Guest post: Volunteering Abroad by Astrid Halliday

Volunteering abroad can be the trip of a lifetime combining the unique experience of giving back and helping others while exploring a new land. Not only do you get to help those in need, the warm fuzzy feeling volunteers get in return is worth every second.

See more remote parts of the world and feel good whilst helping others overseas. To make the biggest impact abroad some volunteers like to have a game plan before departing. Anyone can volunteer abroad but it takes some research and organisation to make a meaningful impact.

Before departing, set yourself goals! Think about where you want to go, how you want to help, how much time you want to commit and every other aspect of your trip. With a goal in mind it is easier to understand what you will get out of volunteering and have realistic expectations.

The more preparation you do, the easier you will find volunteering, even after you have prepared and think you know everything about your destination and volunteering, prepare some more. Underestimating the preparation period could be detrimental to a volunteer break. The more research done on a destination before departing can lead to less culture shock or a shock form the prices.

When I visited Africa, I thought it would be much cheaper than it was. I never considered there would be separate prices for locals and tourists, whereas if I had researched my destination properly I would’ve found many previous travellers posting online how much accommodation and food costs.

Volunteering abroad isn’t the easiest or prettiest thing and working hard, both before and during your trip is essential to make a bigger impact.

Volunteering abroad is not free, but don’t fret, it doesn’t need to break the bank. A lot of volunteers fundraise for their trip, accepting monetary donations as well as supplies to take over to the project. There are also many scholarships which provide grants for travellers on unusual trips. Along with donations and grants, choosing an affordable volunteer sending organisation can significantly keep costs down. These can be harder to find as they advertise less all over the internet, sitting on the second or third page of search results. Below are some affordable volunteer organisations that either I have used or have been recommended to me:

1. Original Volunteers

2. World Packers

3. Volunteer South America

Volunteering abroad allows travellers to learn about another culture, gain transferable skills and make friends for life, it is not just about helping others, instead it is a two-way street. Both volunteers and locals gain and benefit from the help provided by international volunteers. I’ve always found, if I put 100% in I get 200% back. Long stay volunteers tend to gain more from a project than short stay volunteers, as they have more time to learn new skills and take on more of a leadership role, they also gain from the bigger impact they make on the community.

With volunteering abroad booming in popularity, it has never been easier to organise a trip and make a difference in another country.

If you have any questions regarding this please email Astrid Halliday (

5 thoughts on “Guest post: Volunteering Abroad by Astrid Halliday”

  1. Have you ever been worried that some of these places don’t want volunteer help? Genuinely asking 🙂 I’ve just heard of some locations not accepting the volunteerism, but I know other places gladly welcome it!


  2. What an amazing and inspiring post. I’ve been considering doing some work abroad whether that be paid or volunteer work and so this has provided me with so much information and some really useful tips to help me if decide to go down that route. It’s great that you have first hand experience with this so that you can give an educated answer to people’s questjons. This is so awesome and I’m so glad I read it!
    Alex xx


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