Travel Cheap Tip #6: Volunteer Travel

 Just like my Travel Cheap Tips—#5 Hosting Exchange Students,” volunteer travel will simultaneously help you travel cheap and enrich your life.

The connections you will form and the overall experience is sure to depth and breadth to your soul. Depending on where you go, you’ll probably be honing your second language skills as well. Even your résumé will get a boost. How could it not after teaching English to school children (or their parents) in Thailand, or protecting sea turtles in Costa Rica, or preserving the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador???

Thanks to the reemergence of the sharing economy, you can find these types of volunteer opportunities through official organizations that have structured programs in place or those that connect you directly with individual people in need.

Workaway is one of my favorite volunteer travel sites. These were just a few listings at the time I wrote this article:

  • Assist an 83 year old woman with her small tourist business run from her 250 year old farmhouse in Freiburg, Germany.
  • Renovate a 17th century farmhouse belonging to an Englishwoman living in Tarn, France.
  • Work at a hostel in downtown Victoria, British Columbia.
  • Help out at a fly fishing shop in New South Wales, Australia
  • Work at a eco-B&B way off the beaten path on the tiny island of Santa Maria in the Azores.

Every volunteer travel opportunity is unique—both the work that is needed and the gift offered in exchange—so read up, ask questions, and get it in writing (especially if English is not your host’s first language).

Here are some helpful links to get us all started:

Have you ever gone on a volunteer travel trip? If so, please let us know about your experience in a comment.

Don’t miss my other tips for traveling cheap—The Wandering Ex-Housewife’s Travel Cheap Tips!

2018-08-30T05:18:07+00:00May 12th, 2014|Categories: Tips + Culture|2 Comments

About the Author:

A recovered surburbanite, mom of two and partner of one who found herself while wandering the world. Currently based in San Diego—heading to Panamá in 2020.


  1. Ken Williamson May 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Cool! I like this one. Didn’t realize there where formal websites promoting these types of trades.

    Ken Williamson

  2. janet d. May 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to go with you an a helpful adventure some day!

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