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Alternative Winter Break Trips

Top Alternative Winter Break Trips with IVHQ

If you’re tired of the winter chill during your semester holidays, it’s time for you to consider a winter break trip filled with meaningful volunteer work! IVHQ offers alternative winter break programs for 1 - 2 weeks in destinations such as, Costa Rica, Mexico, India, Bali, Kenya and Uganda. So pack your bags this winter and head away on a study abroad trip. No previous volunteer experience is required and we have projects available to meet your current studies or profession.

Taking on a winter break volunteer program in 2017/18 may seem like a distant plan, however, now is the perfect time to start researching winter break trips with International Volunteer HQ! A 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 skills set and improving your future job prospects!

International Volunteer HQ makes it easy and affordable to organize an alternative winter break with program fees starting as low as $180 for one 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
  • 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 breaks. Located in the vibrant city of San Jose, on the Costa Rica program you can lend a hand on the Holiday project, which involves working with underprivileged children and elderly, coordinating holiday celebrations for underprivileged children, as well as cleaning and renovating of community centers. Depending on the local needs at the time. As a volunteer in Costa Rica, your weekdays will be spent applying your efforts to support the local communities, 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
  • 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 in the historic city of Merida on the Caribbean Coast, you will be blown away by the cities Mayan and colonial architecture. After soaking up the beautiful city, you will truly appreciate your winter break trip once you visit the exotic Caribbean Coast. You will have the opportunity to take part on the Childcare, Special Needs Care, Animal Care/Animal Rights and Maya Agriculture projects. Each project works to assist local communities in vital areas where resources are low and there is variety offered day to day. When you’re not volunteering during the day, trips can be arranged so volunteers can explore popular sites in the area, such as Chichén Itzá – the most famous of the Yucatán’s Mayan ruin sites and one of Mexico’s most visited tourist destinations, the impressive Uxmal Mayan ruin site and the colonial town of Izamal.

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 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 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, our 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. You’ll also have the opportunity to join IVHQ on a trip to the Taj Mahal along with an engaging cultural tour during 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? 25th December 2017
  • 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 the perfect winter break abroad program. 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, Turtle Conservation (2 week min). In each location you will be supporting local initiatives and community based organizations to educated and bolster resources to create meaningful volunteer work. During your spare time you have the opportunity 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 or trekking tours on Mount Batur, and visits to rice terraces and temples. In Lovina destinations and activities include snorkeling and diving along the north coast, cycling or trekking tours from Mt Batur and visiting the surroundings 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
  • 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 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 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. Although placements are carried out within the 10 mile radius. Whilst on the program you have the opportunity to take part in Teaching, Medical, HIV/AIDS Support, Sports Education, Special Needs Care, Childcare and Women’s Education. Despite the lack of resource, each of the project’s work to bolster local efforts and provide added value and cultural interaction within the local communities. There is no shortage of things to do in Kampala or further afield in Uganda, so volunteers can fill their free time with safaris, adventurous activities, markets or simply exploring parts of the local town. Uganda is a popular tourist location for gorilla trekking as well as game safaris and bird-watching. There are beautiful national parks and great opportunities for adventure activities such as white water rafting.

Volunteer and travel to South Africa 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 2017 winter break 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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