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Alternative Winter Break Trips

Top Alternative Winter Break Trips with IVHQ

Are you looking for a meaningful way to spend your semester holidays and escape the cold this winter break? International Volunteer HQ offers affordable winter break volunteer programs for 1 - 2 weeks in over 34 destinations abroad, including Costa Rica, Mexico, India, Bali, Kenya and Uganda. So pack your bags for winter break 2017 and volunteer on one of IVHQ’s affordable winter break trips!

No previous experience is required to join one of IVHQ’s winter break volunteer programs and we have a wide range of short-term volunteer opportunities to meet your current studies or career path, so you can take a winter break with purpose. There are winter break programs for college students, as well as winter break programs for high school students - you just need to be 18 years or older, or traveling with a parent or guardian if you are under 18.

Now is the perfect time to start researching and planning for your winter break 2017 or winter break 2018 with IVHQ. A winter break volunteer abroad trip is the ideal way to make a meaningful contribution to a community abroad, while adding volunteer work to your resume, developing your skill set and improving your future job prospects.

IVHQ makes it easy and affordable to organize an alternative winter break with program fees starting from as low as $180 for 1 week. As an IVHQ volunteer, you can feel confident that you’ll be in the company of like-minded volunteer travelers and you’ll be well supported by our local team on any of IVHQ’s winter break volunteer abroad programs. Before departing, you’ll be connected with a dedicated IVHQ Program Manager who will ensure you have all the support you need to prepare for your winter break volunteer trip. So where are the best places to volunteer abroad and make the most of an alternative winter break? We’ve listed some of our most popular (and warm!) winter volunteer abroad programs below, which are guaranteed to provide the perfect escape for an alternative winter break…

Volunteer in Costa Rica

  • When can you start? 25th December 2017 and 1st January 2018
  • What can you do? Holiday project (childcare, elderly, community)
  • How much does it cost? US$345 (1 week)
  • Average temperature: 84°

Boasting stunning beaches, adventure-packed activities, quaint towns and welcoming locals, it’s understandable why Costa Rica is a popular destination for winter break 2018. While staying in the vibrant city of San Jose, you can lend a hand on the Costa Rica volunteer program, working with children and elderly within underserved communities, coordinating holiday celebrations for the children, as well as cleaning and renovating community centers. Learn more about Christmas volunteering abroad. As a volunteer in Costa Rica, your weekdays will be spent applying your efforts to support the local communities wherever your support is most needed, while your weekends can revolve around relaxing on the beach of Manuel Antonio, zip-lining through Monteverde, or exploring Arenal Volcano.

Take a winter break volunteering in Costa Rica with IVHQ

My time in Costa Rica was some of the best times of my life! I met so many amazing people and did so many amazing things. I loved watching the progress we made as we renovated a kindergarten classroom and English school. My host family was fantastic and I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience, besides staying longer next time! Joshua Bennignton

Volunteer in Mexico

  • When can you start? 18th December 2017, or January 8th 2018
  • What can you do? Childcare, Special Needs Care, Animal Care/Animal Rights, Maya Agriculture
  • How much does it cost? US$270 (1 week)
  • Average temperature: 76°

Located on the Caribbean Coast in the historic city of Merida, you will be blown away by the Mayan and colonial architecture at your doorstep on this program. Here you will have the opportunity to volunteer on a wide range of projects, including Childcare, Special Needs Care, Animal Care/Animal Rights or Mayan Agriculture. During your free time, trips can be arranged so you can explore popular tourist sites in the area, such as Chichén Itzá – the most famous of the Yucatán’s Mayan ruin sites, the impressive Uxmal Mayan ruin site, and the colonial town of Izamal. After soaking up the beautiful city, you will truly appreciate your winter break trip once you visit the incredible Caribbean Coast!

Experience the culture and people of Mexico on your winter break with IVHQ

If you’re looking to get a new perspective on life, this is the best way to do it. Humbling, enlightening and exciting. I will definitely repeat the experience! Plus Mexico is an amazing country. The IVHQ Mexico team are absolutely spot-on, helpful and nice. Thanks IVHQ! Simina Marca

Volunteer in Guatemala

  • When can you start? Volunteer programs begin every Monday. The Holiday project start dates are 25 December 2017 and 1st January 2018
  • What can you do? The special Holiday Experience project provides the opportunity to participate in a variety of different projects and activities in the local community.
  • How much does it cost? Program fees from $310 for 1 week

  • Average temperature: 79°

With its kaleidoscope of colors, dramatic landscapes, and intriguing atmosphere - Guatemala offers a genuine and action-fueled travel experience! You can start volunteering on the Guatemala program on any Monday and can volunteer for periods ranging from 1 to 24 weeks. This makes it a great option for an alternative winter break - as you can maximize your time on a short term volunteer program. All volunteers that start on Monday, 25 December 2017, or 1st January 2018 work on the special Holiday Project, which allows volunteers a taste of a number of different project types. You also experience a unique insight into how Guatemalans celebrate Christmas - expect parades, music, torches and an outpouring of magnificent fireworks!

Experience the culture and people of Guatemala on your winter break with IVHQ

From all the experience I gained working in the medical clinic at Puesto de Salud in Ciudad Vieja to climbing to the summit of a volcano the only regret I have is not having more time. The people are amazing, the culture is vibrant, and the opportunity is life changing. Go live it! Michael, 25, USA

Volunteer in Peru

  • When can you start? Volunteer programs begin every Monday. The Holiday project start dates are 25 December 2017 and 1st January 2018
  • What can you do? You can volunteer on the Peru - Lima program or the Peru - Cusco program
  • How much does it cost? On the Peru - Cusco program fees from $295 for 1 week, on the Peru - Lima program fees from $180 for 1 week
  • Average temperature: Lima 73° / Cusco 68°

Want to reach new heights, want adrenalin rush experiences, natural wonders, enthralling culture, and ridiculously good food experiences? You can have it all… in Peru! With two programs to choose from and 14 different projects - you’ll be sure to find the experience that you need this winter break. With every Monday start dates and short term volunteer opportunities, you can make the most of your holiday time. All volunteers that start on Monday, 25 December 2017, or 1st January 2018 work on the special Holiday Project. Volunteers on the Holiday Experience project assist in a range of tasks, such as coordinating holiday parties for underprivileged children and elderly, assisting in the daily life and work of a nearby Andean village (such as cooking, weaving, farming), and renovating a local community center.

Experience the culture and people of Peru on your winter break with IVHQ

Volunteering has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I would recommend everyone should experience it if they can at least once in their life time. Words can’t describe the positive effect it will have on you as a person. John Twomey

Volunteer in India

  • When can you start? 18th December 2017
  • What can you do? Healthcare, Childcare, Slum Teaching, Teaching English
  • How much does it cost? US$250 (1 week)
  • Average temperature: 74°

If you’re looking to get as far away from winter as possible, consider our winter break volunteer programs in India! The rich history, cuisine, architecture and culture make India an appealing volunteer abroad winter break destination. With volunteer opportunities available in both Delhi and Dharamsala, IVHQ’s volunteer programs in India have something to offer everyone. Support children without access to education on the Slum Teaching project, or provide assistance to local staff at one of our Childcare placements. If you’re in medical school and looking for winter break programs for college students, check out our Healthcare project in Delhi. While volunteering in India, you’ll also have the opportunity to join other volunteers on a trip to the Taj Mahal and take part in an immersive cultural tour during your orientation week. Your weekends in India will never be dull with our local team on hand to help plan trips to Rajasthan, trekking journeys, and visits to nearby temples and waterfalls.

Explore India on your winter break as a volunteer with IVHQ

This program was exactly what I was expecting and more! Without a doubt my time was appreciated on the program, and the students appreciated everything. The local team were incredibly helpful and the effort that they make for the community is huge. This volunteering experience made me grow and improve myself as a person. The accommodation was amazing really cozy and comfortable, the meals were excellent and the amount of food was always more than enough. I’m really glad that I chose to do volunteer work in India, as it was really a worthwhile experience. I want to come back! Iris Damaio

Volunteer in Bali

  • When can you start? Volunteer programs begin every Monday. For example: 18th December 2017, 25th December 2017 or 1st January 2018.
  • What can you do? Construction and Renovation, Environmental Education, Healthcare Education, Teaching, Turtle Conservation (2 week min)
  • How much does it cost? US$295 (1 week)
  • Average temperature: 81°

Bali is an island rich in culture, natural beauty and is the perfect winter break 2018 destination. With volunteer opportunities located in the cultural center of Ubud and northern coast in Lovina, you can take part on Construction and Renovation, Environmental Education, Healthcare Education, Teaching and Turtle Conservation projects. In each location, you will be supporting local initiatives to help increase access to education and bolster resources to support long-term social or conservation-focused goals within the community. During your spare time, you have the chance to relax or take the opportunity to explore Ubud, or other parts of Bali. Popular destinations and activities include the beaches of Sanur, Seminyak or Kuta, cycling, trekking tours up Mount Batur, visits to rice terraces, waterfalls and temples.

Travel and explore Bali with IVHQ on your winter break

My time abroad in Bali was one of the most incredible and life-changing opportunities I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never met so many wonderful people all in the same place, with the same desire to help a community. It was amazing to grow and learn more about myself while dedicating my time to teaching children English. Emma Daun

Volunteer in Kenya

  • When can you start? 15th December 2017, or 1st January 2018
  • What can you do? Music, Women’s Education, Childcare, Special Needs Care, Sports Education
  • How much does it cost? US$270 (1 week)
  • Average temperature: 67°

Volunteering in Africa is a meaningful excuse to escape winter and IVHQ’s volunteer program in Kenya is a popular option for many winter break volunteers. This program offers opportunities for volunteers to provide support to local communities, working on our Teaching, Childcare, Special Needs Care, Women’s Education, Music and Sports Development projects in a range of rural and urban areas around Nairobi, as well as further afield in Mombasa, and within Maasai communities. The free time travel and tour options won’t let you down, as there’s no better way to top off a winter break trip than with an African safari! Taking a safari through the Maasai Mara is a truly unbeatable experience and a must-do for any volunteer traveler in Kenya! Plus Mombasa and Diani Beach are within easy reach for a relaxing weekend getaway.

Volunteer and travel to Kenya on your winter break with IVHQ

I would recommend IVHQ to anyone who is wanting to travel, seek adventure, experience different cultures, see the world, and most of all make a difference. What a life changing experience it was! The Kenya staff were absolutely fantastic! I went to placement with an open mind and heart. I quickly fell in love with the children I was blessed to work with and the teacher in charge was amazing as well. I have grown tremendously as a person and I honestly feel that from this experience I can see life from a different perspective. My host “Moms” were amazing. The meals were always fresh and ready on time. I bonded and built such a strong friendship with both of the hosts at my placement house. I even came home with multiple recipes so I can try and attempt some of the fantastic meals in which they provided. The experience and knowledge I have gained from this trip are priceless and unique. I am so thankful to have been given such a fantastic opportunity in life. Andrew Richard Snow

Volunteer in Uganda

  • When can you start? 18th December 2017
  • What can you do? Teaching, Medical, HIV/AIDS Support, Sports Education, Special Needs Care, Childcare, Women’s Education
  • How much does it cost? US$270 (1 week)
  • Average temperature: 78°

The East African nation of Uganda offers a diverse landscape that encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Victoria. This unique environment is called home by an abundance of amazing wildlife, including chimpanzees, gorilla, hippos and rare birds. The program is located in the town of Mutungo, which is 10 miles from the capital city of Kampala. While volunteering on the Uganda program, you have the opportunity to take part in Teaching, Medical, HIV/AIDS Support, Sports Education, Special Needs Care, Childcare or Women’s Education projects. These projects are all focused on building capacity to bolster local community efforts, while providing meaningful opportunities for cross-cultural exchange. There is no shortage of things to do in Kampala or further afield during your weekends, so you can fill your free time with safaris, adventure tourism or exploring the local markets. Uganda is a popular tourist location for gorilla trekking as well as game safaris and bird-watching. There are incredible national parks and awesome opportunities for adventure activities, such as white water rafting.

Volunteer and travel to Uganda with IVHQ on your winter break

Volunteering has changed my life for the better. I met some incredible people, ate delicious food, and saw some of the most beautiful places, all while volunteering. The volunteer work showed me how different my life is from theirs, and I was glad to help in anyway I could. I will always be appreciative for this experience and will cherish my time spent in Uganda forever. Rebecca Lally

Want to find out where else you can take a winter break 2017 trip with IVHQ? Continue exploring our volunteer programs in 35+ destinations here, or take this quiz to find which volunteer winter break volunteer programs you’re best suited to!

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