Giving something back while traveling abroad allows you to share your skills and knowledge, see new regions, learn new languages and live like a local. If you’ve got the travel bug and can’t find a way to stop the fever, then this might be the cheapest and sometimes completely free option for you!
There are thousands of organizations looking for help from travelers. Many ask for donations, though there are some that will let you stay for free. Below are a few options and the causes they support.
WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming)
WWOOF offers opportunities in over 60 countries. Usually you live with your host and are expected to join in the day to day activities. In most countries, the exchange is based on 4-6 hours help for a full day’s food and accommodation.
This organization offers opportunities to participate in projects to enhance the environment and natural heritage of Australia and New Zealand. On these projects, you can volunteer for multiple days at a time. For residential programs involving an overnight stay, there are some small costs involved to cover transport, accommodation and meals, etc.
HF Holidays operates walking and leisure activity holidays from 19 Country Houses in the UK and walking holidays in over 70 destinations overseas that require volunteer walking holiday leaders. For a two week commitment they offer accommodations, travel expenses, training and more.
HelpX (Help Exchange)
HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
EarthWatch Teen Expeditions are designed specifically for 15 to 18 year olds. Teens work alongside experienced scientists at the cutting edge of conservation research, gaining first-hand knowledge of, and trying to find real and achievable solutions to, some of today’s most pressing environmental challenges.