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Senior Volunteers Abroad

Senior Volunteers Abroad

Are you looking for volunteer opportunities for seniors, retirees or mature volunteers? Whether you’re a well seasoned explorer or a first time traveler, volunteering abroad with International Volunteer HQ provides a meaningful and rewarding way to experience a new country and culture. As an older volunteer, you can make a real difference on IVHQ’s volunteer projects by bringing with you life experience, wisdom and skills that are really valued by the local community.

We are proud to support thousands of seniors and retirees volunteering abroad in over 50 destinations across Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, North America, Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the Pacific. All IVHQ programs are open to our mature volunteers, and senior volunteer work can range from teaching or supporting construction projects to joining NGO initiatives or wildlife conservation projects.

With senior volunteer programs starting at just $20 (approximately $20) per day including accommodation, everything organized for you and plenty of homestay and private room accommodation options to choose from, IVHQ offers the best international volunteer opportunities for seniors.

Common questions asked by mature and senior volunteers - International Volunteer HQ.
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At IVHQ, our volunteer vacations for seniors are so popular because of our affordable fees, tailored approach, unrivalled support and safety and our commitment to ethical and responsible volunteering as a certified B Corporation.

Our team of Volunteer Travel Experts can provide you with personalized senior volunteer trip recommendations to match your accommodation preferences and the causes you care about.

Julien Comeau aged 75 volunteering in Ghana with IVHQ.

"At my age of 75, I just spent an extraordinary 3 weeks in Ghana with 9 outstanding young adults from around the world. It was the most incredible and rewarding trip in my 50 years of traveling. Volunteering is for anyone with an open mind and a desire for adventure. I strongly recommend it for capable seniors and retirees who can spend a few weeks helping in a community in need of assistance. There is no age limit to volunteering… there is no limit to giving. The IVHQ team is well organized, and everything is taken care of, staring with the airport pickup. I am recommending IVHQ to all my friends and now preparing for my next adventure with them. I have found the road to a fulfilling retirement."
Julien Comeau, aged 75, IVHQ Ghana

Read Julien’s story

How does senior volunteering abroad work?

Whether you’re seeking mission trips for retirees or overseas volunteer opportunities for seniors, IVHQ is here to make it easy and affordable to organize an international volunteer trip, no matter what your age.

As an IVHQ volunteer, you’ll be connected with a dedicated volunteer expert to support you every step of the way. You can choose to volunteer at any time of the year, for anywhere between 1 week and 24 weeks, and Program Fees start from just $20 (approximately $20) per day including accommodation. All IVHQ programs are fully hosted experiences, with your accommodation, meals, airport pickup and all your in-country essentials organized for you!

Once you arrive at your volunteering destination, you’ll be greeted at the airport, transported to your accommodation and joined with a group of other international volunteers for your program orientation. Your weekdays will be spent supporting the project of your choice, while your weekends will be free to explore your host country.

Click below to explore our top volunteer programs for seniors, or head to our Over 40s page to see the best volunteer opportunities for adults aged 40 - 60.

What are the accommodation options for senior volunteers?

Depending on where you choose to volunteer, IVHQ offers a variety of accommodation options:

  • Homestay accommodation with a local family
  • Accommodation upgrade, where you can request to be accommodated in a private room at an additional cost (available at more than half of IVHQ programs)
  • Dormitory-style accommodation in a volunteer house or hostel (this is available in the majority of IVHQ programs)

Whether you like to interact closely with the locals and your fellow volunteers or want a more comfortable or private accommodation, IVHQ is dedicated to providing quality accommodation while you volunteer abroad with us.

See the list below to explore the accommodation options available:

If you wish to volunteer on one of these programs and be placed in a homestay or upgrade to a private room, please note your preference in the ‘Comments’ section when you apply and our local team will do their best to accommodate your preference.

For further inspiration, take a look at our top destination recommendations for volunteer work abroad for over 60s.

Is it safe for seniors to volunteer abroad?

Yes, it is safe! All IVHQ programs adhere to comprehensive risk management and we have rigorous health and safety measures in place. As a result, IVHQ has an unmatched record when it comes to keeping volunteers of all ages safe and healthy during their volunteer experience.

To help keep you safe, travel insurance is compulsory for all IVHQ volunteers. We offer our own travel insurance for our volunteers, which has been customized specifically to cover the kind of activities you will be doing. It’s the same price for everyone, no matter how old you are - and there is no minimum or maximum age limit!

You also have the option to change your travel dates, volunteer program and destination for free up to 14 days before your start date, thanks to our flexible booking policy.

How many older IVHQ volunteers are there?

Did you know that 12% of our volunteers are aged 51+?

While the opportunity to volunteer abroad is popular among young travelers, an increasing number of senior travelers are choosing to volunteer with IVHQ each year, delivering a great deal of value to the communities in which we work.

The mix of life experience, skills and patience that senior volunteers bring is invaluable, and the younger volunteers always appreciate the opportunity to engage with and learn from volunteers of another generation.

In addition to volunteer vacations for seniors, IVHQ also specializes in hosting parents who wish to volunteer abroad with children. See our Family Volunteering page for more information.

How long can seniors volunteer abroad for?

IVHQ programs allow volunteers the opportunity to volunteer for durations ranging from 1 to 24 weeks. For those seeking longer-term senior volunteer opportunities abroad, we offer the option to create longer itineraries with the help of a volunteer expert from IVHQ.

We receive fantastic feedback from our senior volunteers who enjoy the opportunity to work alongside other international volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, sharing their desire to assist a community in need and gain an authentic cultural experience through living and working with local people.

What do past senior volunteers say about their experiences?

Hear from some of IVHQ’s awesome senior volunteers…

I went on several trips to places around the world this year, but nothing touched my heart and soul as much as volunteering in Galapagos Islands did. I have spent this year travelling because I am getting older (I am 54 years old) and I am seeing more friends and family suffering from health conditions that prevent them from doing the things that they said they would get to some day. It is more than just a vacation where you do something different. It is living in and being part of a community. It is making a positive impact while experiencing personal growth. I am so proud of all the younger volunteers and interns who are doing this now rather than waiting. I wish that I had done something like this sooner. Michelle Barnes, 54 years
(IVHQ Volunteer in the Galapagos Islands)

The programs are designed so that a volunteer has many options regarding what kind of work to do, how long to stay, different living arrangements, etc. Each one of my experiences has been so fulfilling and inspiring that I strongly recommend contacting IVHQ about joining up. I’m thinking this year of going to Cambodia to do another IVHQ program!! Come join me! Susan Erdman, 65 years
(Volunteer in India, Kenya, Peru and Morocco)

One of my greatest life experiences. My placement at a local school was even more than I could have hoped for. The staff there were fantastic and so appreciative. My homestay with Mama Julia was the best, I would only want to stay there with her if I was to return to Tanzania. I loved meeting the families of the children, receiving their gratitude, working with such appreciative staff and of course, the beautiful children that I got to know. Glenda Bernstein, 55 years
(IVHQ Volunteer in Tanzania)

I have been a medical volunteer before and this experience was different in exactly the ways I wanted. I knew that in order to volunteer as a nurse outside of an organized mission I would have to give up some things, but I also knew I would gain others. With IVHQ, I did not get to practice nursing at the level that I would have if I had gone on a mission. However, I did get to participate in the culture, work alongside local practitioners, negotiate the city, and be a Peruana for a week. The IVHQ staff member also steered me to the program that would still allow me to do more than shadowing someone. I wish I could have stayed longer, but we all do what we can! Overall, it was a tremendous experience and I am so grateful for all the support I received. Holly Knight, 52 years
(Medical Volunteer, Peru)

My project in Mcleod Ganj was perfect in every way, seriously. It was exactly what I wanted, and had been promised, working with young Tibetan refugees, who needed my help, my time and my love. I know I was appreciated, and I feel my time was completely worthwhile, as the five members of permanent staff would never be able to handle 30 plus children from 8 months to 2 and half years old, without extra volunteer help. Our help was crucial to the smooth running of the nursery. My accommodation for two months was exceptional, the young Tibetan family welcomed me like family. Debra Cooper, 53 years
(Childcare Volunteer, India)

IVHQ Facebook Group for Over 40s, seniors and retirees.

Join IVHQ’s Facebook group for seniors and retirees

Whether you’ve volunteered with us before or you’re simply curious to find out more about our trips — you’re invited to join our Facebook group for seniors and retirees! This is the perfect place to connect with others like you who are interested in volunteering abroad, share tips, and hear from past IVHQ volunteers in your age group.


Best volunteer opportunities for seniors

Wondering what the best international senior volunteer programs are? Here at IVHQ, we believe that there is no age limit to volunteering, which is why all of our programs are open to volunteers of all ages! This means you can join any IVHQ program you like as a senior.

To make it a little easier to choose, we’ve put together our pick of the best volunteer vacations for seniors below - all of which offer private room upgrades, as these tend to be very popular with our older volunteers!

Volunteer in Argentina
Volunteer in Argentina - Cordoba with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $350 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 16 project options
Volunteer in Costa Rica
Volunteer abroad in Costa Rica with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $465 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 15 project options
Volunteer in Croatia
Volunteer abroad in Croatia with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $1100 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 6 project options
Volunteer in Guatemala
Volunteer abroad in Guatemala with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $370 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 12 project options
Volunteer in Italy
Volunteer abroad in Italy with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $1635 for 2 weeks
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 6 project options
Volunteer in Jamaica
Volunteer abroad in Jamaica with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $525 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 10 project options
Volunteer in Laos
Volunteer abroad in Laos with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $285 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 3 project options
Volunteer in Mexico
Volunteer abroad in Mexico with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $345 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 5 project options
Volunteer in Nepal
Volunteer abroad in Nepal with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $275 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 11 project options
Volunteer in New Zealand
Volunteer abroad in New Zealand with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $1255 for 2 weeks
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 1 unique project
Volunteer in Peru
Volunteer abroad in Peru with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $275 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 19 project options
Volunteer in the Philippines
Volunteer abroad in the Philippines with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $380 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 4 project options
Volunteer in Portugal
Volunteer abroad in Portugal with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $690 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 18 project options
Volunteer in Puerto Rico
Volunteer in Puerto Rico with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $625 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 4 project options
Volunteer in Sri Lanka
Volunteer abroad in Sri Lanka with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $380 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 9 project options
Volunteer in Victoria Falls
Volunteer abroad in Victoria Falls with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $1045 for 2 weeks
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 1 unique project
Volunteer in Vietnam
Volunteer abroad in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh with IVHQ
  • From $400 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 5 project options
Volunteer in Zambia
Volunteer abroad in Zambia with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $385 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 6 project options

How to volunteer abroad as a senior

To volunteer abroad as a senior with IVHQ, you will need to start by choosing the volunteer program you would like to participate in and submitting. Here’s how it works:

  1. Browse our senior volunteer opportunities and choose a destination and the project you wish to volunteer on, as well as the dates you wish to volunteer.
  2. Complete with the details of your chosen program and dates. You will then receive an email confirming that IVHQ has received your application. Within 48 hours (2 working days), you will receive an email from your IVHQ Program Manager acknowledging your application and confirming the country, project and dates of your volunteer program. In this email, you will receive instructions on how to pay the Registration Fee in order to confirm your booking with IVHQ.
  3. Log in to your MyIVHQ account to pay your Registration Fee. As soon as your Registration Fee has been received by IVHQ, you will be provided with all the information and support you need to prepare for your upcoming volunteer program. Your IVHQ Program Manager will be your point of contact throughout your preparations up until you finish your volunteer program.


Senior Volunteering Abroad with IVHQ.
Watch IVHQ Older Adult Webinar
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Webinar: Volunteering abroad as senior with IVHQ

Are you a senior or retiree considering volunteering abroad? Watch this webinar replay where our experts will answer all your questions, give their top program recommendations, and you’ll get to hear from others like you to ensure you make the most of your volunteer experience!

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!
Message us for more information

Message us for more information

Got questions? Message our volunteer Travel Experts. We're here to guide you through an unforgettable volunteer experience.

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