Traveling is fun, but if one is to travel for extended periods of time then one needs to find ways to make ends meet. One of the ways people can do this (particularly young travelers) is by volunteering. There are many volunteering opportunities around the world where one can enjoy a cultural exchange in an exotic country while not having to worry about day-to-day expenses. Volunteering is one of the ways to make the most of one's budget.
For people who haven't traveled before, this may seem difficult. But it is actually very easy and many people travel for years all around the world, they only do minimal work, and actually return with more money than they left with. Volunteering is not only a great way to enjoy cultural exchange and save money, but also to slow one's journey down. Here are some ideas about volunteering and traveling.
WWOOF is Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. This is an online site that links visitors (WWOOFers) with organic farmers around the world. In this program, the traveler works on the farm in exchange for free room and board (and maybe a small allowance). The WWOOFer enjoys a cultural exchange and learns about the ecology and sustainability of organic farming.
- Offers: Free Room And Board (Minimum)
- Work: Various Jobs On Organic Farms
It is a great opportunity to see a side of the world that few travelers and tourists get to see. It is a great chance to see a side of a country that's not just its touristic face. Also, WWOOFers frequently enjoy the awesome company of other WWOOFers from around the world and make close friends. WWOOFing is particularly popular in New Zealand and Australia.
Workaway is another online platform but much more generalist than WWOOF. They also arrange homestays and cultural exchanges with travelers all around the world. The Volunteers or "Workawayers" agree to work a certain amount of hours (often not that many) a day with their hosts in exchange for lodging and food.
- Offers: Free Room And Board (Minimum)
- Work: Full Range of Conceivable Jobs (Very Often Farm or Hospitality Related)
- Bonus: Cultural Exchange, Language Learning
One can see all the information of the host, they provide information about themselves, the accommodation they offer, the work they require, etc. While the volunteers build their own provide listing any specific skills they may have. They contact the hosts about the positions available.
It is a fabulous way for travelers to immerse themselves in the country and culture they are visiting. It is often also a great way to improve foreign language skills.
Common volunteering includes animal care, gardening, farming, and cooking. The full range of jobs is comprehensive.
Another way to travel is to volunteer to teach English. See here for 10 countries to teach English in. Volunteer teaching can be a formal volunteer position where one applies to a school and the school even pays for one's flights. Or one can just turn up in a country and see who wants an English teacher (native English teachers are nearly always in high demand all around the world). One example is Teach and Learn With Georgia (the Republic of Georgia). Teach and Learn With Georgia provides the following:
- Flights: They Pay For Flights To And From The Country of Georgia
- Stipend: The Pay a Small Stipend of Around $200 Per Month
- Board: One Is Hosted By a Local Georgian Family With A Room And Food Provided (In Georgia That Will Be Lots And Lots of Food)
Other Ways To Volunteer While Traveling
Work In A Kibbutz
A Kibbutz is a type of communal farm in Israel. They are also looking for volunteers to work on their farms and there are many volunteer positions available for those wanting to spend an extended period of time in Israel. One of the main sites for looking for these jobs is Kibbutz Volunteers.
- Kibbutz: A Communal Farm in Israel
Work In A Hostel
Most backpackers on a budget and looking for a friendly and homely vibe will stay at hostels around the world. Hostels are much more than just cheap accommodation. Often even if a traveler has the budget to stay at nice hotels, they will still choose to stay at a hostel because of the homely vibe with other travelers. In a hostel, most travelers are friends and buddies by default.
- Hostels: Many Of The Staff In Hostels Are Volunteers
- Offers: Lodging, Often Food, And On Occasion A Small Allowance
Hostels are often also great places to volunteer. Often as one travels around, one will notice that many of the staff staying at the hostel are volunteers. To work at a hostel, just ask them - it's that simple.
These are just a few ideas of volunteering to cover expenses around the world - the full list is endless.