This article looks at rising popularity of volunteer travel and considers how people considering this type of holiday can select holiday clothing that is both practical and stylish.

Why volunteer travel?
Fed up with the usual beach resorts and city breaks? Socially responsible travel gives you a superb opportunity to connect with communities and causes that mean something to you. They give you a chance to meet new people, learn new skills and experience different ways of life   whilst developing your passions and finding causes that you feel strongly about. The work you help with will also leave a lasting impact and mean that you’re doing something really worthwhile; whether that’s helping monitor turtle populations in Costa Rica, providing support with a village library build in rural Kenya, or helping teach English to school children in Thailand. There’s something for every interest!

Finding inspiration.
If you’re looking for holiday inspiration, then you’ll find exciting and unusual volunteering trips at websites such as http://www.realgap.co.uk/volunteer-work-abroad. There are volunteering holidays to suit all ages, interests and budgets – as well as trips all over the world. You can choose options where you stay in local accommodations, or upgrade so that you combine the luxury of organised travel with volunteering breaks and holiday experiences in between. Many volunteers combine their trips with excursions and local tours to find out more about their destinations and really get under the skin of their host country. Remember that most of these experiences are unpaid, so you’ll need to ensure that you have adequate funds to last for the travel period – and many volunteering opportunities will be costed, because of the work involved in administering, managing and accommodating international guests and volunteers. You’ll find travel packages of all different types to suit your budget. Remember too that there are volunteering holidays that can be carried out closer to home in the UK if you prefer not to travel too far. These are often very popular for groups or families who want a break without needing to go long-haul. Remember too to check visa requirements and make sure that you have any essential innoculations before you go. Your travel provider will give you all the information you need about local conditions, health and safety and it’s important that you read this information carefully and abide by it. This includes organising adequate insurance for your trip.

Packing accordingly.
For fashionistas with a social conscience everywhere, this article also tackles the tricky topic of packing for a volunteering holiday, whilst retaining your personal style! If you’ve found your perfect holiday, then think carefully about how you’ll pack for it. If you’re keen to be stylish, then remember that you’ll need to stay cool in hot locations. Cool fabrics tend to be light coloured and made from natural fibres; look for cottons and linens. Open-toed shoes are comfortable and cool, but remember to carry covered shoes such as trainers or walking shoes if you’re taking part in an active experience. Remember too that some cultures require women to be covered, so it’s wise to take light shawls and cardigans, which are flexible and allow you to shade from the sun, cover up in a temple, or stay warm if the evening becomes more chilly. Bring a good sunblock for hot climates and also rehydration salts in case you end up succumbing to a local bug. A cooling spray can also be useful, as can some waterproof mascara if you like to have some evening glamour, but don’t enjoy having panda eyes!

AUTHOR BIO
Jennifer Doherty writes regularly on volunteer travel and socially responsible holidays for a range of consumer blogs and magazines.