BootsnAll Travel Network

Volunteer in Hawaii with WOOF

By khammel | 1 Comment »

A vacation to Hawaii is expensive, there’s just no getting around it. Even from west coast cities like Portland Los Angeles, summer deals to Hawaii can be $500 or more just for the flight. Add in pricey hotels, expensive restaurants, car rental and activities, and a trip to Hawaii will cost you big. But it can cost less, especially if you’d prefer to stay longer than a week or two.

WOOFing is a great way to see more of Hawaii and stay longer for less money. WOOFing opportunities in Hawaii abound, with duties ranging from picking produce to tending to livestock and living conditions ranging from totally rural to luxury homes on the coast. Every arrangement will be different; you might end up working for just a few hours day in exchange for room and board, or you might put in 30 hours a week to earn your keep and a small stipend. With so much variety, it’s not hard to find the situation that works for you and allows you time to see the islands.

You’ll still have to pay to fly to the Big Island, or wherever you find work, but once there you’ll find travel becomes much more affordable.

Photo by RodneyRamsey

What students say about volunteer abroad programs?

By chris | Add a Comment »

An increasing number of students who went to volunteer abroad has prompted us to ask them why they go and what they experience while overseas. We found out that each one of them has different goals, interests, and expectations. Some go for fun and adventure, some go to make their resumes look better, and others go to simply make a difference and have an impact on the world. Whatever your cause is, reading some of the feedback provided by students might help decide what program to choose, where to go, and most importantly it will help you decide why you want to volunteer abroad.

“I was skeptical about volunteering abroad at first because of the program fee. I wasn’t sure why you had to pay out of your own pocket to volunteer until I signed up for the program and arrived to Ghana. My goal is to become a teacher of English as a Second Language and so I signed up for a Teach English program in Ghana. My experience was simply amazing. I worked a lot with the orphans and taught English as well as drawing and math to them. The amount of love that I got from them was overwhelming. I have really strengthened my wants to become a teacher and I realized that I do not want to be anything else. It was an eye opening experience that made me look at the world from a whole different perspective. I am very thankful for those who made my volunteer abroad trip to Ghana possible…” - Jenna from University of Michigan

“I can’t say enough how much my volunteer abroad program in India helped me grow as a person! I honestly could have never thought that a smile on a child’s face can change my major! I was a freshmen majoring in Finance and then decided to volunteer in India just for fun basically. When I got back home, I realized how much emotions I have gone through and decided to change my major to Children’s Psychology. I absolutely love it!…” - Amanda at University of Phoenix

“My friend talked me into volunteering abroad in Costa Rica with him. We had a blast at our project. Not only we got to do a lot of fun work like building and painting, but we also made a lot of new friends who will serve us a lifetime! We really had an amazing time which was very refreshing and inspiring…” - James at University of Minnesota

As you can see, students volunteer abroad for a variety of different reasons and come back with their own stories and memories full of life-changing experiences. Why don’t you go abroad and see what it has in store for you?

A rookie’s guide to volunteering

By cristina | Add a Comment »

I must admit that my volunteering days started as the organizer of a cultural event (“Reading in the City”). It was interesting and downright fun, although the planning did make my weekends go away as fast as they arrived.

Still, that’s not “real volunteering”. Let me be clearer… for me, “real volunteering” means to look for cheap flights to Africa right after you searched the list of possible projects you can help with. It means connecting with locals in other parts of the world and trying to make their lives better.

Any guide to volunteering will tell you think carefully before you embark in such an adventure because it’s a “ride in the park” and it certainly doesn’t mean luxury accommodation, high-end meals and spas.

Here are some easy steps to take before you start the adventure:

  • Know exactly what you want. Typically, a year volunteering for a well-known project gets you a lot of good points with the next employer. Plus, you need to know exactly what you want to do while you volunteer.
  • Start searching for projects. You can plan a vacation mixed in with volunteering or focus on volunteering. There are a lot of websites which focus on these projects, so allow quite a lot of time to tackle this.
  • Choose wisely and start planning. Research the location, the organizations involved, anything which can show a real light on what’s going on during the volunteering period.

Combine Travel and Volunteering with a Voluntourism Trip

By khammel | Add a Comment »

vol1.jpgTravel, it could be argued, is a selfish act. We want to see the world, experience something outside of our culture, taste foreign flavors, see historic sights, broaden our horizons and enrich our own lives. And so even the most budget-conscious among us spend a fair bit of cash to do so. There’s nothing wrong with this, but if you want to give a little a back on your travels or help better the local community, consider a voluntourism trip.

Some people balk at the idea of paying money to volunteer, but there are some perks to going with a voluntourism trip as opposed to trying to go it on your own. First off, the organizer will take care of all the details for you. To arranging the location where you’ll be working to finding you cheap international flights and inexpensive lodging, they do all the legwork. Plus you know that you’ll be working at a reputable place, rather than one that just puts on a good face for foreigners. And not all voluntourism companies are expensive, you can find some pretty cheap volunteer programs that even put together a package that would cost less that if you did it on your own. Nearly all will give you some time to yourself as well, and most will allow you to cheaply add on a few extra days to explore your destination after the volunteer project is through.

Photo by dheuer

A travel adventure after you graduate? - Volunteer Africa could be for you

By roger | 1 Comment »

kids in africaAre you at a crossroads in your life where you are more interested in an adventure than in joining the rat race? Volunteering in Africa might be just what you are looking for. You can earn some invaluable experience while making a difference and having the adventure of a lifetime all at once. If you’ve just graduated high school or college, then this is definitely something you’ll want to investigate.

Volunteering offers high school and college graduates unique opportunities

This is a fascinating and fast-emerging part of the world, but traveling to Africa on your own can be expensive, confusing, and even sometimes dangerous. Volunteer Africa allows you to experience a unique, exciting global adventure while learning job skills, and doing it safely. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Organizations

Holiday Party

By peter | Add a Comment »

bday_party_727921_tn.jpgIt won’t do any good for anyone but yourself, but you’re invited to the 2007 Bootsnall Holiday Party on December 1st. It’s a real party, at a real venue (none of this online party stuff) and there’ll be chances to win prizes, meet the staff of this travel blog network and enjoy the company of your fellow travelers.

For more info, see the Bootblog.

Geekcorps: Bringing YouTube to developing villages

By peter | Add a Comment »


The One Laptop Per Child folks may be hogging the press in the push to jump-start technology in developing countries, but their lesser known cousin Geekcorps was there first. Started in 1999 by Ethan Zuckerman, Geekcorps takes trained Information Technology personnel and places them in villages across the world to set up a technology infrastructure and teach technology skills to locals. Their programs also include training on utilizing the Internet to develop small rural businesses and long term one-on-one tech support that’s not routed through Asia.

Supplied with rugged equipment built to withstand sand and water and run on low-electricity, Geekcorps also produces technology equipment with everyday materials and teaches locals how to build and maintain their creations. The “United Nations Information Technology Service and
Voluntary Services Overseas. Many other non-profits have need for volunteer IT support on projects from Hurricane Katrina to a low-income school in your own community. Find other opportunities at Volunteermatch.

Senior friendly volunteer trips

By peter | Add a Comment »

mudslides_uttaradit_flooding_1475029_l.jpgLong-term volunteer travel is typically a young-person’s game. Spending 12 months in India or rural Mexico can be hard on the body and the immune system and the elderly generally steer clear.

But if you’re in good shape and fit in mind, there are many volunteer companies that would love to have your time and experience at their disposal. Below are some of the volunteer organizations that are reportedly “senior friendly” and participate in projects to which volunteers of all ages can contribute.

Landscope Expeditions

This Australia based non-profit combines the resources of the Department of Conservation with the minds of the University of Western Australia in order to protect, study and conserve Australia’s natural resources. The program relies on the participation of vacation volunteers, 75% of whom are older adults.

Global Service Corps

With two week to six month trips to Tanzania and Thailand, Global Service Corps offers a package for any level of time commitment. As a result, the group pulls in a diverse group of volunteers, nearly a third of whom would be considered “over the hill” by western standards. Global Service puts volunteers in cultural immersion and service learning programs for sustainable agriculture, English instruction, healthcare, even Buddhist immersion.

Detours Abroad

The purpose of Detours Abroad is to provide their clients with an experience that grounds them and ties them to a culture or cause. Combining education, exploration and volunteering, Detours Abroad volunteers teach English, help with child care, build structures, and monitor environmental problems in locales such as Ghana, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Peru, Zambia, Ecuador, and Australia.

Orphanage Outreach

A Christian, interdenominational program that sends volunteers to the Dominican Republic to work in orphanages, the program can be tailored to send entire families, each member with a unique role. Other popular options include trips that pair grandparents with grandchildren who can work together. Older adults represent over a third of their volunteers.


The original senior-friendly travel group specializes in educational outings to inform and inspire, but they offer a fair amount of service learning projects that take on a specific project in a location. With a minimum age of 55, there won’t be any whippersnappers around to make you feel old and elder hostel employees keep the heavy lifting to a minimum.

Featured Volunteer resource: Ecovolunteer

By peter | Add a Comment »

Looking for a volunteer travel opportunity of a greener sort? Ecovolunteer allows you to travel for a cause and help out some of the world’s endangered animals.

With its easy to navigate and fun to use site, Ecovolunteer puts the causes front and center, allowing interested travelers to sort through their trips, both by destination and what species of animal they would like to help.
Read the rest of this entry »

Five places you can volunteer during (an extended) Thanksgiving

By peter | Add a Comment »

The stores may still be stocked for Halloween, but now is the time to start planning that Thanksgiving volunteer trip. You still have time to book most of these trips for the long holiday weekend, but not much.

5 places you can volunteer during (an extended) Thanksgiving

1. Pennsylvania

Make up for some of those Thanksgiving Turkeys that have graced your table over the years with a trip to help the raptors of Pennsylvania. For about what you might spend on cranberry sauce, stuffing and a plane ticket, you can spend four days hiking, camping and volunteering with the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Service. You’ll help with anything from construction to office work and watch 30,000 of these birds of prey fly by over four days. Hikes to higher elevations often bring them right to eye level where you can watch them catch thermals and soar even higher. A trip in the Fall during migration season will bring never to be forgotten thrills.

Read the rest of this entry »

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