Travel as Volunteer

Are you willing to put in a little sweat equity on your next vacation in exchange for free meals and accommodations?

Travelling as a volunteer will not only bring you to destinations you’ve never imagined of visiting but you will be helping people in need too! There are thousands of these program durations ranging from days, to weeks to years of volunteering in various destinations where they will fly you to the destination (of course it’s a round-trip), show you around the city or town, give you a place to stay and feed you all while you are there for a great cause.

There are many organizations out there but I’ll be listing a few interesting ones below. While not all topics listed here are free, but they are very much affordable options. Stay all the way to the end of the article and I’ll show you how you won’t have to spend a penny out of your pocket!


Peace Corps

Volunteers at Peace Corps immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation.  Here volunteers help the communities with education and various ways how Western Society can help them. Volunteers here will receive training, compensation ($), medical / health care, personal time off and even social security retirement benefits.  What’s the catch you say?  There is a 2 year commitment.  It’s not bad knowing they’re paying you to help people and you get full benefits including cell phone and internet services.


United Nations 

Similarly to the Peace Corps, you can volunteer at United Nations. You will be slightly compensated but it won’t be the same as being employed by the United Nations. Whether you are volunteering or employed at the United Nations, it’s still a privilege to help people as well add an amazing topic of discussion on your next interview – extra brownie points. There are a few tiny requirements that may prevent some people from being able to volunteer here – you must be 22 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree. There are programs suited for youth of 19 years to 29 years old but you will be volunteering within your country.


Plan My Gap Year

Although this option may not be free with Plan My Gap Year, this organization has programs starting from $260 USD. Here you get to choose the country of your choice (some examples Ghana, Morocco, Bali, Cambodia, India, Thailand, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Costa Rica, Peru and many more!). Adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit from these programs but teenagers and entire families can participate in these programs too. You can choose from teaching English, wildlife conversation to medical & health. A full list is available on the website.


Maximo Nivel

Similarly to Plan My Gap Year, Maximo Nivel has destinations in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru. Here they offer lodging, food, TV, WiFi, salsa dance classes, cultural events and things to do in and around town. This organization has their campuses and their lodging works a lot like home stays, called Family-Stay. You’ll be staying with host families working with Maximo Nivel. You’ll be sharing your room with similar age and gender volunteers. Private rooms are available too but for a small fee.


Secret to making your volunteer trip FREE!

Thank you all for reading all the way down to the end or maybe you scrolled down, it’s okay, I won’t judge. Just like when you were in school and we did bake sales for a school trip, you can do something similar. If you can’t bake, it’s ok. You can host a garage sale, host a bottle drive by asking friends and family to donate their bottles. Take advantage of the online fundraising platforms (like GoFundMe or GoGetFunding). Use your social media presence to ask your network to help you on your upcoming journey. This one is my favourite one called Virtual Fundraising Challenge. You can get as wacky or creative you like on this one. Have people donate to the challenge of your choice (or theirs!) and have fun and stay safe doing

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