Last Updated on

Everyone’s checklist for a trip abroad typically starts with sun, beaches, good food and good company. Now, have you ever considered adding volunteering to that checklist? Volunteering adds a new dimension to traveling abroad and allows you to experience a new culture and city at the heart of the community. You still get all the amazing aspects of the country and you can add to this through your volunteer efforts.

Adding a volunteer aspect to your vacation is also easier than you think. International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) pairs with local volunteer organizations to offer short-term placements in key areas of the communities in over 35 destinations around the world. You can volunteer for one week, or up to 24 weeks on selected programs. Depending on your destination and duration there is a weekly fee, which starts at US$180 for one week.

This fee includes:

-24/7 in-country support from a local coordinator

-Airport pick-up

-Program orientation

-Volunteer placement



What’s surprising to most is the volunteer opportunities available in your favorite vacation destinations. Whether you’re teaching English in local schools, cleaning up beaches or assisting with construction efforts, here are the top five places to volunteer.

New Zealand

This South Pacific country has become the perfect vacation destination for young and old travelers alike. With green landscapes, mountains and waterways, New Zealand is an adventurer’s dream. Volunteering in New Zealand will have you placed in the country’s largest city, Auckland.
Volunteer project work includes:

-NGO Support

-Coast and Waterway Conservation

On the NGO support project, you will be working with the local team in their offices on administration and marketing in order to grow their organization. On the Coast and Waterway Conservation project, you will be working just outside of central Auckland on traditional Maori land to restore native bush, remove invasive weeds and species, as well as cleanups around the local waterways.

New inspirations, destinations, adventures.

Discover more with our weekly newsletter.


You’d struggle to find a more iconic shot than that of Machu Picchu, the key drawcard to the region. When you’re not trekking and exploring the ancient Mayan ruins, the city of Cusco offers volunteer projects aimed at enhancing the outcomes for the local community, as well as the surrounding Amazon jungle.

Volunteer project work includes:
– Childcare
– Teaching English
– Medical
– Animal Care
– Jungle Conservation
– Construction and Renovation
– Andean Immersion
– Special Needs Care
– Holiday Experience

With a wide range of projects on offer, there are opportunities to see many sides of Cusco. Teaching, Childcare and Special Needs Care will have you based in a classroom-like setting where primary tasks will be to educate and care for the children and provide meaningful interactions. Animal care, Construction, Jungle, Medical, and Andean Immersion will have you working further afield depending on the communities’ needs. Daily tasks across projects include cleaning animals, building community centers, reforestation, providing triage for patients and assistance within a local community.


The island of Bali will have a special place in your heart, once you’ve felt the warmth of the island and those that live there. It’s the reason many make regular returns each year. This hospitality can be repaid in the form of volunteer work, which is within the village of Ubud and surrounding villages. Away from all the hustle and bustle in Kuta, this is a great opportunity to experience the real Bali.

Volunteer project work includes:



-Healthcare Education

-Turtle Conservation

-Environmental Education

-Construction and Renovation

Projects are classroom-based and provide education to local school children and the wider community on topics such as teaching English, healthcare, and environmental issues. If you’re working on turtle conservation, you will be based on the island of Nusa Penida. Volunteer work aims to assist conservation efforts including feeding and cleaning turtles.

South Africa

South Africa boasts some of the most diverse countryside and wildlife on the planet. From the top of Table Mountain, to the safari tours, there is never a dull moment in South Africa. Volunteer work has you at the heart of the community and there is a project to meet every skill set. Based in the popular coastal city of Cape Town, you’re never too far from the beach action.

Volunteer project work includes:


-Computer Training


-Sport Development

-Surf Outreach

Working on the Sports, Surf, Teaching and Childcare projects, you will be working with children in the wider Cape Town community to provide education and one to one interactions that provide confidence and new experiences for the children. On the Computer Training project, you will be helping groups within local communities to improve computer use and facilitate access to the internet for children.


European getaways are a must-do, as the ease of visiting multiple destinations allows you to see the rich heritage and beautiful countryside. At the top of this list should be Portugal. With its coastal location, medieval castles and cobblestone villages, Portugal is a place of history and modern beauty. Volunteer placements are located in Lisbon and provide support for the growing city and environment.

Volunteer project work includes:

-Wolf Conservation

-Environmental Scuba Diving

-Construction and Renovation

-Food Rescue

-Youth Support

Inner city projects include Food Rescue, Youth Support and Construction and Renovation. All three are aimed at improving the outcomes for the local community, whether it’s giving food to those in need via food preparation or improving the living standards by means of painting and repairs. If you’re working on Wolf Conservation and Environmental Scuba Diving you will be placed within the wider Lisbon district with work focused on maintaining the wolves habitat via feeding and maintenance of the center. Work on the Environmental Scuba Diving project includes cleaning up rubbish and observing the marine ecosystem.

Share this post now:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.