Voluntourism. Here’s one of those word mash-ups which means exactly what you think it means.

According to a recent LA Times article by Kimi Yoshino, more and more people are giving up the traditional frivolous holiday of merrymaking and mirth and opting instead to volunteer their time wherever it is needed most.

In response to such philanthropy, United Way and CheapTickets.com have combined forces to launch a website which helps do-gooders plan their vacations with volunteer work in mind. The cool thing about the website is that one doesn’t have to donate their entire vacation to some type of work project. The site is organized so that people who want to donate just one day (or more) of their vacation can do so.

Currently interested travelers can search for opportunities by specific social issues, or by zip code or state (the site is currently limited to just U.S. locations). Interested in voluntourism abroad? Check out i-to-i, a British company that specializes in the larger world.

This is a great idea folks! It’s time to give back to the same planet that has so graciously hosted your travels for so many years. And, it’s probably good for your taxes as well.