Have you always wanted to travel the world but are worried about expenses?

A map of the world with money laid on it. Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

Or maybe you just want to see the world become a better place?

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Consider volunteering while traveling!

Not only is it possible to save you money, but you can gain rich cultural experiences by living and working alongside local people.

Why volunteer abroad?

Volunteering abroad has several possible perks!

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  • Save money by getting free room and board

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  • Live and work alongside locals to gain an authentic, non-tourist experience

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  • Gain a new perspective

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  • Make the world a better place by helping others

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  • Discover more about yourself and decide what path you should take in the future


  • Build unique and fruitful relationships

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  • Learn new skills

Volunteer organizations geared toward travelers

Several organizations can connect you with private citizens to do informal volunteer work for free room and board.

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Generally, this type of volunteering has you helping local people with childcare, personal projects, and organic farming. It's laidback and tailored to backpackers who want to travel everywhere, even to expensive countries.

Websites that can connect you with a host include:


  • WWOOF: "Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms" helps people connect with small organic farms around the world. Volunteers are given free room and board in exchange for a set number of working hours per week.

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  • Workaway, Worldpackers, and HelpX: Take a working holiday by volunteering your services and helping private citizens with childcare, household renovations, their gardens, and much more. You could also work at a hostel and connect with fellow travelers! Free room and board is provided by hosts.

  • A man sleeping on a couch Couchsurfing: This website allows users to offer or find a place to sleep. All users are private citizens trying to connect with like-minded people. Work is not required but gifts, skill exchanges, and household help is always appreciated!

More serious volunteer opportunities

If your focus is more on helping others than simply traveling to other countries, some organizations offer more serious volunteer opportunities.

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These differ from the organizations mentioned earlier in a few ways:


  • You often have to pay to volunteer with these organization since they need all the help they can get.

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  • You wouldn't be helping private citizens with small projects — you'd be helping large groups in need due to systemic problems and emergencies.

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  • They usually operate in developing countries.

Some organizations include:


  • African Impact has a host of volunteer programs involving teaching, healthcare, sports, gender equality, and conservation. Explore Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Zanzibar, or Zimbabwe while helping others and building your resume.


  • A Broader View is a U.S. nonprofit that operates in Asia. Programs include medical, childcare, social work, and wildlife conservation.


  • IPBio is a Brazilian organization that recruits volunteers for conservation projects in the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon Rainforest.

Quiz 1: John

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Ever since John was young, he's hated seeing people suffer! He's always wanted to help make the world a better place. He has a lot of extra money saved up so he can afford to take an extended sabbatical from his job to live his dream.


What type of volunteering best suits John? Select all activities that apply:

Quiz 2: Jane

A backpacker

Jane loves traveling more than anything. She wants to backpack the world but she has a very limited budget. She hopes to learn new skills, build amazing friendships, and discover what she wants to do with her life while on the trip.


What type of volunteering best suits Jane? Select all activities that apply:

Take Action

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Ready to start your volunteering adventure?


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