industry. Learn more about how mahouts and local villagers strive to protect these magnificent creatures while discovering the rich culture of the region and the lush mountain forests.
Tip: Once in-country, find the right ATM to withdraw money. If you go to a bank beforehand, or if try to exchange your local currency at the airport or at a currency exchange booth, you will get worse rates. ATMs typically provide a better exchange rate.
Work with Save the Children in the lively beach town of Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan Peninsula. Contribute to the growth and development of local children while exploring the marvels of the Caribbean coast, including ancient Mayan ruins, crystal-blue waters of sacred cenotes, and stunning local beaches.
Tip: Before and during your trip, prepare your meals instead of eating out to save money. While in country, this won’t be difficult as you will most likely be staying in shared living spaces. Make friends and make food!
Travel to a private game reserve in South Africa to work alongside an international team dedicated to vital conservation work. Learn how to track animals, study their behavior, and become acquainted with species such as the lion, leopard, elephant, and rhino.
Tip: Use cash instead of credit cards, and withdraw the maximum amount from ATMs to cut back on fees. Save the cash in a secure area. This will help you keep a closer watch on your budgeting as well!
These travel resolutions for 2017 are some of the world’s most beautiful areas, and also offer you a chance to make a difference while seeing the world.
Happy traveling in 2017!
Feel ready to start making a difference? Find out more about GVI’s international, award-winning volunteering programs and internships, and choose from community development, animal care, teaching, women’s empowerment, and conservation projects worldwide.