Single passenger round-trip airfare to Florida…$745. Two week hotel stay…$980. Three square meals a day for two weeks…$320. Taking your entire family on a summer vacation where they learn new skills and having the whole trip paid for by someone else…Priceless. This is the attitude of an increasing group of people known as immersion travelers.
Imagine a summer vacation where you know not a single person, where every convenience that you’re accustomed to is considered by locals as a luxury enjoyed by the wealthy. Imagine vacationing in a place where you barely speak the local language, where you work and sweat more often than play; a summer vacation where the purpose is to learn, give back to the world and feel good about doing so. At first thought, this vacation may not be alluring. Now, imagine that same vacation completely paid for by someone else, adding a little money to your pocket as well. All of a sudden this summer vacation seems a bit more fascinating. For Teresa Coates, this working holiday, or what some call “voluntourism,” is a must-do every year.
“Last year, I took my two kids and spent the summer in Vietnam,” recalls Teresa. “I taught English for 12 weeks and we traveled locally on the weekends. Then we spent nearly three weeks traveling through Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia before coming back to the United States. I earned enough over those 12 weeks to pay for the whole trip.” Teresa has a