Volunteer World
Open navigation

Volunteer & Travel Programs

Volunteer and travel abroad to discover the most amazing places around the world and give something back at the same time...

Top 20 of 52 programs

Filter
Show All 52 Programs

Volunteering Trips

Why volunteer and travel?

The tourism industry has started to get a bad rap the past couple of years. Mass tourism has led to increased waste issues and diminishing natural resources. Tourist attractions are natural gems that are slowly losing their shine while keeping up with the demands of mass tourism. Tourism is an important source of income for developing countries boasting pristine, Instagram worthy destinations. The ongoing pursuit of increased revenue has come at a price for the environment while issues such as education and healthcare are ignored.

Voluntourism

Our planet has so much to offer and we should be able to enjoy the beauty. Consider traveling in a sustainable way where there’s an exchange between the guests and the hosts. Volunteer travel programs encourage exactly that. Several organizations offer a platform for tourists to travel and explore while they can volunteer and give back to the local community. This can be done in different ways ranging from teaching to helping with the clean up of coral reefs. You can focus on volunteer work with animals, people, the environment or a combination of everything.

Volunteering and its effects

While traveling as a tourist, we are usually shielded from the problems plaguing the local communities as we are preoccupied with the exquisite scenery. By volunteering for a program during your travels, you will get in touch with the community and gain a greater understanding of what is going on behind the scenes and will allow intercultural exchange to unfold. You will learn more about the culture of the country and locals will gain a better insight into your culture.

Tourists visiting developing countries are often shocked when they leave their hotel rooms. They’re gripped by the severity of the problems which are blatantly obvious at first glance. The discomfort and powerlessness they feel when witnessing this, discourage them from engaging with the community as they don’t know how to behave.

Satisfaction of volunteering

There are several organizations focused on voluntourism programs where tourists can enjoy the exquisite scenery but have the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way. The programs offer different ways for travelers to work with the local community and say: “thank you for having me”. A volunteer traveler will return to their country after a trip abroad astounded by the natural wonders but enriched with a feeling of satisfaction. Perhaps also giving them a piece of mind that however little it may be, they did something on their trip to help instead of just looking the other way. Africa, Asia or South America, they are waiting for your help and support.

What will I do when I volunteer and travel?

Volunteer and travel is a concept which is slowly spreading across the globe. Volunteer travel opportunities allow volunteer travelers to discover a certain part of the world and join organizations that will offer initiatives to support the community while guiding them on trips to common attractions as well as those off the beaten track. Options are seemingly endless and every travel hungry volunteer will find an organization that fits their criteria. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of volunteer travel organizations you may find on the site:

Sea and beaches

Volunteers who feel that a trip isn’t complete without sea, sun and sandy beaches can opt for one of the many programs focused on coastal and marine conservation. Head to the Maldives, chill out on the islands in Thailand or witness some of the most impressive sea creatures in South Africa.

Tourism is taking its toll on the beaches through increased amounts of waste which is steadily piling up. Coral reefs are in need of some tender love and care to be able to withstand the invasion of plastic. Get out your snorkeling gear and prepare for some of the following activities:

  • Island hopping
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving
  • Assisting in community development projects focused on
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Environmental conservation
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Climate change
  • Recreating coral reefs
  • Spotting whales, dolphins, sea turtles and more
  • Teaching

Join a volunteer project in one of the most idyllic locations and work with the community to give them better chances.

Landlocked adventures

Those who don’t like getting sand everywhere can opt for a project offering a more landlocked adventure. If you enjoy hiking and have a good physique, you’ll have no problems keeping up with some of the adventurous programs. Join a travel volunteer program abroad and witness some of the most biodiverse places in the world while encountering different ethnicities.

Trek around the Himalayas while you help restore homes which were destroyed during the earthquake. Immerse yourself in the culture by staying with traditional families in Nepal, India, and Peru. Learn about the culture, the food, and the people while you help in local schools and orphanages. Take in the natural wonders of all these exquisite destinations and grab opportunities to support the communities.

Animal lovers

For animal lovers out there, there are project opportunities focused on elephants, orangutans and marine animals waiting for your help. If you are completely in awe of these curious creatures, opt for a volunteer holiday with animals. Explore your surroundings while contributing to the communities that help conserve endangered species. Offset the unfavorable impact tourism has had on these animals by giving one these volunteer organizations a helping hand. These volunteer projects are a great combo of nature and culture. Get close to the animals and learn more about both the environment and the people.

If you’re looking for a well-rounded experience, a volunteer and travel program is an excellent bet. Marvel at your surroundings while being aware of the difficulties the communities are facing. Enjoy the activities knowing that by taking part you are supporting locals. Give back by dedicating some of your time and effort to help the community. Take a closer look at the exciting projects that will offer you an incredible yet sustainable experience.

What language skills are required?

English is the main language on all projects so it’s important that volunteers have a good understanding of English. This is important to work and communicate with the staff at the project center and other volunteers. For projects in South America, it would be great if you gain a basic knowledge of Spanish prior to going. Knowing some Spanish words will benefit your volunteer and travel experience.

Best places to volunteer and travel

Opportunities are at your feet. Both developing countries and developed countries are acknowledging the benefits of sustainable tourism. Therefore, there are projects around the world offering astonishing destinations in combination with opportunities to help the local community. Join one of these projects during your travels or gap year and work with those less privileged.

Latin America

Peru is a touristic hotspot on all traveler’s bucket list. Combine visiting one of the seven world wonders with a hike along the Inca trail and supporting children of the local community. Work for one of the many programs during your stay and learn more about the community.

Africa

Dreaming of a safari but want to do it in a sustainable way? Join one of the programs offering a unique combo of adventure in Africa and reality. Shine some light on the communities in Africa by spending time with them during your trip and helping out where it is needed most. Plenty of opportunities to help Africa bij joining a program. Your work will not go unnoticed.

Asia

Asia remains a safe and easily accessible part of the world to travel to. Go for an out of the box experience by choosing a project that will show you unique wonders untouched by mass tourism. Connect with the community and understand the culture while helping out. Nepal, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia are waiting for help. Take a look at the different options ranging from mountain treks to pristine beaches to lush jungles and prepare yourself for a life-changing experience.

There are plenty of volunteering projects available that will make sure you have explored the region to the full. These programs will ensure you get the best of both worlds. Volunteer and travel abroad and experience the satisfaction of contribution in combination with the excitement and exhilaration of travel.

Top 5 benefits of Volunteer and Travel

It’s hard to name drawbacks when talking about volunteering and traveling abroad. It’s almost always associated with feelings of positivity. Both allow people to get out of their usual environment and open up to new experiences. Volunteer and travel and you will be helping the communities of your travel destination. Let’s take a look at some other benefits volunteering and traveling may have in store for you:

1. Valuable Learning Opportunities

Choosing to volunteer and travel will open up a new world. You will learn about the country and culture and interact with the local community. This will ensure a deeper understanding of the people and their situation. Depending on your volunteer activities, you will gain valuable experience in teaching and other activities. Learn some new skills and witness the opportunities that will unfold. Whether it's for valuable work experience or a way to spend your gap year. Meaningful travel opportunities await you.

2. Meet new people

You will meet other volunteers and travelers who share your taste in activities and interests. You’ll be connecting with like-minded fellow volunteers and of course locals. This will be a wonderful opportunity for meaningful relationships and cultural interchange.

3. New Experiences

Volunteering is a brilliant way to expand your perspective of the world. Issues that seemed huge problems before, may seem trivial after your volunteer experience. New life experiences make you stronger and will empower you for the future.

4. Health Improvements

Traveling and volunteering are two ingredients that practically guarantee happiness. Traveling has proven beneficial as it puts people in a completely different environment allowing different parts of the brain to be used. Nature, which is usually a big part of going on a trip, is a wonderful healer for those under a lot of pressure and suffering from stress. On top of that, volunteering gives you a sense a purpose which is a major happiness influencer. Happy people tend to be healthy people. Volunteer and travel and notice the effects it has on you!

5. Travel

This is your chance to explore the world and discover some of the most interesting places the world has to offer. You’ll be doing this while contributing to a meaningful cause. What are you waiting for? Get out your luggage and start packing!

How do I get started with Volunteer and Travel?

Are you convinced volunteering and traveling is the best of both worlds? You’re absolutely right! Once you’ve picked a few programs which tick your boxes, let’s take a look at the first 3 steps which will send you on your way to volunteer and travel:

  1. Check whether there’s a match between you and the project. There may be some requirements you need to fulfill.
  2. Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it is a location you are excited about.
  3. Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and your schedule match up.

Once this is sorted. Let’s take a look at the practical steps:

Insurance (Health & travel)

We recommend getting both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is a requirement for many programs abroad. Get in touch with your program contact person to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.

Visa, Passport and Documentation

Once you know your destination, take the following 3 steps before setting off on your life-changing adventure!

  1. Look into the visa requirements for the country you will volunteer in.
  2. Make sure you have a valid passport considering the requirement of the host country.
  3. Make sure you prepare the correct documents to fulfill the visa application.

That’s it! Visa issues may be tricky in some countries so definitely take that into account when applying for a travel volunteer project. Start packing for your adventure abroad and prepare for a meaningful adventure in some of the most astonishing areas you’ll ever encounter.