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Volunteer Travel Programs
Take a meaningful volunteer trip abroad and support local communities in need
Seize the opportunity to volunteer and travel this year with Projects Abroad. You can give back to communities in need, or protect endangered wildlife as you travel and volunteer with animals in stunning environments like rainforests. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll become part of our efforts to change the world through long-term plans and solutions. And with our stance as champions of responsible volunteer travel , you can be assured that you'll have an ethical experience.
There are several benefits to our volunteer travel programs. You will:
- Add real-world experience and new skills to your resume
- Participate in volunteer work that makes a real impact
- Choose what to do and where to go, from anywhere between one week to a full year. We can design your trip to fit your schedule
- See, taste, hear, and fully experience the culture of your host country
- Have the support of our trained in-country staff 24/7 . They’ll ensure that you have everything you need as you travel the world and volunteer
- Become part of a global network of volunteers from across the globe
Our programs are entirely flexible, so your volunteering trip abroad starts with choosing:
- What kind of work you want to do
- Where you want to go
If you want to travel and do volunteer work independently, but still have support when you need it, we recommend joining a Flexi Trip . You can join a Team Trip if you enjoy working in a group that takes on a challenge together over set dates.
Having visited Cambodia on a holiday, I had always wanted to visit it again but not as a tourist. I wanted to live there as a local and do something meaningful. - Edward H, Teaching in Cambodia
Is a travel volunteer opportunity right for me?
Travel with Purpose
If you want to do something meaningful for others or the environment, and you’re passionate about travel, a volunteer trip abroad is for you.
Every task you do will contribute towards our long-term, sustainable goals. We have Management Plans that outline the aim of each project we run and help us focus our resources on the most important goals. They also allow us to structure our work and monitor its impact.
We offer a hassle-free experience on all of our trips. This gives you the space to focus on your work and what’s important to you. If you’re itching to see the world while actively making a difference, our programs are for you!
Volunteer Programs to Travel the World for All Age Groups
Outside of our Flexi Trips and Team Trips, we also have volunteer travel programs specially built for different age groups. These include:
- High school volunteer opportunities for students ages 15-18
- Volunteer travel programs for seniors, and older adults over 50
Whether you’re looking to volunteer independently or embark on a volunteer trip with a group, we can match you to the project that best fits your goals. Interested in learning more? Read this blog about our best volunteer abroad programs . If you have more questions, get in touch with our Project Experts .
Can I travel the world for free as a volunteer?
Hoping to travel and volunteer abroad for free? The short answer is “no, you can’t" and we have a number of reasons why we ask you to pay for your trip. Read our blog post about why you shouldn't travel the world for free as a volunteer .
Choose a Volunteer Travel Program
1- 3 of 89 Projects
Take a Gap Semester Abroad in South America
- Price: $7,895 USD for 8 weeks
- Extra Weeks: $300 USD
- Start Date: Throughout the year
- Minimum Duration: 8 weeks
- Ages: 17-24
Giant Tortoise & Sea Lion Conservation in the Galapagos Islands
- Price: $2,970 USD for 1 week
- Extra Weeks: $470 USD
- Start Date: Anytime
- Minimum Duration: 1 week
- Ages: 16 or over
Rhino Conservation in Nepal
- Price: $3,140 USD for 2 weeks
- Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
Can’t find what you’re looking for?
We’d be happy to talk about creating a custom volunteer travel program for you. Most of our staff have been volunteers themselves, so they’re ready to answer your questions, big or small.
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7 Most Popular Volunteer Travel Opportunities in the World
by GoAbroad Writing Team - Last updated on April 10, 2023
There are many types of volunteer placements around the globe, so choosing the right type for you can sometimes be even more difficult than choosing the location. It is important to find the right kind of placement, so you will be able to enjoy your volunteering stint to the fullest. Here are our favorite ways to experience volunteer work and travel at once.
Kids who are victims of the supertyphoon Haiyan. Photo by Ian Delgado
1. Working with kids
Volunteering in childcare is one of the most popular volunteer placement choices in both developed and developing countries. frequently deal with the issue of understaffing and need more people to help supply the daily needs of the children and perform general tasks required to maintain a home full of children.
These projects often involve day care and youth development, as you will be working closely with kids who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, who may not have parents or who don't have anyone else to look after them.
[ Important: Here are 23 questions to ask before volunteering with children abroad ]
If you intend to volunteer in these types of projects, you absolutely must have a heart (and the energy) for children. You must be prepared to care for children physically and emotionally, tasks may include changing diapers, teaching basic life skills, and organizing special activities.
Childcare volunteering can be highly stressful work, as the kids you handle may have had poor parenting, be behind in development, or have emotional issues because of their life experiences, so you will need a good amount of patience to pull the job off successfully.
A January 2017 study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that 80% of children in Cambodian orphanages indeed have at least one living parent.
Volunteering with children is a good project for you if you are majoring in social work, education, family and child development, psychology, or community development. Given the vulnerable nature of children, it might not be a good project if you are not trained in childcare, and especially not if you are planning on volunteering abroad short-term (less than a few months).
Be leery of orphanage scams and critical of your own ability to make meaningful difference in broken childcare systems (which are oftentimes perversely incentivized by western demand to create institutions for children that don't necessarily need them).
Who knows where your volunteer work and travel will take you, but we Tibet it'll be somewhere cool!
2. Community building
Community building often involves working with adults, particularly those supported through grassroots organization and living in rural villages. The main purpose of community-based volunteer work is to help particular populations establish a stable source of livelihood, enhance their skill set, encourage unity, and contribute to the construction of community spaces.
Community development volunteering usually takes place in rural areas. Tasks involved may include building structures, holding seminars or workshops, and conducting health or medical missions. What your placement entails will depend greatly on the organization you volunteer with.
Aside from local community leaders and general community members, you may also find yourself working with researchers, architects, and NGOs officials to coordinate development projects.
Another popular type of volunteering is in the field of education. In this type of volunteer work, international volunteers typically handle students of all ages and backgrounds.
Volunteers might work with orphans, out-of-school youth, or even adults, and teach them a wide array of subjects, from English and art to life skills and disease prevention.
Unlike professional teaching jobs, teaching abroad as a volunteer will allow you to conduct lessons in a variety of environments, such as academic institutions, clinics, orphanages, and rural community centers.
While education volunteering abroad cannot always be converted into academic credit, international teaching experience can benefit your resume greatly, especially if you decide to pursue a career in education.
Healthcare volunteers helping the community.
4. Public health awareness
Public health awareness is popular in countries where health problems are rampant, including many countries in Africa.
Health education volunteer program s often place volunteers in communities that are plagued with various health issues such as HIV/AIDS, where volunteers are needed to teach disease prevention as well as educating locals on how to overcome the disease and keep it from spreading.
When volunteering in public health awareness programs, volunteer tasks may include conducting seminars, providing treatment, supplying feedings to locals, and assisting in other health related work.
This type of volunteering abroad is ideal for individuals who hope to pursue medical-related careers or are established health care professionals.
5. Wildlife & marine conservation
Perhaps one of the best types of volunteering abroad, wildlife and marine conservation volunteer placements are highly coveted due to their adventurous nature. Volunteers will get to travel to unique places, work with exotic species, and usually live close to the beach or in a naturally beautiful location.
Rather than focusing on the care of humans and communities, wildlife conservation programs focus on caring for wildlife, both in the wild and in the sea. Your tasks will include surveying wildlife and marine reserves, rescuing animals, and assisting researchers in various other aspects of their studies.
Some conservation volunteer programs also include diving trainings or certification, so you can learn how to explore life underwater too!
[ Want to volunteer with animals? Ask these 27 questions first ]
6. women's health, welfare, & rights.
Volunteering with women has become increasingly popular as groups focused on the well-being of women are beginning to to create more and more volunteer programs. Similar to placements in community building, women focused volunteer placements most often allow volunteers to work with in rural areas or in protective shelters.
Most of the women volunteers engage with through volunteer program will want to learn more life skills, such as setting up their own income generating activities. Local women may also be victims of domestic violence, therefore volunteers may be tasked with helping them overcome the trauma they have experienced through teaching them coping techniques or new skills to build their confidence or self-esteem.
Support women's development and empowerment projects on your travels.
7. Multi-country volunteering
Multi-country volunteering is among the most exciting types of placements today, mainly because you get to travel from one destination to another throughout the program. In these volunteer programs volunteer get to settle in multiple countries and conduct unique projects in each location.
If you have a knack for traveling then this is one of the best types of volunteering programs to apply for. At times it may be tiring, but the overall experience you will gain will be extremely rewarding at the end of the program.
Your volunteer abroad toolkit
Before volunteering abroad, take a gander through the following links to better prepare your mind, heart, and body for the intense experience that is international service work:
- How to fund your volunteer adventure (or do it for free )
- How to choose the right volunteer program for you
- The ultimate preparation guide to volunteering abroad
- Report: top destinations for volunteering internationally in 2018
Find ways to combine volunteer work and travel
Dirty hands, happy hearts
The notion of giving some of your vacation time "back" by doing good in the world is indeed a noble venture. However, it is imperative that volunteers do legitimate assessing of the organizations they are working with to coordinate their volunteer project placements. Is the work sustainable? Do they incorporate locals into the projects and are they teaching those locals how to manage projects independently? Have they given serious thought to the short and long term impacts of their work?
As you go deeper into the rabbit hole of finding meaningful volunteer travel opportunities, remain conscious of where you money is going, who is really benefitting, and how you intend to connect your experience abroad with communities in need in your own backyard.
Find volunteer travel opportunities now
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Experience a different culture abroad, world’s #1 volunteer programs. 40+ countries from $20/day, volunteer abroad with gvi and make a lasting impact, go where help is needed. volunteer in africa, volunteer abroad to make a global impact & immerse in a new culture, volunteering in jamaica is now possible travel responsibly with kaya, related articles, volunteering or voluntourism: what’s the difference, 13 best volunteer programs in south america, 8 steps to volunteering abroad asap, 12 fun ways to volunteer and vacation in 2023, how to get involved in humanitarian work, how to save the planet.
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Volunteer and travel abroad to discover the most amazing places around the world and give something back at the same time ... read more
Volunteer and travel abroad to discover the most amazing places around the world and give something back at the same time. This is the perfect opportunity for volunteers at all stages of life: from college students to those over 50 , there is the perfect volunteering trip for everyone.
If you are looking for some true volunteer travel adventure and you want to explore every destination to the fullest, our wildlife volunteer trips are the right thing for you. Discover lots of different places and volunteer for different projects where you build houses , engage with local communities or help protect endangered animals . Take action and apply for a volunteer trip abroad!
Let's get Sustainable - 6 Weeks on the move
Learn about the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. Embark yourself on an adventure that will take you to discover all of Iceland and its natural wonders. Details >
Equine and Wildlife Holiday
Want to view African wildlife in a Big 5 game reserve, take part in various equine activities, make a difference on outreach and experience incredible excursions? Details >
Real Asia Encounter
Sri Lanka, India and Nepal! We can’t think of a more sublime combination of exotic and fascinating countries to volunteer in over 6, 9 or 12 weeks. Details >
Surf & Help - Marine Wildlife Conservation
We include a FREE 1-week Spanish Course, to allow you to have a greater impact. Surf, preserve nature and protect endangered marine wildlife. Details >
Building an Outdoor Activity Camp
Help to build an outdoor activity camp! Details >
Real South East Asia Encounter
If weeks spent volunteering around one of the most colourful parts of the world sounds enticing, then this combo of Vietnam, Cambodia & Bali is ideal. Details >
Learn Spanish, Dance & Culture
Two or four week full cultural immersion based in Old Havana. Spanish classes are supplemented with dance classes, cultural tours, and weekend in Viñales valley. Details >
Real South America Encounter
Embark on this stunning trip across Costa Rica, Ecuador & Peru where you are guaranteed to experience all aspects of South American lifestyle and culture. Details >
Real Africa Encounter
Spend a life-changing 6, 9 or 12 weeks of volunteering across the world’s second-biggest continent in Ghana, fascinating Tanzania & epic South Africa! 🌍 Details >
Learn Spanish & Support the Locals
What’s happening in Cuba right now? Volunteer placements and activities to connect with Cuban people, understand their culture and history and turbo charge your Spanish. Details >
Inca Trail Adventure & Children Support
A specially designed 2 weeks program that offers a great blend of some meaningful volunteer work and exciting weekend trips. Witness a typical Peruvian lifestyle! Details >
South American Experience
Volunteer in an Animal Rescue Center, learn Spanish in Cusco, trek the Machu Pichu, support a local community project and go to the Galapagos Islands! 🥾 Details >
Coastal Conservation, Research & Education Helper
There are loads of activities we offer during your stay with us! Our motto is: research, conserve and protect! Details >
Work with Indigenous Mayan Communities
A unique and authentic cultural immersion experience in Guatemala, where volunteers live and work in a local indigenous community. Details >
Learn Spanish, Dance & Adventure Habana & Vinales
Four week full cultural immersion based in Old Havana & Viñales. Spanish classes are supplemented with dance classes, cultural tours and adventure activities. Details >
Learn Spanish & Local Adventure
One week learning Spanish and exploring Viñales Valley – bursting with tobacco plantations, traditional farming, unique limestone mountains. Horse, bike, hike adventure! Details >
Kruger to Coast: Safari, Beach & Community
Spend time working on worthwhile projects in the community, take a thrilling safari and then spend a week on the palm fringed beaches of Mozambique. Details >
Golden Triangle Experience
This program offers a wonderful combination of travelling India and providing help to vulnerable children and indigenous elephants Details >
Real Taster Encounter
Our top destinations mixed into one trip! Don’t miss your chance to sample and a make difference in sleepy Sri Lanka, inspiring India & beautiful Bali! Details >
Summer Volunteering and Adventure
Experience the blend of exciting adventure tours and meaningful volunteering work under this specially designed 2 weeks program covering Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Pushkar. Details >
Do you love traveling but you would also want to contribute to a larger goal? Are you someone who wants the best of both worlds? Look no further. There is a wide range of volunteer projects around the world offering you just that. Trekking in the Himalayas, snorkeling and diving in crystal clear water or getting close to some of the most exotic creatures are activities you can indulge in while helping the local community.
Discover some of the most astonishing places on the planet while helping families rebuild homes after a disaster, help clean up reefs and beaches, teach English to children, and so much more. Aligning the dreams of travelers with the needs of locals is what voluntourism is all about. Join one of the many programs and explore the world in a responsible way . Are you ready embark on a trip you will never forget?
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.
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
- Environmental conservation
- Sustainable tourism
- Climate change
- Recreating coral reefs
- Spotting whales, dolphins, sea turtles and more
Join a volunteer project in one of the most idyllic locations and work with the community to give them better chances.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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:
- Check whether there’s a match between you and the project. There may be some requirements you need to fulfill.
- Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it is a location you are excited about.
- 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!
- Look into the visa requirements for the country you will volunteer in.
- Make sure you have a valid passport considering the requirement of the host country.
- 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 .
- Volunteer Abroad
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Volunteer Travel Opportunities in the USA
By Rachel Roderick
Updated for 2023-2024
Volunteer abroad programs cover an enormous variety of opportunities ranging from environmental conservation to teaching English, from childcare to medical assistance, and everything in between. There are projects that you can choose from all over the world, from South America to Africa and Asia and beyond, all with amazing opportunities to contribute your talents.
For some, leaving the United States to volunteer overseas isn’t practical. But there’s no need to miss out on the experience! There are exciting projects available across this country, making volunteer travel in the United States an excellent option for those who prefer to stay closer to home – and for those from around the world who would like to visit the USA.
Let’s take a look at a few different volunteer opportunities around the United States!
Volunteer Travel in the United States with International Volunteer HQ
Since 2007, the volunteer travel experts at IVHQ have worked to ensure that volunteer experiences are accessible to everyone who wants to participate. IVHQ has placements in more than 40 countries, and it is an organization focused on responsible, high-quality, safe projects that will help you develop greater global awareness while contributing your skills to your host community.
In the United States, IVHQ’s premier program takes place in the cities of New Orleans, Louisiana and San Diego, California . Depending on your interest and abilities, you can choose from the following opportunities:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Housing and Homeless Support
- Arts and Community Outreach
- Neighborhood Renovation
There are 6 impactful projects you can choose from, and start at $676 for one week. Check out San Diego’s Environmental Sustainability project , where you will help with beach cleans to protect the coastal ecosystems, plant trees to protect the shoreline, and educate the public about environmental sustainability through community outreach.
For a hands-on experience, check out New Orleans’ Construction and Renovation project . This city needs revitalization due to the damages of frequent hurricanes, notably Hurricane Katrina and Ida. You will help with building or repairing homes and shelters to beautify communities for its residents. Construction duties include painting, carpentry, landscaping, etc. For more information, click here .
Outside of the mainland, IVHQ also offers volunteer projects on the island of Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory. To learn more about their Puerto Rico volunteer opportunities, click here .
Volunteer Travel in the United States with Fronteering
The tagline for Fronteering tells you all you need to know about volunteering on one of these projects: More Real. More Raw. This organization is focused on giving you the adventure of a lifetime, offering placements in areas where nature, wildlife, and indigenous cultures abound. Fronteering is a popular option for those who want to explore some of the less-traveled corners of the world.
The United States still has plenty of wild places, and Fronteering can get you there. These are three opportunities for experiencing the very best nature has to offer, while making important contributions to animal care.
Wild West Wildlife – Photos simply don’t do justice to Arizona’s scenery. You can see it in-person and up-close when you choose to volunteer with Wild West Wildlife. You will spend your time learning to care for injured animals, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. When you aren’t hard at work , you can visit some of the most breathtaking places in America. Hike the Grand Canyon, visit First Nations communities, and explore historic towns that date back to the gold rush days.
Florida Island Center – The seas around Florida’s tip are home to an extraordinary wildlife population. Unfortunately, accident and injury can leave these creatures fighting for survival. When you volunteer with the Florida Island Center, you will spend your days working to rehabilitate native animals, with the goal of releasing them back into their habitats. The Center is located between Miami and the Everglades, so there are plenty of ways to enjoy your downtime – visit local beaches or learn to snorkel and scuba dive in between your rescue work.
Horse Rescue Ranch – With a minimum stay of four weeks, you can count on getting in-depth experience with horses through this wonderful program. You will get to know the ranch’s equine residents, who arrived after being abandoned, injured, or neglected, and you will learn all there is to know about caring and rehabilitating these gentle creatures. The Horse Rescue Ranch was founded in 1975, and it has successfully placed more than 2,500 horses in new homes.
Volunteer Travel in the United States with Frontier
Frontier was founded in 1989, and more than 103,000 volunteers have been placed in projects around the world to date. This organization specializes in customized programs that range from a few weeks to an entire year.
If you’re looking to volunteer in America, Frontier offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to care for injured and neglected wildlife, including bears, large cats, bats, wolves, and primates. You may even have the opportunity to participate in releasing bears back to their natural environment once they are strong enough to live independently. All of this happens in the heart of the Sunshine State at the Florida Animal Rescue .
Volunteer Travel in the United States with Global Volunteers
There is a reason that so many people have chosen projects with Global Volunteers . This organization has something for everyone! Whether you are a student, a professional, or a retiree, you can be sure that there is a project for you. While there are programs on six continents – 33 total countries – you don’t have to leave the United States to make a difference. These three volunteer opportunities provide critical services to the community:
- Appalachia – West Virginia’s majestic mountains offer a beautiful backdrop to coal mining country, where employment is low and poverty is high. Bring your skills to these “empowerment zones” and work one-on-one with residents or in a group setting to complete community projects.
- Rosebud Reservation and Blackfeet Reservation – The plains of South Dakota are home to Sicangu Rosebud Sioux people, and you are invited to spend some time with them on their reservation. Alternatively, you can request placement with Blackfeet Nation of Montana. While you learn about Native American culture, you will participate in critical service projects to support the community. Though many tourists have been to these reservations, few get to see it like you will during your volunteer week.
The United States has endless diversity in culture, landscape, and people. Get an in-depth view of American life in lesser-known areas when you choose volunteer travel in the United States.
Ready to Travel in the USA?
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Rachel Roderick · Guest Writer
Based in Rhode Island, Rachel researches and writes about volunteer, intern, and teach abroad programs worldwide. She has traveled to some of the world's most exciting destinations - including Iceland and South Africa - and in her spare time loves skydiving, rock climbing, and canoeing.
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Jobs that require travel: 25 amazing careers that let you see the world
A list of super cool jobs that require travel or can be done remotely and tips to get free accommodation abroad and live the life of your dreams.
Nov 09, 2023
Ever felt a pang of envy for those who seem to live out of their suitcases, collecting passport stamps like badges of honor? Ever wished your job would let you explore different corners of the world? Luckily, there are many jobs that require travel. You could soon be globetrotting as part of your work!
In this article, we’ll explore 12 amazing careers that call for travel and 13 professions that allow you to work remotely as you globe-trot . Plus a special tip on how to volunteer in exchange for accommodation as you travel around the world.
The allure of jobs that require travel
Jobs that require travel are more than just a way to earn a living. They give you a chance to have thrilling experiences, encounter new cultures, and cultivate oneself. Take a look at some of the advantages of this lifestyle.
Exposure to different cultures
By engaging in a job that requires travel, one can gain an immersive experience of diverse cultures. Beyond simply visiting new places, these jobs often demand interaction with locals, which adds another layer of cultural experience. It's like having the world as your classroom.
Opportunities for networking
Journeying far and wide gives you access to networks beyond your home base. Meeting professionals from other countries can open doors for future opportunities - think global collaborations or even job offers. Effective networking, after all, plays a significant role in career advancement.
Navigating through foreign lands can hone important skills such as problem-solving abilities and adaptability . You may face challenges along the way – language barriers or unfamiliar customs – but overcoming them helps develop resilience.
Besides professional development, travel-related work fosters personal growth too. " Travel broadens the mind " - this adage rings true when you step out of your comfort zone and venture into unknown territories.
Adventure and exploration
Travel jobs often equate to an adventurous lifestyle. You might have the chance to explore uncharted terrains, meet diverse people, and taste exotic cuisines. These experiences make your life a continuous adventure.
Last but not least, travel stimulates creativity. Studies suggest that exposure to different cultures can spark creative thinking. This newfound inspiration can translate into more innovative ideas at work and more passion for life.
In essence, jobs that require travel are a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth, cultural immersion, and exciting adventures. But how can you put all that into practice in your own professional life? Let's take a look at some interesting jobs that require travel.
You might also like to read:
- Is it possible to work remotely from another country?
- 10 easy and creative ways to make money while traveling
- Get paid to travel: 9 ways to make money on the road
12 examples of traveling careers
1. flight attendant.
Have you ever imagined visiting different cities across the globe as part of your daily routine? As a flight attendant, you can experience traveling to several destinations in the same week. This exciting job requires travel and makes your daily life far from boring.
A flight attendant's role is more than just serving snacks at 30,000 feet. They are tasked with guaranteeing traveler security, giving client assistance, and making each voyage feel like an energizing experience. From demonstrating safety procedures to assisting passengers with their needs – it’s all in a day’s work.
2. International aid worker
A career as an international aid worker is both fulfilling and adventurous. You'll provide crucial support in areas hit by natural disasters or conflict . Organizations like Doctors Without Borders are often on the lookout for committed individuals ready to make a difference.
Keep reading: 7 careers in healthcare that allow you to travel as a volunteer
3. Travel writer
Fancy yourself with words? A travel writer crafts engaging articles about various destinations worldwide. They explore local culture, cuisine, attractions while capturing unique stories.
Effective communication skills paired with an insatiable curiosity towards diverse topics can lead to opportunities across different industries including tourism, marketing agencies and more.
Got excited? Read our articles on how to become a freelance writer and how to become a travel writer.
In an era where visual storytelling reigns supreme, the role of a travel photographer has become a coveted profession that seamlessly blends passion, adventure, and creativity.
Beyond the excitement of the journey, the role of a traveling photographer helps document important facts, immortalize fleeting moments and preserve the beauty of diverse landscapes, ensuring that the stories of different cultures and places endure.
5. Cruise line worker
A cruise line worker's life can be one grand adventure at sea. From chefs to entertainers, these roles offer an exciting opportunity to work while exploring beautiful oceanic vistas and spending time with coworkers and guests from different cultures.
You'd be surprised at how much more there is to this job than just sailing through azure waters. While it's indeed exciting, it can also be demanding with long work hours and high expectations for customer service.
But don't let that deter you; the benefits are plentiful too. You’ll likely be able to save all the money you make during your time at sea, since you won't be spending money on accommodation and food, besides getting the chance to explore amazing destinations during your breaks.
6. International tour guide
If you're seeking a job that requires travel, becoming an international tour guide might be your ticket. Imagine leading excited tourists through travel destinations worldwide. It's like being the master of ceremonies for adventure.
Being a guide is not just about reciting facts and figures; it’s also about sharing stories and experiences that make each place unique. You become the bridge between cultures , helping travelers see the world from different perspectives.
Apart from showcasing attractions, part of guiding adventures involves handling logistics behind-the-scenes such as coordinating transportation and managing group dynamics while ensuring everyone has fun.
This isn’t your typical 9-to-5 desk job - far from it. Your office changes with every new destination. One day you could be exploring ancient ruins; the next, navigating bustling cities.
7. Sales representative
A sales representative might need to travel frequently, meeting clients and attending trade shows. It's an excellent opportunity for those who excel in communication and negotiation skills while enjoying the perks of traveling.
8. Foreign Service worker
Embarking on a career in foreign service is like stepping into an international whirlwind. You'll find yourself navigating complex relations between nations, often requiring travel to embassies worldwide.
Becoming a diplomat or other foreign service worker isn't just about globetrotting; it's also about making real changes and building bridges across cultures.
Your day-to-day tasks could include everything from handling visa applications to negotiating treaties - all while adapting to different customs and languages.
9. Truck driver
Imagine yourself in the driver's seat of a big-rig, windows rolled down and tunes playing. You get to see different parts of the country while delivering shipments - sounds like a dream job for travel lovers.
A truck driver's life is filled with exploration and adventure. Sure, it's not your typical tourist destination experience, but truck driving lets you soak in natural landscapes that many never get to witness.
10. Scuba diving instructor
Becoming a PADI certified scuba diving instructor is an exhilarating journey into an underwater world. You'll meet unique marine life up close and discover stunning underwater landscapes all while sharing your passion with others.
A career in this field isn't merely confined within the bounds of teaching; it opens doors for exploration too. A regular day at work means delving into beautiful coral reefs or exploring forgotten shipwrecks - adventures that most can only dream of.
As this role can require travel, you'll also get to learn from diverse communities across different countries.
11. Retail buyer
This profession involves navigating through diverse markets, exploring international trends, and building relationships with suppliers, all while curating a compelling assortment of products for consumers.
Whether scouring bustling marketplaces in Asia or attending trade shows in Europe, the journey often entails immersing oneself in the vibrant energy of different cultures and gaining firsthand insights into the nuances that shape consumer behaviors and preferences worldwide.
Whether you’re hired by a specific company or not, working as a consultant is another great job that might require travel. From finance whizzes to HR experts , consultants offer valuable insights and strategies tailored for each client's needs. Depending on what you already work on now, you might be able to turn it into a traveling career by acting as a consultant.
The world of remote work
Landing a job that requires travel isn't the only way to make money while you see the world. If you've got a knack for self-management, discipline, and a love for freedom from office constraints , then freelance or remote work might be your ticket to a thrilling career.
One such avenue is becoming a digital nomad . These tech-savvy individuals redefine the traditional workplace by making any location with internet access their office . But it’s not just beachfront cafes or hip co-working spaces they frequent – think airport lounges, public libraries or even road trips. A strong sense of adventure and adaptability helps them overcome challenges like time zone differences and occasional Wi-Fi woes.
If you need or want more stability, you can also be a remote worker with a home base – “ location independent ”, as people often call it. That way you get to have a place to come back to, but also have the freedom to travel anytime you want.
There are plenty of jobs that you can perform as a remote worker. Here are some examples:
13 jobs that you can do while traveling
- Software Developer: Developing software and applications for various clients or companies.
Web Designer or Web Developer: Creating and designing websites, user interfaces, and web applications.
- Graphic Designer: Designing visual concepts using computer software, working on projects such as advertisements, brochures, and logos.
- Content Writer or Copywriter: Writing articles, blog posts, website content, and marketing materials for businesses and clients.
- Social Media Manager: Managing social media accounts, creating content, and engaging with audiences.
- Virtual Assistant: Providing administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely, including tasks such as scheduling, data entry, and customer service.
- Online Teacher: Teaching or tutoring students in various subjects or languages.
Digital Marketing Specialist: Implementing marketing strategies, managing campaigns, and analyzing data for businesses and clients.
- SEO Specialist: Optimizing websites to increase their visibility on search engines.
- E-commerce Store Manager: Managing online stores, overseeing product listings, and handling customer service.
- Video Editor : Editing and producing videos for clients and companies.
- Translator or Interpreter: Providing translation services for documents, meetings, or conferences remotely for clients in different languages.
- Customer Support Representative: Providing customer service and support to clients or customers remotely via email, chat, or phone.
Keep reading : Complete guide to digital nomad jobs
Work exchange: travel the world as a volunteer
Want to start taking on the world but still haven’t found a job that requires travel and meets your skills? Or do you feel like trying it out as a digital nomad, but want to make this a cheap journey?
If you're looking to explore different cultures, build meaningful connections , and make a positive difference on your travels, a work exchange is the perfect opportunity. But what is it exactly? Work exchange or volunteering abroad allows you to offer your skills and time to hosts around the world in return for accommodation and other benefits.
Worldpackers , one such platform that facilitates these exchanges, connects eager travelers with host businesses, NGOs and non-profit projects worldwide. From helping out on an organic farm in Italy to teaching English classes at a school in Thailand, there's no limit to where this adventure can take you.
The process is straightforward. You browse through various listings on the website until something catches your eye; each listing details tasks expected from volunteers and perks offered by hosts.
Keep reading: How to balance working and traveling the world with Worldpackers
Tasks that open doors to new cultures
You may ponder what sort of assignments are accessible. While they vary widely depending on the host’s needs and location, common roles include receptionist duties at hostels, gardening work at eco-villages, or even social media management for local businesses.
These tasks let you interact closely with other travelers and with locals—giving invaluable insights into their way of life—which beats any typical tourist experience hands down.
The perks are more than just free lodging
But let's not forget about the perks, which go beyond free accommodation. Hosts often include other benefits like meals, free laundry and access to an equipped kitchen . This means less money spent on necessities so more budget left for exploring attractions nearby.
In some cases, hosts may also provide language lessons, cooking classes, or local tours , enriching your travel experience further.
A work exchange is also a chance to forge ties with locals and fellow travelers worldwide. These bonds might persist even when you're back home, establishing an invaluable global network in our highly connected world.
There are thousands of work exchange or volunteering positions available all around the world.
Just to have an idea, look at some of the top hosts in different continents:
- Meal with toucans: cook watching all kinds of birds in Goiás, Brazil
- Help create a great hostel while exploring Edinburgh, Scotland for free
- Create content to promote a beautiful project in Tamaulipas, Mexico
- Put your creative helping hands to use in amazing Jaisalmer, India
- Learn about gardening with typical local tools in Tagounite, Morocco
- Contribute with an animal care and vet volunteer program in Kampala, Uganda
- Help with housekeeping in a tropical paradise in Roatán, Honduras
- Live a remote off grid life and volunteer at a farm in Havelock, New Zealand
Ready to start traveling for a living?
If you've ever dreamed of jobs that require travel, the world's your oyster. As you've learned, there are plenty of opportunities out there. You can immerse yourself in different cultures and gain new skills while exploring exotic locales.
Work exchange programs like Worldpackers even let you volunteer across the globe - a fantastic way to see the world without breaking the bank. And remember: your career doesn't have to be stationary. It's all about uncovering what suits you best. Have fun!
If you like this article, follow us on social media for more travel tips and inspiration. We're on Tiktok and Instagram .
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More about this topic
7 careers in healthcare that allow you to travel as a volunteer
How to make money with your phone while traveling, what is location independence and how can you get it.
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What Is Volunteer Travel?
Volunteer travel involves taking a trip where all or part of the purpose of the trip is to participate in an arranged service opportunity helping others. Typically, the volunteer activity takes place in a foreign country, but some opportunities can involve national or regional projects. These trips are usually arranged by church organizations, human interest groups or nonprofits. A new trend has for-profit tour operators arranging group travel around volunteer opportunities.
Charitable interests often transcend national boundaries. People in developed countries become interested in the struggles of people in lesser developed countries. Sometimes, donating money is not enough to satisfy the need to help. Volunteer travel is a way to combine a visit to a new location with meaningful work that has a direct impact on communities in other parts of the world.
This type of travel has been an option for many years. Historically, church groups made up a large portion of this market. Once a year a religious organization or church would organize a trip to another country. The primary purpose of the trip would be to help build a school in an impoverished area, or dig wells so a village would have clean water, or engage in hundreds of other projects that would impact those less fortunate. The trip combined charitable work with an immersion experience in a foreign country.
As international travel became easier and the Internet made communications between countries more viable, the interest in volunteer travel increased. Nonprofits of all types began organizing these sorts of trips, including youth organizations and national interest groups. Educational institutions also made volunteer travel an option, often through the campus office for community service or as part of the initiative of individual student groups.
The Internet has helped make community service in general more popular, as websites specifically oriented towards recruiting volunteers and matching them to projects sprang up. Volunteering in other countries became as accessible as browsing a website and signing up. Some of the major volunteer organizing websites even hold volunteer recruitment conventions where the topic is volunteering in other countries and volunteer travel.
Although volunteer travel is often performed in groups where the primary purpose of the trip is the charitable project, the growing popularity of volunteerism has prompted a change in the nature of this type of travel. For-profit tour operators have designed vacations with the opportunity to complete a volunteer project in the foreign country as a key component, but not the only component, of the vacation. Instead of traveling with a group that is organized at the volunteer's home base, the volunteer may join a group that gathers at the worksite from all over the world. This sort of volunteer travel is sometimes colloquially referred to as voluntourism or vacanteerism.
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@umbra21 - Even some aid agencies can get it wrong and do a lot of harm, let alone an agency that exists in order to get people a good holiday.
The problem is that these organizations are trying to do two things. They are trying to appeal to people with money in order to get the money and they are trying to help situations that need help. The two aren't always compatible. It makes us feel good to think that we're helping and it's easy to throw money at a problem. But, for example, giving lots of money and supplies to people in a drought means that they have no incentive to go and find a place that might support them better.
When it comes to environmental issues, I'm positive that volunteers would prefer to be helping out cuddly animals, rather than creepy ones. But the creepy ones might be the ones that need the help. So does the organization cater to the people with the money, or do they do what needs to be done from an environmental standpoint?
It's a tough decision and one that can be made easier if the volunteers were more careful about who they give their money to in the first place.
@browncoat - I don't know about that. It seems to me that any kind of funding that orphanages and other places can get is better than nothing at all. And I'm sure they supervise the volunteers so that they can't do anything bad to the people they are supposed to be helping.
I think you might end up with some younger volunteers being a bit entitled, but overall it would generally be a good thing.
You really need to be careful when you pick which group to travel with. There are a lot of cases where you might end up doing more harm than good and it's not always obvious when this happens. This is particularly true when you're working with people but it can also happen with animals.
Make sure that the organization that you're going to be working with is legitimate and that they don't just exist to make money from tourists. Make sure the work you're going to be doing is real, sustainable work and that your presence is actually useful and not just something they've orchestrated to get your money. There's nothing wrong with them wanting your money, but if they ship you in to play with the orphans and then ship you out again they'll be doing the same with every person with a buck to spend and some of those people aren't going to be good for the orphans. That might not seem like your problem, but you're giving them the money to keep the program afloat.
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