Interested in going on a volunteer-vacation but don’t know where to start? Here is a list of some organizations that can help you plan your trip. Most of them charge a flat fee that includes food, living expenses and local transportation. Some even provide cultural activities, field trips, classes and other insights into the local culture.

Cross Cultural Solutions – Offers programs from teaching, taking care of children and assisting the elderly in 12 countries around the world. Typical program includes half day of work and half day of cultural activities and tours. Weekends are free. One can sign up to volunteer from 1-12 weeks.

Relief Riders International – Leads relief missions on horseback through the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India and the Cappadocia region of central Turkey.  There are specific programs for medical professionals, and others for the general public to be involved in relief efforts such as medical, food and education assistance.

The Humanity Exchange – Projects involving teaching, journalism, healthcare, childcare and more are offered in 5 countries. These tend to be from 2 weeks to 6 months, and is great for those who want to get an experience living abroad. Activities are usually not included but there are opportunities to explore the country with other volunteers.

Global Volunteer Network – Opportunities in 21 countries to volunteer vacation. Their goal is to work in communities serving women and children but the programs include everything from construction and farming to healthcare and teaching. They also provide accommodation, meals and language lessons. A volunteer coordinator assists you throughout the process.

Volunteers Initiative Nepal – Live with a host family in Nepal and work in a rural community outside Kathmandu. Volunteers stay from 2 weeks to 6 months teaching in schools, helping doctors, giving talks to women, managing micro finance and building toilets. There is also opportunity to live in Buddhist monastaries and teach there. Great for people who like to trek mountains, quiet countryside and simple living.

The Village Experience – A unique organization that supports tourism and local trade. They not only take people on trips to Kenya, Guatemala, Uganda and Haiti, but also fund community programs in the countries. You may visit some of these initiatives, volunteer hands-on, and enjoy the richness of the destination. Also, visit their online retail store that offers handmade goods from around the world.

If you have any questions, email