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Senior Volunteers Abroad

Senior Volunteers Abroad

Are you looking for volunteer opportunities for seniors or older adults? Whether you’re a mature traveler embarking on a career break, a senior seeking volunteer opportunities for retirees, or if you’re simply wanting to explore a meaningful form of travel as an older adult, volunteering abroad provides the perfect opportunity to experience a new country and culture, while contributing to vital community projects that value your support.

International Volunteer HQ is 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. Senior volunteer work ranges from teaching English and supporting construction projects to joining NGO initiatives and wildlife conservation projects.

With fully hosted senior volunteer programs starting at just $180 for 1 week, everything organized for you and plenty of homestay and private room accommodation upgrades to choose from, IVHQ offers the best international volunteer opportunities for seniors.

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, overseas volunteer opportunities for seniors or the best volunteer abroad programs for older adults, 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 $180 for 1 week. 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.


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’s programs)
  • Dormitory-style accommodation in a volunteer house or hostel (this is available on the majority of IVHQ programs)

Many of our senior volunteers tell us that they enjoy the opportunity to be accommodated in a local homestay, as they enjoy experiencing the local way of life and the chance to be immersed in a unique family setting, while sampling local cuisine, exchanging stories and learning about a new culture in an intimate setting. Some seniors also like the comfort and privacy of an accommodation upgrade to a private room. See the list below to explore these accommodation options:

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 during Covid-19?

With Covid-19 restrictions easing, many seniors, older adults, mature volunteers and retirees are looking to combine an immersive cultural experience with a meaningful getaway. The majority of IVHQ’s volunteer programs are open and currently hosting volunteers in countries where local government and health guidelines deem it safe.

You can book with confidence thanks to IVHQ’s flexible booking policy, which enables you to change your travel dates, volunteer program and destination for free up to 14 days before your start date. We’ve also introduced a number of extra health and safety measures that have been implemented by all our local teams, in addition to our standard policies.


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 older adults 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, IVHQ offers the option to combine volunteer programs as part of a gap year and 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 international volunteers, 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…

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)

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)

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)

Best volunteer programs for seniors

Wondering what the best international volunteer opportunities for retirees and seniors 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 homestay accommodation and/or private room upgrades, as these tend to be very popular with our older volunteers!

See the latest Covid-19 entry requirements here and explore our diverse range of senior volunteer opportunities below.

Volunteer in Costa Rica
Volunteer abroad in Costa Rica with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $380 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 14 project options
Volunteer in Croatia
Volunteer abroad in Croatia with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $549 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 6 project options
Volunteer in Guatemala
Volunteer abroad in Guatemala with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $330 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 11 project options
Volunteer in Jordan
Become a volunteer in Jordan with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $645 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+
  • 6 project options
Volunteer in Kenya
Volunteer abroad in Kenya with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $280 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 6 project options
Volunteer in Mexico
Volunteer abroad in Mexico with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $320 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 5 project options
Volunteer in Morocco
Volunteer abroad in Morocco with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $310 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 6 project options
Volunteer in Nepal
Volunteer abroad in Nepal with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $250 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 10 project options
Volunteer in Peru
Volunteer abroad in Peru with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $180 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 17 project options
Volunteer in Portugal
Volunteer abroad in Portugal with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $455 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 7 project options
Volunteer in Sri Lanka
Volunteer abroad in Sri Lanka with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $315 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 9 project options
Volunteer in Tanzania
Volunteer abroad in Tanzania with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $270 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 7 project options
Volunteer in Victoria Falls
Volunteer abroad in Victoria Falls with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $1020 for 2 weeks
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 1 unique project
Volunteer in Zambia
Volunteer abroad in Zambia with International Volunteer HQ
  • From $270 for 1 week
  • Ages 18+ and families
  • 6 project options
Volunteer in Zanzibar
Volunteer Abroad in Zanzibar with IVHQ
  • From $540 for 1 week
  • Ages 16+ and families
  • 2 project options

How to volunteer abroad as a senior

To volunteer abroad as a family with IVHQ, you will need to submit an online application for each family member. If you are volunteering as a family unit with more than two people, we recommend that you follow these steps:

  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 the free online application form 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.

Apply now

Senior Volunteering Abroad with IVHQ.

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!
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