How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free!

If there’s one question I get asked most, it is without a doubt: “How do you afford to travel so much?”  I get questions from people on Instagram, via email, on my website ~ you name it.  It’s the #1 question I get, & yet, in a way: it always makes me chuckle.  Partly, because most places in the world are dramatically cheaper than the States.  I’ve said it over & over: travel does not have to be expensive.  And particularly if you volunteer, you can travel the world practically for free, minus flights & incidentals.  In this post, we’ll get specific & figure out “How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free,” using reputable companies such as IVHQ, Worldpackers, & WWOOF.

How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free, Girl Who Travels the World

Views like this greeted us every morning, while volunteering on a coffee farm in Costa Rica, through the organization, IVHQ. And the cost? About $400/week. Organizations like Worldpackers are even less expensive.

How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free!

Though I’ve personally worked with volunteer organizations like IVHQ & Maximo Nivel (a local Costa Rica volunteer organization), in this post, I’ll focus more on Worldpackers.  Why?  Because the title of this post is how to travel the world for free ~ or practically free.  With IVHQ, you’ll pay at least $300/week typically, though the longer you volunteer: the cheaper it gets (i.e. six-months of volunteering in Costa Rica costs $4,800 ~ or $800/month).  IVHQ also charges a one-time, $299 fee for administration costs. 

Worldpackers is very different: it’s similar to WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in that it’s an online forum where you can search for volunteer posts ~ by country, type of work, etc.  Except WWOOF requires you to pay a registration fee for each country you wish to search in, whereas Worldpackers simply charges a flat annual fee of $49 (or $39 if you use my code, “GIRLWHOTRAVELS“).  This fee allows you to search volunteer opportunities in over 170 countries ~ not just one.  And their website is clean & easy to use, unlike some of the WWOOF sites (which vary greatly by country).

What is Worldpackers?

The 1-minute video below explains the Worldpackers concept: which is essentially how to volunteer and travel the world for free.  You exchange your time (usually 20 hours/week) for accommodation & meals.  And since those are your two biggest travel expenses, you’re essentially traveling the world & making new connections for free.

Worldpackers Volunteer Opportunities

Now I want to give you just a few ideas of where in the world you can volunteer, & what you can be doing ~ if you volunteer through Worldpackers

Ever wanted to visit the beer-loving, architectural delight that is Prague?  If you’re gregarious, social, & looking to meet new people ~ you can volunteer for 25 hours per week at a top hostel in Prague, & get a feel for what it’s like to run your own place.  Just think of all the people you’d meet!  This is a great opportunity for someone in their 20’s or post-college, who’s looking to travel the world on a budget ~ & possibly meet (a lot) of people to travel with along the way.  

This opportunity has a minimum 2-week stay required, due to the training involved.

How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free, Girl Who Travels the World, Volunteer in Prague

If you’re super-social & love meeting new people: volunteering at this hostel in Prague may be just what you’re looking for. The cheapest European cities to fly into are Paris, London, & Dublin ~ & then you can take a hopper flight or train over to Prague. Click on the photo to learn more about this opportunity.

If nature’s more your thing than partying at a hostel, check out the many eco-farm opportunities in South America: like working at an eco-farm & holistic center in Brazil.  Here, you’ll work with animals, as well as on the farm & in the garden, in a lovely, tranquil setting.  You’ll work 25 hours per week & receive therapeutic treatments for free…what’s not to love about this!?

How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free, Girl Who Travels the World, Brazil Worldpackers

Work on an eco-farm in Mairinque, Brazil & receive complimentary holistic treatments as part of your stay!

If you’ve ever wanted to work directly with wildlife (like me!!), then check out this opportunity to work at an Eco Lodge in Cuenca, Ecuador…which is incidentally a stunning city, with soaring blue cathedrals in its beautiful central plaza.  You’ll work directly with animals here, under the supervision of certified animal trainers.  Because of the training involved, a two-week minimum commitment is required, & you’ll also receive two full days off per week here.

How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free, Girl Who Travels the World, Wildlife Worldpackers

Working with big cats, monkeys, birds, & lions is possible at this animal conservation center & Eco Lodge in Ecuador. Click on the photo for more details on this opportunity.

These are just three of more than 4,000 volunteer opportunities listed on Worldpackers.  I wanted to give you a taste of what’s out there, & the type of life-changing opportunities that are available for a tiny amount of money.  For $49/year (get $10 off with the code: “GIRLWHOTRAVELS“), you’ll have access to search their site & find the perfect opportunity for you.

I hope this post proves to you that: TRAVEL DOES NOT HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE!!!

How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free!

 Thanks for reading this post, “How to Volunteer and Travel the World for Free,” with great organizations like Worldpackers.  If traveling the world is something you really, really want to do ~ don’t let money be the reason you don’t do it.  For the cost of a flight, you can immerse yourself in another culture, travel, & have a positive impact on the world.  So get out there!!

JUST. DO. IT!!!!

xoxo Noelia 

Read Next: Volunteering on a Coffee Farm in Costa Rica!