Toward the beginning of the year, I read LifeHacker’s “How to Book a $1700 Vacation for $700 by Volunteering” that listed a bunch of non-profit organizations needing volunteers willing to travel to great places, work a lot, and travel some. The big advantage to this, is that working 40 hours a week, means that your expenses are all tax deductible for income taxes. The important part here, is that, for those deductions, you must donate at least the standard deduction – $5,300- but between GT Waterski, Georgia Tech Roll Call, even my GT Athletics Donation, and some other non profit 501c3 organizations, I should be in line for that.
Some things you get to deduct (31-41% discount for somebody like me)
- Air Travel
My $600+ plane ticket
- Hotel Stays
I stayed in a hotel a few nights while out there
I eat, Gotta eat, this is just like a company per diem
Anchorage for Habitat For Humanity
I looked at going out of the country to maybe Costa Rica or Ecuador, but this added some costs, limitations, and many trips were full. I hadn’t ever been to Alaska yet, so it turned out to be a great opportunity.
Habitat helps lower income (30-60% of median wage for the area) afford houses but cutting some building costs through volunteers and negotiations, and along with the lower cost, finance homes at 0%. The homeowners are also encouraged to work on their houses and talk with financial planners to be smart with their budgets.
We also got to travel and see some of Alaska, I’ll get to that later.