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Window Seat or Aisle Seat: Voluntourism and Safety Tips for Spring Break

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Most parents are concerned over sending college kids off to the spring break parties, but there is another way. Window Seat or Aisle Seat columnist Kerri Zane looks into voluntourism vacations that will allow her daughter to have fun with her peers while working for a good cause.

As a parent of a college-aged student, deciding on the best spring break vacation option for your young adult can be especially challenging. My daughter has her heart set on the quintessential week away involving teenie weenie bikinis and non-stop imbibing, while I would prefer she spend time in a location that encourages educational enrichment and provides lifelong memories.

I set out to find destinations that would satisfy her need for non-stop, peer-focused fun as well as give me peace of mind that she is engaged in inspirational experiences, and spoke with some experts on staying safe for spring break.

Pitching in in Patagonia

Irene Lane, the founder and president of Greenloons, has created a series of unique vacation packages steeped in environmental and socio-economic opportunities. This spring Lane is offering Project Peru Amazon, a hands-on jungle adventure. Your young adult will have the opportunity to travel by motorized canoe up the Tambopata River to a jungle lodge. They will spend five days volunteering at a center for the rehabilitation and conservation of wild animals. Working alongside staff they’ll feed and care for animals so they can be successfully released back to their natural habitats. Followed by two days in the rainforest learning about traditional medicinal plans, spotting birds and monkeys. Project Peru Amazon last nine days ($1299). For more information visit their website.

Paul von Zielbauer, the ultra cool founder of Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy,  will personally guide up to 10 people on an off the beaten path adventure philanthropy expedition to Patagonia. The trip combines exploring northern Patagonia backcountry and building an urban garden for an impoverished community living on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Trip dates are Mar. 24-Apr. 3. Rates start at $3299 per person for five to seven people groups and go to $2,999 per person for groups of  eight to 10. Does not include airfare. Click here for more information.

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