Why Volunteer Travel Is The Best Way To Travel
Every year, thousands of travelers choose to volunteer abroad with International Volunteer HQ. Why? Because they've worked out that volunteer travel is the best way to travel. If you're not convinced, read on...
You add meaning to your travel
How many people do you know that have contributed to sustainable coffee farming initiatives, living within an Costa Rican farming community in Monteverde? Or joined forces with locals to support turtle conservation efforts on the island of Nusa Penida in Bali? There is no better way to experience a new country and immerse yourself within a foreign culture than by living amongst a local community and working alongside local people on important development projects - just ask any IVHQer. Whether you're contributing to temple restoration efforts in Sri Lanka, or providing healthcare support within remote villages of Nepal, IVHQ volunteers have a unique opportunity to engage in mutually beneficial learning exchanges within their host communities - making travel experiences more memorable, and meaningful.
You can go solo
We all know that coordinating schedules with friends isn't as simple as it sounds, and those travel goals you discuss over countless coffees often don't eventuate. While the idea of traveling without a travel buddy isn't appealing to everyone, with volunteer travel, you're guaranteed to be in awesome company without having to worry about clashing calendars. As a volunteer with IVHQ, you'll be collected at the airport by our local team and transported to your volunteer accommodation, you'll undergo a program orientation alongside other international volunteers, and you'll be working, living and spending your weekends with them too! So you may travel alone, but you'll never really be alone.
You can let go of the planning
While researching your next travel destination proves exciting for most, if you don't have the time to commit to the research, you can miss out on making the most of your trip. IVHQ saves you endless hours of research because you know that your in-country arrangements are taken care of and you can be confident that you're volunteering with the world's most trusted volunteer travel organization. By organizing your accommodation and volunteer placement, and providing you with all the information and tools you need (including interactive volunteer training), we'll ensure you're set for a journey of a lifetime. From visas and vaccinations to packing lists and police checks, we've got all your questions covered. Plus, you can relax when it comes to planning your weekends in advance because when you arrive at your destination, you'll have access to travel recommendations from local experts, so you can make informed bookings in the company of other volunteer travelers.
You can afford it
While we can't speak for other volunteer travel providers, IVHQ is committed to providing volunteers with the most affordable fees, meaning that you're covered for your airport pick-up, accommodation, orientation, meals and in-country support, all in one affordable program fee. We know it can be difficult to budget for travel, especially if you've never visited the country before, but as an IVHQer, you know exactly what's covered in your fees, so you can budget effectively and save for the other costs of your trip, such as flights and weekend travel. If saving isn't your strong point, IVHQ provides fundraising tips and resources to assist you in gaining the support of friends and family in helping fund the cost of your volunteer trip or raise donations for your volunteer placement.
You get the ultimate work-travel balance
Even if you have Machu Picchu at the top of your Bucket List, or you've got your heart set on an African safari, IVHQers have the opportunity to combine rewarding volunteer work with awesome weekend adventures. With a wide range of work available in 40 different countries, we have volunteer opportunities to match all skill sets, and destinations to treat all traveler types. Whether you're one of our adventurous souls, a beach junkie, or a cultural explorer, you can collaborate with other IVHQers to customize a weekend to remember.
You can add volunteer experience to your resume
Sadly a shopping trip to New York or a resort holiday in Hawaii may not do any justice for your resume. However, by demonstrating your experience in traveling overseas, adapting to new living environments, and working alongside locals on important social or environmental development projects, you'll have a lot to show for yourself. As a volunteer traveler, you'll demonstrate to future employers that you're actively engaged in broadening your cultural awareness, you're passionate and sustainability and community development, and you're a true team player. As an IVHQer, you also have the opportunity to gain course credit while volunteering on our programs in Costa Rica, Peru and Guatemala. Many are also taking advantage of the discounted TEFL course that IVHQ provides to ensure you're well-prepared for teaching English abroad, and in turn improve future job prospects armed with an internationally recognized TEFL certification.
You can learn another language
One of the biggest battles of traveling to another country can be the language barrier, and while traveling overseas and attending class may not sound as awesome as site-seeing, IVHQ allows you to experience the best of both worlds. On many of our volunteer programs, we have language lessons set up to work around your volunteering schedule, giving you the confidence to communicate effectively at your placement and homestay. Language lessons are available to IVHQers in the following destinations: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Transylvania and Zambia.
You will gain a home away from home
Whether or not you go looking for one, as an IVHQer you'll gain a home away from home while supporting a local community. Something you won't experience from a taking a guided tour through Italy or spending a week on the beach in Bali...
If you're yet to discover first-hand why volunteer travel is the best way to travel, find out where in the world you can venture to with IVHQ. But consider yourself warned, for many IVHQers, your first volunteer travel experience is almost guaranteed not to be your last...
Can't decide where to volunteer abroad? Take our quiz!