Want to get a taste of voluntourism without having to give up your entire vacation to do it? You've probably heard by now about voluntourism — volunteer vacations for tourists that let folks spend their holidays rebuilding trails or surveying wildlife in parks and conservation areas around the world. Packages generally include meals, simple lodging, spectacular views and an amazing opportunity to be part of a program to preserve and protect the natural world.

What a great idea, right? Except that most of these vacation packages require a one- to two-week commitment at minimum. That may be more time than some folks can dedicate to a volunteer project. So it's precisely for this reason that one tour company, Biosphere Expeditions, has launched a new series of volunteer vacations that can be "sampled" in just one day.

Biosphere Expeditions "Experience Days" have been a hit in Europe for the past few years, so the group is bringing them to U.S. parks for 2012. Sampler Days will give folks the chance to be part of a small team of volunteers and conservationists while learning techniques used in wildlife conservation research and data collection. Volunteers will learn how to identify plants and animals, interpret animal tracks, use telemetry equipment, and even set up wildlife camera traps.

Sounds like a full day!

Check out the website for an overview of conservation opportunities.

A new way to test drive a volunteer vacation
Experience Days give participants a taste of a volunteer vacations in just one day.