As one of the most wonderful opportunities in the world, volunteering and giving back have long been highly regarded and praised. In recent years, with the emergence of different bed and breakfast locations, travelers now have the chance to add a layer of service to their stays. With the added feature of giving back in their vacations, it’s now easier than ever for tourists to connect with the locals and support the community they visit. In this article, we explore the unique opportunity of being able to help while on vacation.
1. The Power of B&B Volunteering: A Guide to Giving Back
Giving back to the community is an important part of life, and Bed and Breakfast (B&B) volunteering is a great way to do so. From teaching classes to engaging in environmental conservation projects, there are many rewarding ways to make a difference in the world. Here’s a guide on how best to give back through B&B volunteering.
Know Your Priorities
Start by understanding your own motivations for volunteering. Do you want to build your professional development, apply the skills you already have, expand your network, garner more experience in your field? Spend some time reflecting and get clear on why this matters to you. Once you have clarity on what you want to get out of volunteering, you can figure out what type of volunteering is the best fit for you.
Consider the Causes You Care About
The diversity of options is astounding when it comes to B&B volunteering opportunities. Choose an area that speaks to you, whether it’s an environmental nonprofit, a housing charity, or any other cause you care about. Research the organization’s mission, program, and activities. This can trigger ideas on how you can help impact their program for the better.
Let Your Talents Shine
When volunteering for a B&B organization, think about how your skillset can make a difference. It may be something you already do well, like teaching, public speaking, and organizational work. Or if you have a passion for photography or writing, look for opportunities where you can use these unique skillsets to help your new organization and community.
Make a Difference with Your Time
Once you have done the research and identified an organization and the type of volunteering role you want to fulfill, you can now start dedicating time and energy to your cause. This could take many forms:
- Chairing board meetings to discuss administrative items and success strategies
- Leading small group discussions to discuss the project objectives and gathering input from volunteers
- Organizing and executing events like clean-up drives and fundraisers
- Creating content for website, blog, and social media posts
The time and energy you put into creating meaningful change can be incredibly rewarding. So get creative and find ways to make the most out of your B&B volunteering experience.
2. The Benefits of Volunteering In Bed & Breakfast Establishments
Volunteering in a bed & breakfast provides an excellent opportunity to increase experience in hospitality and hospitality management. The chance to work with knowledgeable and experienced staff can provide an invaluable learning experience. It is through this experience that one can learn how to create a warm and inviting experience for guests, as well as learn various aspects of customer service, marketing, and other important elements of successful, high-end accommodation.
Developing Network of Professionals
During their time volunteering in a bed & breakfast, participants are given the unique opportunity to build relationships with influential professionals in the hospitality industry. This network can open doors to experiences are typically not available to those starting out in the industry.
- Make professional contacts
- Opportunities to learn from experienced individuals
- Networking within the hospitality industry
Developing Professional Skills
Volunteering in a bed & breakfast gives volunteers the opportunity to gain experience in different areas of the hospitality industry. This can include marketing, food service, customer service and event planning, amongst other key roles. These activities provide an opportunity to grow and develop uniquely important skills that can be very valuable in the future.
- Customer service skills
- Catering and food service experience
- Event planning skills
- Marketing knowledge
Increased Potential for Employment
The experience gained by volunteering at a bed & breakfast also increases a person’s potential for obtaining quality hospitality roles in the future. One of the primary benefits of volunteering experience is that it gives participants an advantage over other applicants. Employers are always looking to hire individuals with relevant experience, and volunteering in a bed & breakfast can provide the experience they are looking for.
Volunteering in a bed & breakfast can provide participants with a wealth of professional experience and knowledge that can be invaluable in the future. Furthermore, this experience can open doors to better hospitality employment in the future.
3. How to Make the Most of Your B&B Volunteering Experiences
Working in a B&B can often be a great way to network. Capitalize on this opportunity to make some lasting professional connections. Meet with your fellow volunteers and hear stories from their experiences to gain valuable insight into different work environments. Use the opportunity to make connections with management staff and supervisors who may offer you advice or valuable contacts for the future.
Observe and Learn
Becoming a volunteer is as much a learning experience as it is a practical one. Take advantage of your time with the B&B organization to observe how things work in an environment that you may be inspired to join or work with one day. How is the facility structured? Who are the different departments and workers? What is the process of handling special requests? How do different staff interact in such an environment?
- Tailor Your Learning – Challenge yourself to learn something new while in the B&B, especially if it stems from something that you’re interested in. Ask questions and stay up-to-date on current trends and topics in the field.
- Explore Different Directions – Volunteer your services in different areas of the B&B to gain a well rounded-understanding of the work there. Work in areas like customer service, housekeeping, front desk, maintenance, and kitchen duties to gain different perspectives of the facility.
- Be Open-Minded – Try to remain open-minded about the people you work and interact with, even if they are not in the same field as yourself. Networking is a key component to career growth and development. Listen with a positive mindset and make the most of these experiences.
Engage in Meaningful Discussions
The people you interact with on a daily basis during your volunteer work will expose you to a range of opinions and beliefs. Open yourself up to meaningful conversations and debates about the issues that are important to the B&B organization and those you are serving. These discussions are valuable to your learning and will give you the confidence to consider your options.
Be a Leader
Your volunteer experiences also give you the perfect opportunity to practice developing your leadership skills. Whether you are working with fellow volunteers, management staff, or customers, showcase your dedication and hard work by taking on extra tasks. Think outside the box, taking initiative to suggest better ways of working or to solve any problems that may arise. Showcase your organization and teamwork skills, as those are essential qualities in the world of business.
4. Practical Tips for Making Your B&B Volunteering Season Fulfilling
Volunteering at a bed and breakfast can be an especially rewarding experience. Not only do you get to meet interesting people from around the globe, but you also get to immerse yourself in a new culture and discover a completely different way of life. Here are some practical tips to ensure that your B&B volunteering season is fulfilling:
- Get to know your guests: As a volunteer, you will most likely be responsible for taking care of the guests at the B&B. Take the time to get to know them and learn about their stories. The more you know about your guests, the more meaningful your experience will be.
- Get to know the locals: Make sure to take some time to explore the local area and get to know the locals. Make a point of talking to the locals when you can and learning about their way of life. This will give you a different perspective on the area and you may even pick up some valuable tips on things to do or places to visit.
It is also important to take care of your own needs while volunteering at the bed and breakfast. Make sure to take any time off that you need to rest and recharge. A well-rested volunteer will be more productive and will be able to make the most of the experience. Additionally, don’t forget to eat healthy and get some exercise. This will ensure that you have the energy to handle the various tasks that volunteering at a B&B entails.
Be a helpful volunteer: As a volunteer, you should strive to be as helpful as possible. Make sure that you are always attentive to the guests’ needs and are willing to lend a hand. This can help create a positive atmosphere for the guests and make your experience more fulfilling.
Finally, don’t forget to take time to explore the area. Make sure to take some time off to visit the sights and explore the local culture. This is a great way to get an even deeper understanding of the region and to make the most of your B&B volunteering experience.
As we wander across the globe, finding new places to explore, we also find new ways to give back. From beach cleanups to local homestay experiences, there are so many ways to make a difference. By volunteering during our B&B stays, we not only get to explore new cultures but also make a meaningful and memorable contribution to the destination. So when you next travel, consider getting involved with a volunteering opportunity and enjoy giving back while discovering all that the world has to offer.