Still don’t have any spring break plans? It may be too late to book a week in Acapulco or Cabo, but you still have plenty of time to sign up for an alternative spring break.
While the sun, beach and afternoon beer pong tournaments certainly have their appeal, nothing will leave you as satisfied then knowing you’ve significantly helped change someone’s life. Even better, alternative spring breaks won’t burn a hole in you’re pocket, with the average US trip costing no more than $500 (travel and housing included)
Unfortunately, Habitat for Humanity (the most popular alternative break program) has closed its applications already, but there are still tons of other national and international alternative programs you can apply for.
For environmentalists, check out americanhiking.org and click on Get Involved. They don’t have a wide variety of locations (the week of your break determines where you go) but you’ll get the chance to hike some of the US’s most popular trails while rescuing plants, clearing litter and cleaning historical houses along the way.
If you’re looking for an international program, check out crossculturalsolutions.org, who provides volunteer opportunities in nine different countries, including Ghana, Costa Rica and Morocco. It’s a little more expensive, but Cross Cultural Solutions provides tips and tricks to help you fundraise for your trip. Regardless, the experience will be priceless.
Finally visit unitedplanet.org who has destinations all over the world, including the U.S. Rather than a spring break alternative, United Planet is a short-term/long-term volunteer program, in which you can decide to volunteer anywhere from one week to one year.
And be sure to check out any programs your school may be offering! An alternative spring break trip can truly be the experience of a lifetime.
— By Lauren Tousignant, Syracuse University