While it is common among many students to go on a vacation of sorts during the week of spring break, other students take alternative spring break trips that are very different from the traditional trip to Florida! An alternative spring break is focused on volunteering or offering some kind of service for a good cause instead of vacationing to a popular tourist destination. Taking an alternative spring break trip is a great way to give back and help out worthy organizations all while making meaningful connections with people along the way!
Never heard of an alternative spring break trip? Looking to do something outside the box for your spring break? Here are five alternative spring break ideas to help you decide and get started!
Give Back Through United Way
There are so many different ways to volunteer your time and give back through alternative spring break trips, and one meaningful way to do so is through United Way. The organization started “Storm Corps” in 2006 to give students an opportunity to help clean up and rebuild places affected by Hurricane Katrina. Now, United Way offers different spring break trips which focus on assisting and addressing issues in urban areas, like building affordable housing. You can visit the official United Way site for more information about their opportunities!
Get Your Hands Dirty with Habitat For Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is known for bringing communities together by building affordable homes for those in need. If you love carpentry, building, or just having a chance to offer your service for a greater cause, an alternative trip with Habitat would be great for you. There are hundreds of locations across the country, so no matter where you’re located, there will be a chance for you. On what to expect, Habitat writes, “Students arrive on Day 1 and participate in activities that help them get to know the community, the family with whom they are building and each other. The next five days are spent working on the build site, with evenings free for activities, bonding with the team or just to relax.”
Explore Your Horizons and Volunteer Abroad
Alternative spring breaks aren’t exclusively reserved for domestic trips in the country, there are plenty of opportunities abroad as well! Some of the volunteer work you can do includes temple renovation efforts in Sri Lanka, organic farming in South America in places like Belize or Ecuador, or rescuing dogs and cats in Nepal. There are several different ways to be of service abroad, just be sure to do your research and be in touch with a counselor/advisor at your school to make sure everything looks legitimate and safe.
Reconnect with Nature
Reconnecting with nature is important on so many levels. For one, it helps us to get away from the stressors of daily life, and two, it humbles us to remember life is so much greater than what we think sometimes. An alternative spring break trip that focuses on nature can be both relaxing and rewarding for you! For instance, the American Hiking Society has volunteer vacations where you can help to clean and better different nature trails across the country through shoveling, trimming, and cleaning hiking trails.
Make a Difference with Disaster Relief Programs
Unfortunately, natural disasters are far too frequent. Whether it is devastating wildfires, catastrophic hurricanes, or deadly earthquakes, natural disasters are always occurring, which means there are always people who are in desperate need of help. For an alternative spring break, consider connecting with an organization that is dedicated to disaster relief of a cause you are connected to.
There may be plenty of students who are heading to tourist vacation spots this spring, but that doesn’t mean that choosing to experience an alternative spring break trip is less significant. Not only can you give back to worthwhile causes, but you can also meet new people, make friends, have fun, and create lasting memories along the way!