Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel

By David DeFranza on 7 February 2008 (Updated 5 July 2012) 73 comments

Short of winning a sweepstakes, a no cost holiday to a foreign country is an impossibility for most people. Of course, there are countless ways to reduce the cost of a trip, but ultimately you must decide if the traveling is worth the money you will spend on it. With growing fears of recession and a dramatically weakening dollar, the scales of reason seem to be tipping more and more in favor of staying at home.

(See also: Secrets to World Travel (and Blogging About It) )

But what if you could travel for free, even be paid a stipend, in exchange for contributing time to help a foreign community as a volunteer?

Purposeful travel has become very popular and the opportunities to take 'volunteer vacations' are endless. However, all of these programs cost money, often just as much as a traditional package tour.

There are a lot of good reasons why travelers should pay to volunteer, but we are about to see that you don't have to.

Here are 11 options for free or very cheap travel through volunteering:

Long-term Programs

The Peace Corps is the classic all expenses paid volunteer option that first comes to an American's mind. They offer two-year appointments, mostly in Africa, Asia, and South America, as well as modest stipends. Popular among recent college graduates, the Peace Corps is actually open to people of all ages. It is part of a larger government program called Freedom Corps, which includes the Volunteers for Prosperity (VfP). VfP offers similar benefits and projects as the Peace Corps, but assignment lengths are variable, from a few weeks to several years in duration.

The United Nations volunteer program sends experienced professionals from almost any field to every region on earth. As a volunteer all expenses, including airfares to and from your work site and any pre-appointment necessities like vaccines and visas, are covered. In addition, volunteers receive various grants and stipends that vary in amount depending on the project's local economy. Like most of the groups in this list, they are looking for people with extensive experience in their field. Like the Peace Corps, most appoints are for two years, though they claim to be increasing the number of six-month and year-long options.

The ArtCorps is a program specifically designed for professional artists. The program focuses on using art as a teaching tool, as well as a means of expression, for communities that face pressing social problems. Though the program does require that participants do some personal fundraising, the cost of travel is otherwise fully covered, along with a small stipend. Most assignments last 11 months.

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) was recognized as the "International Development Charity of the Year" at the 2004 UK Charity Awards. They have placed over 30,000 volunteers, primarily in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. They provide a stipend, in addition to covering all expenses. While most assignments last two years, there are some special projects for experienced professionals lasting between two weeks and six months.

Shorter-term Programs

Geekcorps is a volunteer program that specializes in placing experts from the IT industry in communities with the goal of fostering digital independence. Geekcorps runs projects primarily in Mali, Ghana, and Lebanon. The program covers travel and living expenses in addition to providing a small stipend. Most of the placements are four months in duration, though options range from one to six months.

Winrock International is a non-profit organization that works to build economic prosperity and civil empowerment while encouraging sustainable resource use and environmental protection. They have projects in many parts of South America, Asia, and Africa. They offer to cover all travel expenses including a small per diem and most assignments last two to three weeks, including travel time.

ACDI/VOCA leads projects focused primarily on economic development. They are looking for experienced professionals with knowledge of business, banking and finance, marketing, agriculture, food processing, and community development, in addition to other, project specific, areas. They administer projects all over the world and cover all project-related expenses. Typical assignments are between two and four weeks long.

The International Executive Service Corps (IESC) encourages the development of private business and industry with the goal of increasing prosperity and development around the world. They are looking for volunteers with a background in business or industry and operate in many locations. All travel expenses are covered by the program in addition to a small stipend. Assignments vary from one week to several months long.

The Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC) places business and finance professionals in developing and reforming economies to provide education and guidance. They cover all expenses and operate primarily in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. Assignments typically last between one and two weeks.

Not Free, But Very Cheap

Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) places volunteers on organic farms around the world. While working, your room and board at the farm is free, though volunteers are responsible for all expenses involved in getting to and from the site. Volunteers must pay a small annual membership fee to join the organization in the country they wish to work in order to access the database of farms. This is a great opportunity to learn about organic farming and spend a week or two doing some fun physical work.

Finally, there are a number of "work camps" worldwide that place teams of volunteers on a two or three week project. These can involve everything from farming to construction, education to art, every project is different. It costs about $300 for two or three weeks of room, board, and work. Not free, but not bad for two weeks of traveling. These projects are organized through clearing houses, the most popular being Volunteers for Peace and Service Civil International. As a great deal, Volunteers For Peace charge $500 for an entire family, regardless of the size.

Keep in mind that these trips will not be a week sitting on the beach. You will have to work, but even if you are doing something related to your everyday job, the location and unique challenges will make it seem fresh and new.

Besides a vacation, these opportunities provide an opportunity to learn a new language, take a leadership role, experience everyday life in a foreign country, and make some new friends and professional connections. With experiences like that, maybe it is smart to take a vacation during a recession.

For more general information on volunteering check out Transitions Abroad, the True Travellers Society, and the Idealist.

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Myscha Theriault's picture

This is great David, thanks!

We've been looking (I guess I should say thinking) into opportunities with expenses paid and stipends for when my husband finishes his degree. It's nice to know there additional programs to the Peace Corps, although that's a good program too.

Guest's picture
sarah

what a fantastic resource! thanks for it.

Guest's picture
Mary

What a refreshing contrast to the list of summer camps for college bound students that was published yesterday in the New York Times. I think my daughter would learn a lot more working with Volunteers for Peace than she would at a $5000 or up summer camp!

Thanks!

David DeFranza's picture

Mary, I agree that a summer with Volunteers for Peace would be a great opportunity for your college bound daughter. I spent a summer working on a project in the Czech Republic arranged through VFP after I graduated from High School and it was a great experience. I was able to apply for local service grants that ended paying for all of my registration and travel expenses as well!

Myshca, I agree the Peace Corps is a great option for a lot of people. I have met and known a lot of volunteers and they all seem to have had great experiences. I think the major drawback isthat it is kind of a large commitment for most people though.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hey David i was wondering which grants did you apply for?What did that process look like?

Guest's picture
Guest

Hey David, thanks for this post - exactly what I've been thinking about lately. I had no idea an organization like ArtCorps even existed. Hope they're interested in musicians, too... -- Mike

Guest's picture

I wasn't aware of the majority of these resources for cheap travels. Now, if they only started one for restless hobo's like me, that'd be great :)

Myscha Theriault's picture

It is a long one. The last I checked though, they paid living stipends and six grand per person (or something like that) at the end of your completed commitment. Since we have other resources rolling in and wouldn't need to use them while we did the Peace Corps thing, we would actually be saving more. However, it's true most don't have the flexibility. At least at our age.  I'm definitely planning on setting aside some time this afternoon over hot tea and soup to check out some of the ones you recommended in more detail. Thanks again.

David DeFranza's picture

Yeah Jack, I know, most of these options are a bit professional. I know I don't have the experience for the best ones. I really think that WWOOFing is a great option for people who are 'on the road' and on a budget though. Imagine what two weeks expense free would do for the backpacker's or hobo's budget! And, if you are already in the country, the cost of getting to the farm would be minimal.

Myshca, I know this is probably frowned upon, but many of the Peace Corps volunteers I have talked to mention other sources of income that the pursued in their free time. Teaching English lessons is perhaps the most obvious.

Guest's picture
Shan-Oh

Many churches do volunteer projects that are two to three weeks in length and are not mission based. I worked with several groups in Nome, Alaska who came up for two weeks (from Texas, Kentucky, and Virginia) to install community playgrounds, run summer camps, and do repairs to elders (a respectful term for respected older Native Alaskans) houses and vehicles.

These vacations were usually just the cost of travel, and the hosting church and community really pulled together to provide meals, housing, fun outings, and genuine friendship for visitors with hard to find skills (like construction, car maintenance, etc.)

So if you go to church, don't forget to look there too. Or, don't be afraid to start one!

Guest's picture
Helen

The cost of travel is usually the largest expense... that's why they run in the thousands. Church based ones aren't feasible for many of us based on that fact alone.

Nora Dunn's picture
Nora Dunn

Thanks for this, David. As a Professional Hobo, I'm taking notes! I knew about some already, but have some new links in my repertoire now too!

Guest's picture
Gil

I heard of another program specifically for families where a stipend is given and (if I remember correctly) even airfare is discounted for teaching English abroad. The program was aimed at teaching Business English, but actually looked for families (especially with school age kids) to interact with families and kids from other language backgrounds on the weekends. If I remember correctly it was a sort of vacation/teaching abroad program in the summer, with an average trip being two or three weeks long. I can't recall the name of this program, but maybe someone else knows.

Guest's picture
Maera

You may be thinking of Pueblo Ingles. Check them out here:

http://www.morethanenglish.com/anglos/index.asp

Guest's picture
Guest

The JET (Japan English and Teaching) Program pays for your roundtrip airfare to and from Japan, as well as a salary of $35,000, in exchange for a year (up to three, if you choose) of teaching English as a foreign language. No English-teaching experience required.

You do have to submit and go through a long (and pretty competitive) application process, but what do you have to loose (it doesn't even cost to apply, except for the postage to send in the application)?

I've applied, have an interview in February, and will know if I was accepted in April!

Guest's picture
Edem Kodjo Amedzro

Am from Ghana West/Africa am really interested in your English teaching programme in Japan,ples do contact me for more information about me.

Myscha Theriault's picture

I haven't heard  of that one, thanks. I've heard of seriousteachers.com,eslcafe.com, and the international educator (tieonline.com). I'll have to check out that program for future use. We've always wanted to spend more time in Japan (my husband lived there for a while in the military and loved it - and we only had a day in Okinawa on our way through to Bangkok), but it's so expensive there that if you can have something to supplement your trip, it's a good idea. For other countries, we're not so worried about it. They're inexpensive enough. But Japan, while beautiful, is an expensive beast.

David DeFranza's picture

I actually used to live and work in Japan as well. I was a teacher in Osaka working for Nova, before the company imploded.

Good luck with JET it is a great program. I chose not to include the myriad of English teaching options available because, well, I had to draw the line somewhere. However, this is an excellent suggestion. I recommend ESL Teacher's Board if you are exploring this option and want to see the kind of opportunities that are available.

Guest's picture
Guest

African Calabash Volunteer in Ghana has volunteer opportunities for volunteers interested in teaching English.

Myscha Theriault's picture

What I like about many of the opportunities in East Asia is that you actually have a prayer of being able to participate even without an education degreee. I happen to have one, along with nearly 18 years in the field. But many people don't. However, they may have a significantly powerful asset they haven't thought of . . . their business or vocation vocabulary and knowledge. Some people need specific training in a field and no amount of learning the vocabulary from a book is going to replace learning from someone who knows the field. Even vocational fields have value. I had a private client in Italy once that brought me his company's catalog and brochure so I could see the kind of conversations and conferences he would be having with stateside individuals. I certainly did my best, but I'm sure a extra few lessons from someone in that field would have been helpful as well.

Guest's picture

There are so many reasons to volunteer in a work camp or through smaller volunteer organizations which do not have as much admin overhead: Cultural immersion, working with others in a new environment, language learning, developing new perspectives which will almost certainly change your life... David has done a great job of providing a succinct summary of the major options.

For those who are interested, we have compiled scores of edited first-hand participant reports as well as advice from seasoned volunteers from programs both small and large at

http://transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/volunteer/index.shtml

Guest's picture
Tanya

Thank you so much for this post. I read Wisebread daily, and happened to be looking for just such an experience. Within 2 hours of my reading this post, I'd heard back from one that caught my eye, and it now seems likely that I'll be spending 2 weeks in Sudan-- as a bonus, it should help me transition from my current job to one more relevant to my education-- fabulous, particularly since I'm just starting out (and just paid a *fortune* for my masters degree)

Guest's picture
Guest

FYI It should be noted that to do the PEace Corp you have to be in excellent health. I had expressed interest a while back and a friend who participated let me know of their restrictions. She told me of PC not taking someone who had peanut allergies. I'm a cancer survivor and need to take meds everyday, so I would imagine I fall into this category. I haven't actually investigated myself, but, just be aware.

Guest's picture
Brandon

Here is another directory of free and low cost volunteer opportunities in South America and Asia.

http://www.vaops.com

Safe journies

Jabulani Leffall's picture

Thanks again for setting me straight on the Bund. I thought I had seen at the musuem that the Bund was the whole geographic quandrant where the Huangpu curves and splits the city but a frugal man of the world such as yourself would know better than I. But I'm going to be there every fiscal quarter this year and maybe full time beginning in 2009. At anyrate, total non sequitir. The whole premise of your blog is what I've just now discovered upon returning from Shanghai. Why blow money at Best Buy or the mall? Why  go to Times Square or Sunset strip when the ticket I bought roundtrip to Costa Rica for next month cost less than a roundtrip from LA to St. Louis. Wowwwwwwww! There's no reason for me not to travel!!!!LOL:)

 

Jabulani Leffall

Monetary Gadfly, Common Currency

00000 Broke Blvd. Kitchenette #68 & 1/2

Lowcash, CA 90000-0000

Guest's picture

Hello, I am volunteering program co-ordinator. We want to learn English language from you and design various volunteering program for international volunteers in Nepal, Our organization is very low cost volunteer opportunity in Nepal.

We have welcome in our community(home) with its warm and friendly atmosphere for many international volunteers from different countries.
For more www.futurenepal.org
mail: futurenepal@yahoo.com

Guest's picture
Ethan

For free volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.volunteerforfree.com

Guest's picture
Shaun Rizer

I am very much interested in volunteering on the environmental side of things there. I have been to Costa Rica and fell in love with the place and people. I wouldn't be limited to the environmental side of things. I'm experienced in most all aspects of construction and would be willing to do what it takes to make a difference! Please let me know if I can help! I'm trying to plan another trip there in june. I will be looking forward to hear from u!

Guest's picture

Hi Shaun

You may want to check out www.links4change.com

They have numerous placement options worldwide and they offer a free consultation to discuss your options.

Hope you find something

Guest's picture

Hello,
We are non-profit dealing with HIV/AIDS orphans and poor communities in Kenya. We have low-cost Volunteer/intern Program where volunteers come to East Africa to help work at local schools, orphanages and community projects. If you are interested to experience truly African life and culture from the inside, while doing valuable community service, we are looking for you. Just send us a quick note or visit our website below.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Yours Sincerely
Geoffrey Ndungu
Email: info@africanorphanage.org
Website: www.africanorphanage.org

Guest's picture

ELEP's volunteer program is a life-changing opportunity for individuals who seek to make a difference in Ecuador. We offer customized volunteer placements in a wide variety of social organizations and ecological reserves and national parks throughout Ecuador.

Living and volunteering in Ecuador for a short or long term, you could help enrich the lives of Ecuadorian needy people and make a real contribution to the betterment of Ecuadorian society and difference in this part of the world. This is a more challenging and you as volunteer have the opportunity to contribute to the development Ecuadorian people. ELEP's volunteer program will match your skills and interests to local needs in order to provide you with an unforgettable cross cultural experience. Volunteers do not need to have any special skills. They just need a willingness to help.

Our program goes from 2 to 24 weeks duration and count with the following projects:

Humanitarian: Children welfare (orphanage, street kid centers and day care centers), Human Rights, Education and Teaching English, Healthcare/nursing, HIV/AIDS, Micro-enterprise, Micro-credits, infrastructure and construction work, etc.

Ecological: General conservation, Animal welfare and veterinary

Website: http://www.elep.org/

E-mail: programs@elep.org

To Apply: http://www.elep.org/main/elep-apply-now.html

Guest's picture
Spanky

Hi David!

For someone who lives in the Philippines, there are actually limited options we have regarding volunteer work. I hope you could also provide me additional info if you come across one. I also want to travel but have found it hard since i live on a budget. anyways, thanks again...

Guest's picture
Stephen

For people interested in visiting/volunteering in Central or South America have a look at Volunteer Latin America

Guest's picture
Stephen

A good source of volunteer work in Africa is Volunteer 4 Africa

Guest's picture
Stephanie

Wow thanks for this, I LOVE doing volunteer work and I will definately check some of these out!

Guest's picture

I am so glad to have found this page. I am currently doing a project with Winrock in Nigeria, which has given me an opportunity to make a tremendous impact as well as gain practical field experience to boost my career potential. Thank you so much for this very valuable information!

Guest's picture
Guest

Typical, Bunch of libs forgetting the Military PAYS YOU to go live in other countries. You guys are fools, I LIVE IN AFRICA and LIVED IN JAPAN. Guess what? FOR FREE!

Guest's picture
maurice

So were you enrolled in the military or were their programs available that your referring to?

Guest's picture
Guest

Oh yeah, I volunteer and help the local economy, as well as serve my own country at the same time. You know what, I don't have to pay some NGO for the pleasure to do it also. As I said, I live in Africa, I use to live in Okinawa Japan. I've been everwhere from Cuba to Europe to the Middle East and Asia. There's no sweepstakes here. Just plain old working for Uncle Same. I've been to the Philippines. Why you fools pay money to go to these places. It's free for me. It's free for me to volunteer. I don't sit there and read the Huffington Post and wish i volunteered. I DO IT.

As we say in the Military: One man's Holiday Vacation is a Sailors/Soldiers backyard.

Guest's picture
Guest

Well I think the point of traveling and volunteering abroad is to gain and provide consideration and kindness to others. With the way you talk to people, I don't care how much you traveled or what it cost you, you have obviously missed the point.

Guest's picture
Dumb Lib

You know there are some other really great places the military will take you... like Iraq.  Or Afganistan.  Fun!  Let's all sign up and let the US govt pick where we go and HOPE it's Africa, not Kabul.   You're right, we're all idiot libs for choosing a different path.  There is absolutely no draw backs to joining the military.  It's cake.  Super easy and fun all the time.  Woo hoo!

</sarcasm>

Guest's picture
Guest

i would love to volunteer in this way, some of us can't join the military. i.e. being PDQ'ed for prior medical history despite lack of interference in current lifestyle. for some people its the best available option to help out with our nation or others.

Guest's picture
Fray

This comment embarrasses me as a service member. I'd like to apologize on behalf of everyone in the military that isn't a toxic, close-minded Philistine spewing vague patriotic and political rhetoric, picking fights for no apparent reason.

Guest's picture

Ikando in Ghana has some free volunteer and intern placements available. Check out www.ikando.org for more info.

Placements include:
- DIY
- Photography
- Marketing
- Film Making
- Business Development
- PR
- Web Design

Guest's picture
Johan berger

I am new at this totally. My interest is in going to Ghana and performing services in a vast range of subjects: welding, farming, field engineering within the telecom industry. I am retired military and have a special interest in serving Ghana. I have read about the Volta region and it's needs. Somehow I feel that my qualifications lack their needs. Maybe you could assist me, enlighten me as to how I too may serve.
Thank you.

Sincerely, Johan Berger

Guest's picture
Guest

For affordable ways to help abroad visit WorldHelpLink. This website has links to great opportunities to volunteer, travel, teach, intern, learn, work, and more abroad.

Guest's picture

Dear blogger,

I contact you because we are both travel bloggers and probably have an overlapping audience. We could share that audience.
Are you interested?

My journey
From October 2009 - October 2010 I will travel around the world and find and support deserving causes (such as orphanages, streetkids projects, refugee camps, ngo's) by working for them, offering publicity and donating some money. I organize it primarily through couchsurfing and understand Charity Travel as a humanly rewarding way of traveling while helping the needy people on the planet. I hope you like this idea - you are welcome to read more about it on

http://charitytravel.blogspot.com

I hope to globalize humanitarian aid by proving it is perfectly possible to remain independent of large bureaucracies - because the internet allows us to establish the right contacts.

I simply offer you a mutual link to attract attention to both our ventures.

Looking forward to your reply,

kind regards,

Kamiel Verwer
kamielverwer.blogspot.com

Guest's picture
Bharat

Welcome to Helping Hands Foundation (HHF) – Nepal! HHF is an organization that strives to materialize the warmth between the Nepalese and their foreign guests and use the goodwill to bring smiles in the faces of both the underprivileged children of Nepal and their foreign admirers. Helping Hands Foundation “HHF” has been established as a non-profitable organization with the sheer purpose of improving the lives of orphaned children existing in our society. It aims to work toward bringing happiness and security in the lives those children of Nepal who were forced to lose their innocent by poverty as well as familial and social conditions.

We all have high ideals. But we also wish to prove our ideals through our work. Motivated with the philosophy of ‘getting things done rather than taking only an initiative’ we are dedicated to make positive changes in the lives of the needy children by equipping them with better education. We also focus on health and hygiene sector, as Nepali kids suffer immensely due to lack of basic healthcare opportunities. Therefore, we ensure that our kids get the required health attention plus act as a protective guardian remaining inside the rules & regulations of the existing law.

Our main objective is to reach out to the underprivileged and destitute children who can not realize their potential because they can not get adequate attention at the familial, societal, and even at the government level policies. Though their missing parents are irreplaceable, the organization strives to endorse them with an ideal & happy home together with tender health, food & concerned care.

We invite you participate in our program and see how you too can really make a positive difference in the children’s and in your own life. Let’s join hand in hand for these innocent children left on their own and create a favorable environment for them.

visit www.helpinghands.org.np for more details.

Guest's picture
Steve McElhinney

Just wanted to plug my website which lists the free and low-cost volunteer opportunities in South and Central America:

Its a non-commercial site, all the information is freely available to all:

www.volunteersouthamerica.net

Steve

Guest's picture
Sarah

Hey Steve, love your site, just quoted it as a resource in an interview actually! Ill plug another site too, set up to help volunteers side step ridiculously expensive volunteer agencies, its www.volunteeringforfree.org and lists hostels worldwide that will accommodate volunteers and link them, for free, to projects. If anyone has any info on projects, hostels with links to projects, or general volunteering & travelling tips, please feel free to mail it to us and we'll add it. Cheers! Sarah

Guest's picture
kevin wilson

hi ya'll.I am a medical student in china and a Kenyan by nationality.I would like to get some free volunteer slots anywhere in the world during my winter break in feb-march and summer,july to september.anyone who has ideas for a free volunteer position?

Guest's picture

Volunteering to Learn is a non-profit, non-governmental organization providing rich volunteer and learning experiences in Nepal. So far, we’ve served the interests of more than one hundred volunteers from various countries.

Our organization builds on the belief that mutual understanding is at the heart of improved relations across communities, cultures, nations, and religions. Through our own experiences both in community organizing in Nepal and with visitors from around the world, we’ve learned that personal encounters and conversations among people working together create some of the best opportunities for mutual understanding.

Our goal is to provide volunteering opportunities in Nepal that make it possible for both hosts and visitors to learn. Volunteers gain a sense of satisfaction from contributing to Nepalese communities, but they also learn language and gain insights into culture, ecology, history and geography. Host families and communities benefit from enthusiastic helpers, teachers, and organizers, but they also learn about diverse cultures and perspectives that help them see beyond stereotypes.

Whatever your interests – language, culture, economics, agriculture, forestry, flora and fauna, history, sustainability, appropriate technology, community organization, leadership, entrepeneurship, children, women, human rights – we can place you with organizations, communities and families that will enrich your understanding of Nepal while also giving you opportunities to learn more specific skills and knowledge.

Explore Core Programs:

* Environmental Awareness
* Homestay and Cultural Exchange
* Teaching English
* Orphanage Program
* Organic Agriculture
* Women’s Empowerment

Guest's picture
Guest

Another great Volunteer abroad opportunities provider is Disaster Volunteers of Ghana.Check them out also.They have very cheap projects in areas of orphanage and child care,construction,IT and computes and programs for families as well.

Guest's picture
Guest. Adedeji Adebiyi

I was searching through the internet and i came across your program me wish am very interested in it and i will like to participate in your program mes worldwide, i will like you to get back to me so as to know the requirement.
Thanks and God bless. With great regard, Adedeji

Guest's picture
Guest

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Guest's picture
Guest

hello my name is hannah and i am 16 years old. i have been wanting to volunteer for a long time now to help people wh are less fortunate in countrys like africa. however there is no sites or foundations that i can find that pay for the travel expenses. i was wondering if there is any or if anybody knows any places that will for someone my age. thank you .

Guest's picture

Volunteer and Explore Nepal (VEX Nepal), a not-for-profit and non-governmental organization, is to provide volunteering and traveling opportunities in Nepal that make it possible for both hosts and visitors to share, discover, teach and learn with respect. Volunteers gain a sense of satisfaction from contributing to Nepalese communities, but they also learn language and gain insights into culture, ecology, history and geography while exploring the country.

We offer the most affordable and exciting travel and volunteering programs in Nepal for the betterment of local communities in need and to enrich the lives of travelers around the globe. Its unique and innovative ways of working make it a highly competitive and popular travel and volunteer placement in Nepal, providing a truly satisfying and fulfilling experience for all travelers.

Whatever your interests – language, culture, economics, agriculture, forestry, flora and fauna, history, sustainability, appropriate technology, community organization, leadership, entrepreneurship, children, women, human rights – we can place you with organizations, communities and families that will enrich your understanding of Nepal while also giving you opportunities to learn more specific skills and knowledge.
Contact Info:
Volunteer & Explore Nepal (VEX Nepal)
Z Street, Thamel
Kathmandu
Nepal

Phone No: + 977 1 4701657
Mobile No: + 977 9849112196
Email: vexnepal@gmail.com
Web: http://www.vexnepal.blogspot.com

Guest's picture

For a cheap, fixed fee volunteer linking service, including support from initial linking to completion of a placement, check out www.links4change.com

They do not run their own placements but link volunteers with the need of organisations around the world. Placements are available worldwide and you can choose where, when and for how long you want to volunteer, all for one fixed price. They do not discriminate because of skills, experience, age or disability.

This enterprise offers a comprehensive service with as much or as little support as required. Not only does the organisation offer fantastic customer service and support but also offers the added reassurance that if, for whatever reason, you are not entirely happy with the placement, they will work to find you a new placement option for FREE (availability dependant).

They offer a free consultation to discuss your options so there's nothing to lose.

Guest's picture

I will recommend African Calabash Volunteer and the Voluntary Workcamps Association of Ghana to any Volunteer who want opportunities in Ghana.

Guest's picture

Thanks for providing really nice tips to short out the cost of traveling. Here you can also get innovative ideas, ways to travel, how to make your travel budget friendly on a single click

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Volunteer and Explore Nepal (VEX Nepal), a not-for-profit and non-governmental organization, is to provide volunteering and traveling opportunities in Nepal that make it possible for both hosts and visitors to share, discover, teach and learn with respect. Volunteers gain a sense of satisfaction from contributing to Nepalese communities, but they also learn language and gain insights into culture, ecology, history and geography while exploring the country.

We offer the most affordable and exciting travel and volunteering programs in Nepal for the betterment of local communities in need and to enrich the lives of travelers around the globe. Its unique and innovative ways of working make it a highly competitive and popular travel and volunteer placement in Nepal, providing a truly satisfying and fulfilling experience for all travelers.

Whatever your interests – language, culture, economics, agriculture, forestry, flora and fauna, history, sustainability, appropriate technology, community organization, leadership, entrepreneurship, children, women, human rights – we can place you with organizations, communities and families that will enrich your understanding of Nepal while also giving you opportunities to learn more specific skills and knowledge.

Contact Info:

Volunteer & Explore Nepal (VEX Nepal)
Z Street, Thamel
Kathmandu
Nepal

Phone No: + 977 1 4701657
Mobile No: + 977 9849112196
Email: vexnepal@gmail.com
Web: http://www.vexnepal.blogspot.com

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JSB

This is a great resource. Also really important to note that volunteers should always try to ensure that when working abroad the projects they are contributing to are sustainable and genuinly benefiting the communities and environments they are operating in. Lots of charities really work hard to implement this, I went away with Raleigh - http://www.raleighinternational.org - who work really hard to ensure this. Check them out also if you're thinking of volunteering abroad. Thanks for the great article!

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arumib

Some people may find the holidays stressful because they may have family problems, but I love them. I always get along with both sides.

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Dear sir/Madam,
Namest and Good Morning fist of all. We are from Nepal, the Himalayan Country where the world highest mountain Mt. Everest is situated and we are the people of himalaya living below the Mt. Everest known as a Sherpa. We have established a club to promote sherpa youth living in Nepal which is called Sherpa Youth Club, which is situated in Kathmandu valley. we are working in Sherpa community to promote their life standard by providing education and running awareness program including various sports and social activities in society. so sherpa are famous in Trekking and Expedition field so we being a sherpa youth club would like to bring your attention that if you or any of your friend would like to travel Nepal in low cost and small budget we can assist you from our club by arranging volunteer, village traveling, or cultural exchange program from our side where you just have to pay for visa fee, travel expense, food expense, and your personal expense from your side. we only arrange you a friendly and safe environment and place or room in our member house in without cost for certain days. so i any one is interested you can contact us through mail or you can go to our website www.sherpayouthclub.org.np or sherpayouthclub@yahoo.com

With Best Regard
Tukti sherpa (President of Sherpa Youth Club.)

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Guest

Hi David,

Have you personally volunteer with Volunteer for Peace? The price is definitely reasonable compare to other ones on the web. It's difficult to screen out which one is legit and which one is not. I'll love to hear from you more about this. Thanks for posting this up too. Really helpful!

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This is a good list, though it focuses on pretty main-stream kind of volunteering, I would imagine a lot of these have less than 5-star living situations..

I put together a list of the top 6 resources for free or cheap travel, and a lot of them incorporate nice living arrangements, even ways to get paid while traveling. take a look!

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Helen

Jacqueline - I looked at your link and it takes me to a "basic" list of 18 affordable 'vacations' with no specific links or anything like that. It's just "here are some ideas run with it". I really like David's thorough information.

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Ali

Hi David, this is great, thanks. I would like to suggest you have a look at http://volunteerstays.com/, it is for people who love to travel and want a
local experience with hosts in different countries. It's a great site
if you want to stretch your travel dollars, work exchanges in return for food and accommodation. Do check it out.

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Guest

I was doing so story research and came across your story. Very comprehensive. I have a thought to do a story for our non profit video series Traveltelevision.org, a monthly travel services about travel with a purpose. Any suggestions on how to get video clips of the volunteers from these group?

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Thanks for the all the info David! I think I can say you've helped a lot of us out.

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Guest

This is a lot of great information. I didn't know about many of these orgainzations, and i am sure there are others that did not know either. Thanks for a great article.

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Nathan

I recently went to Cameroon to volunteer. I went though an organisation called LUKMEF http://www.lukmefcameroon.org They didn't charge a fee at all, but simply organised a placement and took care of the logistics. I paid for flights and food, but considering the state of the economy of Cameroon, everything was really cheap anyway.

If you are considering volunteering, it doesn't have to be expensive. Remember that you're giving up YOUR time. Look around till you find a group that respects that.

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Guest

There is nothing like FREE Travel. Personally I am a fan of work while travelling and have fun as well. Cruise ship jobs just do it perfectly, you travel and get paid either as an accountant, deck staff, housekeeping and more

I would personally recommend http://provencashmachine.com/how-to-get-paid-to-travel/
Thanks
Chris