Travelocity.com is one of the first major online travel companies making a concerted effort to spread the word about volunteer vacation opportunities, offering links to a number of non-profits and even awarding $5,000 volunteer vacation grants to deserving individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford a voluntourism trip (two grants per quarter to customers and one grant per quarter to employees). This Change Ambassador grant program is part of the company’s new Travel for Good campaign.
Personally, I find it difficult to take volunteer advice from a web page with links to the cruise ship industry (one of the most destructive, bad karma forms of tourism on the planet), but I do dig the non-profits with whom they are partnering: Earthwatch Institute, Cross Cultural Solutions, Globe Aware, and Take Pride in America (links to each of these on the Travel for Good page.
I’m also impressed by their Go Zero program to reduce carbon emissions generated by your vacation; customers have the option to purchase “carbon offsets” when booking their vacations on Travelocity.
Apply for the grant here: Link