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Travel Tip: Teen Voluntourism

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Global VolunteersVolunteer vacations aren’t just for grown-up with professional skills. There are programs out there designed specifically for teens where they can work with local communities and get a great experience of a lifetime.

Projects Abroad offers two-week long volunteer trips for students ages 16 to 19 that range from working in an orphanage in Fiji to teaching in Senagal. The $2,500 price tag includes two weeks of accommodations, meals and even sight-seeing excursions.

National Geographic Student Expeditions offers trips where students are paired with National Geographic experts. That includes programs like exploring Machu Picchu with a renowned archaeologist or traveling Costa Rica with a conservation biologist.These trips include voluntourism elements, like spending time at a local orphanage or helping farmers tend to their crops. The idea is to combine educational travel with the volunteer experience.

Cross Cultural Solutions offers short-term programs for teens ages 15-17, ranging from nine days to two weeks, in destinations like Ghana, Guatemala, India, and China.

Of course, it’s natural to worry about sending a teen that far away. So be sure to ask plenty of questions, like if the program has 24/7 support with staff members on the ground. And definitely consider medical insurance and evacuation coverage to give yourself some peace of mind.