The concept of traveling has changed manifold in the recent years and with every passing day, more and more millennials are taking volunteer trips abroad, in order to add some values to their travel experiences. Volunteering abroad is the best opportunity to share one’s knowledge, skills and enthusiasm while exploring the culture of a place, knowing more about the local people and contributing to a good cause.
However, the obvious question that arises is – “Why Should I Pay To Volunteer Abroad?” and then you’ll search on the internet about “How to volunteer abroad for free?”
The real cost of volunteering abroad
We all are well aware of the fact that any trip abroad costs a certain amount of money, which includes the flight fares, transportation costs, lodging, fooding, vaccinations, VISA etc. These remain the same when you choose to go for a volunteer vacation instead of a regular trip.
In case you choose to travel on your own, you have to incur these costs as well as find out a trusted organization in your destination where you can volunteer to make a meaningful difference. Trust me when I say this, it would be a difficult procedure and it might happen that you end up working for a cause that doesn’t provide you with mental satisfaction.
On the other hand, when you travel with a trusted volunteer placement organization, the money you pay includes everything from your airport pickup, accommodation, food, 24/7 in-country assistance as well as your program fee for being a part of a meaning project. And all these can come for an affordable price, without making a hole in your pocket! The extra costs that your bear is for your flight tickets and VISA, that you had to pay anyway.
Look out for the destinations and find affordable projects
When you plan for a volunteer vacation, choosing a proper destination is very essential. You must make sure that you travel to such a place where the host community really needs your involvement and can be benefitted by your contribution. Therefore, most of the volunteering projects are usually placed in the developing countries.
To cut the costs of your volunteering journey, choose an affordable yet meaningful project. This trip will not only let you give to the society, but also help you learn a lot from practical experiences – thus, choosing the project sensibly is absolutely essential.
Your time is inversely proportional to the money you pay
This means, if you spend more time to volunteer, you’ll pay a lesser amount. For example, the Street Children Volunteering Project in New Delhi, India, costs $250 for a week and $990 for 2 months.
Similarly, the Teaching Project in Cape Town, South Africa, costs $495 for 2 weeks and $1200 for 2 months.
This is because the amount that’s to be paid to the project remains the same – no matter whether you volunteer for a week or for 6 months. The cost that varies is that for your accommodation, food and assistance.
Travel in a group to get more discounts
Most of the volunteer placement organizations have special packages for groups of 5 or more. If you can convince your friends or family to travel abroad with you to volunteer, you can get great discounted prices as well.
Many college students’ groups as well as families are redefining the way of traveling and taking volunteer vacations over regular holidays to gain an experience of a lifetime.
Try to raise fund for your volunteer trip
Fundraising can be a great step to take a trip abroad to volunteer. All you have to do is make a story stating why you want to volunteer, what are your motives, what you think you can contribute and how it’ll help you grow. The more convincing your pitch is, the more money you can raise!
As they say, ‘Charity begins at home’ – pitch the idea to your parents, grand parents, uncles and aunts, cousins and siblings who will definitely find some sense in your plan and stretch their helping hands. Once you have support from there, take your ideas to your friends and acquaintances. In this era of growing social media, you can easily take its help and post about your plan and details of your trip to gain support.
You can also sell off those unnecessary things that you have, and earn some extra bucks! Or may be, work in a cafeteria for a week or two and manage the flight fare with what you earn.
Be transparent with the money you wish to raise, and don’t hide anything from the contributors. In fact, promise to get some souvenirs back for them!
To cut the long story short, Volunteering Abroad For Free Is A Myth!
It actually comes with a cost, but that is a justified cost. Once you take the trip, you’ll realize that your money has been put to proper use and not a single penny has been wasted. All your doubts about “where did my money go?” will eventually be sorted with time, as you’ll engage yourself in the project that’ll teach the best lessons of your life.