Volunteer Holidays Abroad: A Meaningful Way to See the World

calendar_today April 9, 2024
schedule min read


5 years back, when I was planning to travel abroad, I stumbled upon the concept of ‘volunteer holidays’ and it turned out to be one of the most memorable journeys of my life. Truth be told, I barely knew what I was signing up for, when I decided to travel to Kenya and volunteer for the childcare program – but once I was there, I realized that I had the power to make a positive impact in someone’s life.

Now, after traveling to 22 countries, I still look back to my volunteer trip in Kenya, and whenever anyone asks me what is my favorite travel memory, I instantly know the answer. You are probably wondering why volunteering holidays abroad has become so popular amongst millennials and Gen Z.

Well, nowadays, people want to make the most of their time – and it’s absolutely wonderful to explore a new destination, with like-minded people, while contributing meaningfully towards society. Over the last decade, we’ve seen that volunteer holidays have become increasingly popular, and young adults have embarked on gap years as well, to make a difference in the developing nations across the world.

No matter whether you’re dreaming of soaking in the sun by the beaches of Thailand or wish to spot the wildlife in Kenya just like me – you’ll find ample scope to volunteer and turn your holiday into a meaningful journey.

Volunteering Solutions has been curating amazing volunteer holiday plans since 2007, and here are some amazing and affordable ideas for your next volunteer vacation abroad.

1. Travel to Bali and Volunteer for the Marine Conservation Program

marine conservation in Bali

I’m sure that we’ve all seen and loved the popular movie ‘EAT.PRAY.LOVE’ starring Julia Roberts, and dreamt of a vacation in Bali. Well, for most travelers, Bali is all about sandy beaches, stunning temples, delicious seafood, and authentic Balinese vibes. But once you’re there, you’ll discover that beyond lounging on the shores of Kuta Beach to exploring the ancient structures of Tanah Lot Temple, there’s so much!

But a trip to Bali is not just about sightseeing; it’s also about immersing yourself in the rich culture and traditions of Bali. The best way to do this is by volunteering for a Marine Conservation Program, where you can help protect the island’s precious marine life while making a positive impact on the environment.

Once you join the project and start working alongside professional conservationists, you’ll realize that the aim is not only to safeguard the delicate ecosystems but also to secure a sustainable future for the residents of this disadvantaged village.


2. Chase the wildlife in Kenya and Volunteer at the Childcare Center Program

volunteer in kenya for children

If you wish to fulfill your dreams of going on an African game drive – then here’s your chance! The sprawling plains of Maasai Mara and the breathtaking landscapes of Amboseli National Park will leave you awestruck – and you’ll get to spot packs of lions and herds of elephants, roaming around freely! Sounds like a scene from the Lion King movie, right? But that’s how beautiful Kenya is!

To make your journey memorable, you can sign up to volunteer for a childcare program, lending a helping hand to the young ones and contributing to their bright futures. You don’t need to be a professional caregiver to volunteer here, all you’ll need is patience and love! Your small steps can make a big difference in the lives of the little ones, living at this childcare center in the outskirts of Nairobi.


3. Trek the Himalayas and Volunteer for the Teaching Program in Nepal

teaching in nepal

If trekking to the Everest Base Camp has been there on your bucketlist, then we know how to turn that epic adventure trip into a soulful journey! Nepal, nestled between India and China, is home to the world’s highest mountains and some of the most ancient Hindu temples.

Join the teaching program in Kathmandu and spread the light of education among underprivileged children. Help them learn English (communication and writing) and Maths, as well as other subjects like Geography, General Knowledge, etc. While volunteering, you’ll get to spend adequate time with the locals, and needless to say, your volunteering experience here will be wholesome, as you’ll get to indulge in meaningful social work, and also, dive deeper into knowing the culture & heritage of the land before you hit the mountain trails!


4. Explore the ruins of Machu Picchu and Volunteer in Peru

Group volunteer in Peru

Perched high in the Andes Mountains, the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu are marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds the secrets of the Inca civilization, with its intricate stone structures and breathtaking panoramic views.

No matter whether you’re a history buff or an adventure enthusiast, Peru will never fail to mesmerize you! As you wander through the terraces, temples, and pathways of this legendary site, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the ingenuity and skill of the ancient builders.

To make your trip to Peru even more meaningful, you can volunteer for a teaching program in Cusco or work at a Disabled Care Center, providing support and guidance to those who need special care. It’ll be an incredible experience, to enjoy the local way of life by living with a Peruvian host family while volunteering. If you have a time crunch, you can also opt for the 1-Week Special or 2-Week Special Voluntour and experience the best of work & travel opportunities in Peru.


5. Learn to surf and Volunteer for Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka

sri lanka turtle conservation

With its warm waters, sandy beaches, and consistent surf breaks, Sri Lanka offers the perfect environment for beginners to catch their first wave and if you’re keen to learn surfing this year, then pack your bags and plan a trip to this gorgeous island country in Asia! And the best part? You can learn surfing and work in a Turtle Conservation Program, simultaneously!

Yeah, you read that right. Enrol for a surfing course in Welligama or Mirrissa, and spend your mornings chasing the waves! And spend the rest of the day working for the program, soaking by the beach, and occasionally, going for a swim in the ocean.

What more can you ask from a volunteer holiday? Also, make sure that once you’re done with your surf sessions and volunteering program, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and explore the stunning natural landscapes that make Sri Lanka truly special.


6. Take a road trip in Spain and Volunteer for the Community Development Program in Barcelona

spain volunteer work

A road trip in Spain is every traveler’s dream! From the sun-soaked beaches of the Costa del Sol to the charming cobblestone streets of historic cities like Seville and Granada, Spain is one of the most popular European destinations, visited by millions every year.

Volunteering Solutions has curated an amazing program that will let you immerse yourself in local life, by volunteering for the Community Development Program in Barcelona. Engage with local communities, contribute to meaningful projects, and make a lasting impact while experiencing the vibrant energy of this iconic city. It’ll be a great opportunity for you to gain first-hand international work experience while volunteering with a bunch of like-minded travelers from different parts of the world.


So what are you waiting for? The summer break is approaching and now is the best time to plan your volunteer holidays for 2024. If you wish to know more about the programs or need any assistance in deciding where to go and which program to opt for, write to us at [email protected] and our Program Advisors will get in touch with you.

Don’t settle for an ordinary vacation, plan a volunteer holiday – a meaningful way to see the world!

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