Have you ever pondered upon the type of traveller you are:

Are you the "Relaxing Traveller"? You want a break from your stressed routine life. Thus, you check-in to a cool hotel in a nice photo-friendly location.

Are you the "Esteem Traveller"? You want to visit the "talk-of-the-town" places. Nevertheless, you check-in to a state-of-the-art posh hotel in that place.

Or Are you the "Socially Conscious Traveller"? The one who likes to travel to understand the culture of the place and help the needy. Along the way, you would probably book a hotel for a couple of hours because your main focus would be to serve the locals.

India is a developing country. Thus, "voluntourism" has become quite profound and vibrant here.

Teaching children around the country is a noble volunteering task

The best way to embark on a volunteer vacation is by choosing a location and contacting the local NGOs. Once you explain your purpose of visit, most NGOs would either incorporate you in their programmes or suggest relevant NGOs for your cause.  If you choose to travel to your destination by road, you can always check-in to a hotel where you can pay by the hour of use. These hourly hotels are extremely pocket-friendly. After reaching your destination, you can check-in to an hourly hotel to freshen up before starting your day.

There are multiple NGOs in India, who conduct volunteer travel programmes. It is definitely a great idea to join one such program. Some such not-for-profit organisations are:

  1. Ladli, Jaipur
Children at Ladli Vocational Training Centre

In the streets of the regal Pink City Jaipur, there are many slums. These slums are home to many poor children and orphans. These children are often exploited and forced into child labour. Ladli is a not-for-profit organisation which tries to provide a better life to the children by training and educating them. You can offer to teach a language or any other skill to these children.

Jaipur is famous for its jewellery and handicrafts. The children receive vocational training on these skills. You can also volunteer to promote the products made by the children.

Ladli does not provide accommodation. While you can spend the entire day with the NGO, you can book a hotel by the hour to sleep. This would help to keep your trip budget-friendly.    

2. Salaam Balaak Trust,Delhi

The streets of the capital of India is home to tens of thousands of children. Some are orphans, some live in slums while many have daringly abandoned their villages for the city life. These vulnerable children are at risk of exploitation. Salaam Baalak Trust provides shelter, education and training to these kids till they are matured and confident for the big world.

You can volunteer to teach these children any subject or skill. You can also provide health care or help to promote their cause. In return, you can be a part of the multiple City Walk Programs organised by them. The kids are trained guides and it is quite an experience to unravel the adventures of the lanes and by-lanes of the capital with them.

The shelter is located in the backpacker's ghetto, Paharganj. You can conveniently book a hotel by the hour in Paharganj to relax after a long and tiring day. The NGO also provides accommodation at a nominal rate.

3. SSTCN, Chennai

SSTCN stands for Students' Sea Turtle Conservation Network. They aim to protect the Oliver Ridley Sea Turtles and spread awareness of their endangered condition.

If you are a nature lover then the Turtle Walks and turtle eggs preservation would be enthralling experiences for you. You can volunteer to help them in multiple ways and make memories with these lovely sea-friends.

The walks are held on every Friday and Saturday. Hence, you can book a hotel for a few hours to freshen up before meeting the adorable turtles or to rest at the end of the day. You can book a hotel near the airport or the hourly hotels near the Chennai Central Railway Station or the hourly couple friendly hotels near IIT Madras or hourly couple friendly hotels in the heart of the bustling city.

4. PETA, India

PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA is the most famous and influential organisation with a cause to protect animals around the world. The Earth is not only for human beings. We must learn to co-habit with other animals in harmony without endangering their existence.

There are multiple volunteering opportunities available with PETA depending upon your skill-set and choice. But, they only reimburse essential travel expenses. You would have to arrange your own accommodation. In such a situation, it is extremely pocket-friendly to book a hotel by the hour.

The headquarters of PETA, India is in Mumbai. Just after reaching Mumbai, you can book an hourly hotel near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport to freshen before starting your journey with PETA. You can book a hotel in various areas of the city as you travel along.

5. Human Wave, Kolkata

Human Wave is a not-for-profit organisation that strives to improve the living conditions of poor people in and around the city of Joy. They also operate in Sunderbans and other remote areas.

You can volunteer to help the local people in multiple ways teaching, health care and microfinance.

If you are working with the youth or destitute of Kolkata, then you must book a nearby hourly hotel to rest. There are many nice hourly hotels near the Howrah railway station where you can freshen up before you start your vacation as a responsible tourist. The hourly hourly hotels near the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport are very hospitable. They are also a sustainable choice for any tourist.

6. Ecosphere, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

If you are looking forward to a life-changing experience in a scenic location then Ecosphere is the right NGO for you to volunteer with. They work to improve the living conditions of the locals in the beautiful Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh. You can help them with building infrastructure, setting up solar panels and other similar tasks. Ecosphere, led by the vivacious Ishita Khanna and Sunil Chauhan, is definitely the vacation destination for any sustainable traveller.

As the concept of sustainable tourism has become widely accepted in the country, the number of NGOs offering volunteer travel programmes has also blossomed. The above mentioned 6 organisations are a few from the bigger pool. You can always Google the NGOs in your vacation destination and find out the right program for yourself. Nevertheless, you should not forget that it is always more profitable to check-in to an hourly hotel when you hit the road, instead of booking a room for an entire day.

Volunteer tourism would definitely make you feel responsible and peaceful. Another soul-searching trip would be a vacation to the yoga destinations of the country to awaken your inner spiritual self.