Travel for a Cause: Volunteer Abroad (Part 1)

Reviewing the Top 20 Most Underrated Travel Destinations, we wondered how we could explore them with a purpose or for a cause. Taking time off to volunteer abroad is always a good idea, so let’s see what options we have.

volunteer abroad

The majority of these countries are established tourist destinations but are not yet receiving the recognition they deserve. And by sharing volunteer opportunities there, we also have the chance to mention the organizations and resources available to enjoy a truly unique and rewarding travel experience.

#1 Volunteer Abroad in Japan

Volunteer Abroad in Japan
Founded in 1982, Volunteers For Peace is a non-profit organization offering numerous voluntary service opportunities in Japan and around the world.

As a WWOOFer, you can live and work in the most natural way in dozens of organic farms and properties located all over Japan. Check current availability.

Best time to go: Apr-May and Sep-Dec
Read our travel guide to find out more about Japan.

#2 Volunteer Abroad in Finland

Volunteer Abroad in Finland
United Planet is the US and Canadian member of the International Cultural Youth Exchange. Volunteers will work in a kindergarten helping the school staff.

Work seasonally at Ikko, a modern folk high school situated in a quiet area of outstanding natural beauty, right on the Punkaharju ridge, in eastern Finland.

Best time to go: Jun-Aug
Read our travel guide to find out more about Finland.

#3 Volunteer Abroad in Australia

Volunteer Abroad in Australia
Volunteer on Kaya‘s conservation projects throughout Australia, in wonderful places such as the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, and Ayers Rock (Uluru).

Frontier offers more than 20 wildlife experiences in Australia’s rich natural environment, allowing you to combine excursions with volunteer activities.

Best time to go: Mar-May and Sep-Nov
Read our travel guide to find out more about Australia.

#4 Volunteer Abroad in Iceland

Volunteer Abroad in Iceland
SEEDSenvironmentally oriented projects may involve ecological research, building hiking trails, cleaning up the coastline, planting trees, and more.

The Iceland Forest Service coordinates trail maintenance and wilderness management projects with international volunteers in South West Iceland.

Best time to go: May-Sep
Read our travel guide to find out more about Iceland.

#5 Volunteer Abroad in Portugal

Volunteer Abroad in Portugal
ImpacTrip promotes social and environmental volunteer experiences and responsible adventures all through Portugal, from Algarve to Porto/Lisbon.

IVHQ has a wide range of volunteer abroad projects available in Portugal, including environmental scuba diving, food rescue, and youth support.

Best time to go: Apr-Jun and Sep-Oct
Read our travel guide to find out more about Portugal.

#6 Volunteer Abroad in Canada

Volunteer Abroad in Canada
Join Earthwatch‘s scientific team in an 11 days Arctic expedition to observe the great effects of global warming near Churchill, a small town on Hudson Bay.

Help to provide affordable housing for low-income families in the Edmonton area (northern Alberta) by volunteering at Habitat for Humanity‘s ReStores.

Best time to go: May-Oct
Read our travel guide to find out more about Canada.

#7 Volunteer Abroad in Switzerland

Volunteer Abroad in Switzerland
The Bergwaldprojekt (Mountain Forest Project) promotes the conservation, restoration, and protection of the forest at various sites in Switzerland.

Workcamp Switzerland organizes a variety of volunteer initiatives in eight Swiss cantons, also in cooperation with European Heritage Volunteers.

Best time to go: Apr-Jun and Sep
Read our travel guide to find out more about Switzerland.

#8 Volunteer Abroad in Norway

Volunteer Abroad in Norway
Since 2014, Lysefjorden Utvikling seeks to stimulate sustainable tourism in the Lysefjord area organizing free working holidays in the roadless hamlet of Flørli.

Bjørkhaugen is a small family farm in central Norway that welcomes volunteers willing to help out on the ground and learn about biodynamic/organic farming.

Best time to go: May-Jun and Aug-Sep
Read our travel guide to find out more about Norway.

#9 Volunteer Abroad in Slovenia

Volunteer Abroad in Slovenia
Located between Slovenia and Croatia, Sustainability Park Istra is a project that aims to preserve the local natural and cultural heritage of this beautiful region.

Earthwatch‘s expedition in the Adriatic sea off the coast of Slovenia supports a groundbreaking research on the dolphin population and its breeding habitat.

Best time to go: Apr-Jun and Sep-Oct
Read our travel guide to find out more about Slovenia.

#10 Volunteer Abroad in Spain

Volunteer Abroad in Spain
The GoEco volunteer organization boasts 5 ecological programs in Spain mainly focused on wildlife research, nature conservation, and community development.

ArchaeoSpain gives the opportunity for volunteers from all over the world to engage in scientific research at archaeological sites such as Pulpon and Italica.

Best time to go: Mar-May and Sep-Oct
Read our travel guide to find out more about Spain.

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