Build an Adventure With Habitat for Humanity

December 4, 2007

Summer 2008 is full of travel possibilities for students. Do you backpack an exotic destination? Donate your time and energy to a good cause? Immerse yourself in another culture, getting to know the locals? What if you could do all three?

Habitat for Humanity has been around since 1976 and has provided housing to thousands of families in need. President Carter is a big supporter. Rory Gilmore weilded a hammer to help out on “Gilmore Girls”. “King of the Hill” got in on the Habitat act for a Christmas episode. This is a stable organization you can trust to put your time to good work, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not someone will be on site when you show up.

Habitat for Humanity offers several volunteer opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. You can stay local and volunteer any time of year, or head to one of the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina to help with the Gulf Recovery Effort. (If you see Brad Pitt, say ‘hi’ for me.) If you’re looking to really get away, try the International Volunteer Program and work in the same community for several months, or take part in the Global Village Program where you’ll volunteer for a week or two.

The Habitat website says:

Adventure travel, Habitat-style
Every Global Village trip is different and each team member can expect to gain a unique set of experiences and memories. Itineraries are balanced with plenty of work, rest and free time. Most teams spend a few days—depending on the length of the trip—touring local historic sites or attractions or participating in outdoor recreational activities. Safaris in national parks; visits to ancient ruins, museums and churches; hikes in the mountains and rainforests; whitewater rafting and kayaking trips are all part of the cultural experience for GV teams. Volunteers form a once-in-a-lifetime team as they travel, live, work and eat together.

Keep in mind though that “volunteer travel” doesn’t mean “free travel”. All trips have costs associated with them depending on which destination and program you choose. As always, grab your ISIC before leaving home to maximize your student travel discounts, and check with your friendly neighborhood Travel CUTS to get a student airfare. Save money on those essentials so that your fun funds go a little farther.

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