VolunTravel offers the opportunity to participate in meaningful experiences to a demographic which is often overlooked – people unaffiliated with religious groups or college programs. VolunTravel presents a vehicle for varied groups of all ages and backgrounds to embark on an amazing journey and make a change in the world, and themselves.
The VolunTravel experience is unique in that it has very low overhead, minimal staff expenses, and seeks to remain a small, personalized organization. To this end, VolunTravel strives to keep its costs to a reasonable level while ensuring a safe and culturally rich experience. VolunTravel has minimal overhead, as its only employee, Craig Dreves, earns his living and benefits working as a teacher in the Rye City School District. Besides necessary insurance premiums, minimal administrative costs, and nominal overhead costs, volunteer fees essentially include the actual costs of the trip plus a fractional share of the chaperone’s trip. VolunTravel also offers guidance to volunteers on how to conduct fundraising campaigns that can cover part, or all, of the costs of the trip.
Most importantly, VolunTravel is not a standard tour company. VolunTravel focuses on creating authentic experiences for the volunteers, which include eating native foods, staying in accommodations run by local small businesses, traveling as locals would, and interacting with host country nationals as equals.
VolunTravel’s operations initially will be limited to the Tri-State NY area, and international trips will be limited to countries where one, or more, of VolunTravel’s staff has an intimate knowledge. VolunTravel’s founder has personally visited each of the volunteer sites and has met the on-site coordinators before giving his approval for groups to travel there. When seeking guides for its trips, VolunTravel recruits the efforts of host country nationals, Peace Corps volunteers, and other people who have a personal knowledge of the country, the culture, and the language.