How to travel abroad from the UK right now
Volunteering is exempt from the UK overseas travel ban. This means UK citizens are allowed to travel overseas to volunteer with IVHQ! To ensure you don’t encounter any problems, we are providing those in the UK with volunteering verification letters.
Are you stuck in the UK and longing to go abroad? Catch up on lost time and make your next trip overseas really count with a volunteer adventure abroad. Unlike all other forms of holiday which fall within the UK travel ban, traveling abroad to volunteer is permitted. Because of this and the heightened interest in kinder and more sustainable forms of travel, IVHQ has seen an influx in bookings from eco-conscious and impact-focused travelers from the UK wanting to go abroad as soon as possible.
With the end of lockdown finally in sight thanks to the UK’s speedy roll-out of vaccines and the government’s promising roadmap, we’re also experiencing a surge in interest from UK travelers rescheduling their volunteer abroad programs that were cancelled in 2020 in order to go in Summer 2021, later in the year and beyond.
As a result, IVHQ’s popular programs are filling up fast. Spaces are limited, so if you’re thinking of volunteering this year, we strongly recommend you apply and register as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out! Our flexible booking policy enables you to make free changes to your dates, destination and program up to 14 days before your start date.
How to get a volunteering verification letter from IVHQ
IVHQ has successfully supported hundreds of UK travelers to volunteer abroad over the last few months by providing them with a volunteering verification letter. This enables you to get approval from the UK government to travel abroad on a volunteer trip. And the best part? It gives you the opportunity to give back and make a difference in a community overseas that really values your support – this year more than ever. You’ll also get to soak up the sun and explore beautiful parts of the world without the usual crowds of tourists!
How do you get a volunteering verification letter? Once you’ve applied for an IVHQ program and secured your place by paying your Registration Fee, you can request a volunteering verification letter from your Program Manager. You can include this letter in your UK travel declaration form, which the UK government needs to approve before you’re legally able to travel abroad.
Where can you volunteer abroad from the UK right now?
After what seems like an eternity of lockdowns, Spring is offering a chance for a fresh start. Large volumes of UK volunteers are choosing to combine a post-lockdown adventure abroad with a meaningful way to give back to communities after an extremely challenging year. IVHQ’s volunteer abroad programs enable you to help local communities get back on their feet, while exploring vibrant cultures and stunning destinations with warm and sunny climates.
Wondering which are the best places to volunteer abroad if you’re living in the UK? We’ve put together this guide to help you decide where to go and what activities to do. You can also find out which IVHQ destinations are open to volunteers from the rest of Europe here.
In just a couple of weeks time, you could be teaching local children in Costa Rica while exploring dramatic volcanoes or helping conserve the ‘Big 5’ - lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and buffalo - in South Africa.
Alternatively, if you would prefer personalized destination and program recommendations, fill out this quick form and our team will get back to you to explore your options.
Which IVHQ programs are open to UK volunteers now?
Here’s a list of the most popular IVHQ programs with UK travelers right now. They are all open, accepting applications and already have volunteers on the ground making a difference.
Due to high levels of interest for 2021, programs are booking up fast, so we advise getting ahead of the surge by locking in your next volunteer adventure for Spring, Summer and beyond! Click on the destination you’re interested in to learn more about the volunteer projects that are available and what adventurous excursions you can tack onto your itinerary.
Best volunteer abroad programs for UK travelers in 2021:
Immerse yourself in diverse landscapes including lush rainforests and stunning beaches on IVHQ’s Costa Rica program. With 15 projects available, volunteers can choose from Childcare and Teaching to Medical, Eco Agriculture and Turtle Conservation.
Take your experience to the next level with exciting tour add-ons including volcano treks, coffee plantation tours, adventure sports and popular mini adventures.
Hear from recent IVHQ volunteer Alexandre to learn what it’s like volunteering in Costa Rica right now.
Explore beautiful surf beaches, rugged landscapes and incredible wildlife on IVHQ’s South Africa programs in Cape Town and the world renowned Kruger National Park. Choose from a diverse range of life-enhancing projects, including Teaching, Sports Development, Childcare, Surf Outreach, Animal Care and a new Widlife Conservation project.
Spend time sightseeing around Cape Town or other areas in South Africa. Long weekends can also be arranged to go on a safari or travel to places further afield, such as the famous Garden Route.
We have had many UK volunteers joining us in South Africa, although please note that there is currently a requirement to quarantine once back home in the UK if returning from South Africa.
On IVHQ’s Kenya program volunteers will explore the Maasai tribes, authentic villages and incredible African wildlife. With 6 impact driven projects to choose from, including Women’s Education and Teaching, you’ll be making a valuable contribution to the local community.
Explore Kenya’s beauty with your free time – roam around Nairobi or embark on a safari adventure amongst other thrilling add-ons.
Become part of the local community on IVHQ’s Ghana program and choose from 7 incredible projects, from Healthcare Outreach to Sports and Teaching. Projects are based in rural villages and townships within the Greater Accra Region.
Want to explore more of West Africa’s beauty? Arrange a long weekend to travel further afield such as Cape Coast.
Want to hear what it’s like to volunteer in Ghana at the moment? Read IVHQer Tonja’s story to find out.
Make an impact and immerse yourself in one of the world’s most vibrant cultures. Volunteers on IVHQ’s Mexico program are based in the beautiful city of Mérida and can choose from incredible projects, including Sustainable Agriculture, Teaching English, Animal Care, Childcare and Special Needs Care.
Take your adventure to the next level and explore popular local sites, such as Chichén Itzá – the most famous of the Yucatán’s Mayan ruin sites and one of Mexico’s most visited tourist destinations.
Get a taste of authentic Asia, with fantastic food, the friendliest locals and the dramatic backdrop of the Himalayas on IVHQ’s Nepal program. Choose from projects including NGO support, Medical Elective, Sustainable Agriculture, Construction and much more.
Travelers must have a Covid-19 negative report (RT-PCR/Gene Xpert/True NAAT or equivalent) obtained within 72 hours prior to their departure.
IVHQ’s Belize program is based on a stunning private island in the Caribbean. The special Marine Conservation project involves helping local scientists with a range of scuba diving tasks to protect marine life.
On this program, you’ll also have time to relax on the white sand beaches, hire kayaks or paddle boards and even take yoga classes. There are also ancient Mayan sites, spice farms and waterfalls you can visit within a day’s trip.
Discover East Africa on IVHQ’s Tanzania program and choose from 5 impactful projects: Teaching, Medical, Childcare, Women’s Education and Animal Welfare.
Immerse yourself even further with meaningful program add-ons, including safari tours, Kilimanjaro hikes, Maasai village visits and other adventures.
We have had many UK volunteers joining us in Tanzania, although please note that there is currently a requirement to quarantine once back home in the UK if returning from Tanzania.
Want to know what it’s like volunteering in Tanzania right now? Read about Aysha’s recent Tanzania volunteer experience.
Discover the aquamarine ocean, unique wildlife and rustic markets on this paradise island just off the coast of Eastern Africa where you can chose between the incredible Turtle Conservation and Rainforest & Coastal Conservation projects on IVHQ’s Zanzibar program.
Free time can be spent pursuing Zanzibar’s white sand beaches and getting to know the friendly local community.
We have had many UK volunteers joining us in Zanzibar, although please note that there is currently a requirement to quarantine once back home in the UK if returning from Zanzibar, as it is part of Tanzania.
Explore the island of Nosy Komba on IVHQ’s Madagascar program and choose from 5 volunteer projects, including Marine Conservation, Turtle Conservation, Forest Conservation, Teaching and Community Development.
Get out and explore Nosy Komba by joining local village guides to encounter friendly lemurs and meet other Malagasy wildlife and plants. Go even further off the beaten track to Diego Suarez and enjoy adventure-sports activities such as kiteboarding or quad biking.
Please note: UK volunteers are required to spend 14 days in a ‘low risk’ country before entering Madagascar.
Check your entry and visa requirements
Fill out the quick form below to find out what the entry and visa requirements are for the IVHQ destination you’re interested in, based on your country of residence. Some destinations require you to bring health documents, wear masks in public spaces, or apply for a visa.