Top 5 Volunteer Travel Programs


5 Fun Voluntourism Travel Experiences

Combining fun, exploration and doing good into memorable travel experiences.


Volunteer with Buddhist Novice Monks in Laos

GVI’s volunteer programs are dedicated to creating long-term benefits in local communities while providing participants a different viewpoint of a destination and community. For starters, Laos’ancient city of Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an idyllic setting at the meeting of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers to establish peace and serenity.

The main purpose of the trip is to teach English to Buddhist novice monks; improving the quality of their education and enabling them to access more employment opportunities and bring a higher value of life for their families.

In spare time, volunteers can visit local sites such as the beautiful waterfalls, Buddhist temples and monasteries, not to mention taking in the breath-taking mountains.

[more about this trip]

5 Fun Voluntourism Travel Experiences

Volunteer with novice monks in Laos

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 132 Comments

  1. Volunteer Abroad 25 countries 245 social and conservation programs

  2. Melissa Moss

    I do not have any volunteerism experience to share yet. But I enjoy reading all the comments here. 🙂

    • Gloria Lili

      Haha! Me too. I wonder if all the stories here are true.

  3. Wanda Lee

    I love everything about nature. This development expedition in Fiji is one of the trips I am searching for. I am a diver and so I like swimming and anything about the sea. I want to enjoy the beach of Viti Levu Island while helping the community at the same time. Hitting two birds with one stone, right?

  4. Clare Wright

    This Earthwatch Expedition is really interesting. I do not know anyone who is interested in caterpillars. But now, I want to know more.

  5. Patricia Tucker

    It was my first time to travel outside of America and I am happy that I did it with GVI. They gave the best experience yet by showing me incredible places and letting me share it with the beautiful locals in Mexico. Something people need to try once in a while.

  6. Maria Rapier

    Even if I have been traveling for a long time now, my dad asked me this when I told him I was traveling to Mexico with other volunteers – “is it safe for you to travel there? I cannot blame him for not worrying after knowing a lot of bad news in Mexico. But still, I pushed through with the trip and went home happy and fulfilled. I told him all the good things happened from taking care, playing, and teaching less fortunate children to the beautiful places I was able to visit. He was then very proud of what I have done and for coming home safe.

    • Marjory Brooks

      I did mention this one to my parents too but did not let me join the first time I attempted. But knowing your experience, I would try to talk to them again and hopefully be able to experience this early next year. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Florence Frederick

    It is good to know that India is very much into elephants and tigers protection. With all the developments and technology worldwide, animals and nature are the true treasure we all need to protect.

    • Oxi Harger

      Yes, this is true. I watched my city progressed. I saw trees cut and grassland becomes a park. I hope nature can be preserved and animals can be protected too.

  8. Joyce McAllister

    From the congestion of the city, I wish there could be more safari or habitat people can conserve. Elephants, tigers and other animals must be kept safe from all the change happening. To volunteer in India is one of the steps.

  9. Francis Vest

    I really want to go to volunteer for elephants and tigers in India But I do not have much money to spend on this trip. But still thanks Urbanette for sharing this article for people who will be aware of these programs.

  10. Helen Boone

    Building and other big establishments are being built everywhere at the expense of nature. I am an animal lover myself and I would want to be part of any programs like this to help protect not only tigers and elephants but animals as a whole.

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