This post is about why volunteering makes your trip and experience on a foreign country so much more interesting and why you should seriously consider doing so on your next trip.
There is tons of reasons why you should volunteer during your travels but here is top 5. This post is about volunteering in small businesses and in private people’s and familie’s homes. Volunteering through charity organizations is a different story.
Volunteering with organizations like Worldpackers, WWOOF or Workaway gives you chance to meet local people and help them with whatever they need for food and accomodation. You can volunteer from few days to several months depending on you and your hosts agreements. When searching for hosts you are able to see what kind of help do they need.
The organizations only give you a reliable registered network of hosts and volunteers, finding a host, or a volunteer, and messaging them is up to you.
1. Meet people
You meet people from different backgrounds and countries. They can be your host, fellow volunteer or depending where you volunteer even a customer. I worked couple of months in a hostel in Chile and met tons of people around the world. Sometimes you make friends for life, sometimes just share a moment between two strangers.
2. See the country through the eyes of a local
Don’t be so much in a hurry and get more authentic experience of the country. Locals can show you their culture, way of living and hidden gems of their region.
3. Learn new skills
There is millions of options where to volunteer. And you can learn new skills in all of them. Hostels, farms, wineries, different construction projects, babysitting, gardening, cooking, taking care of animals, eco projects, you can find anything. Go with an open mind.
4. Practise languages
You have perfect chance to learn and practise languages with native speakers. Using the language is the best practise you can get for mastering a foreign language. You always wanted to learn French? Why not head to France then for couple of weeks to kickstart your learning process!
5. Save money while traveling
Trust me, you end up saving money. The idea is that you work some hours (normally ~25h/week) for your food and bed. Conditions can change a little depending where you volunteer so remember to check it before agreeing.
So you will not have to spend money for your accommodation and food. Plus you still have plenty of free time to explore the area and just enjoy your holiday!
So Why not?
Volunteering abroad is perfect especially for backpackers on longer trips or for people looking for more authentic experiences with low costs.
Share your experiences of volunteering in comments!