9 vital questions to ask before embarking on a volunteer vacation

Versie Dortch

Volunteer holidays are well-liked with gap-year learners, retired seniors, and hundreds of thousands of folks in in between. Potentially you are just beginning to vacation all over again, for the 1st time in a long time, looking at the pandemic, and you’re pondering about a volunteer holiday.

These can be a wonderful way to see the world and working experience a spot in a a lot more meaningful way than only being a tourist.

Even so, with so many organizations and varieties of volunteer vacations readily available, it can be challenging to know the place to start out.

Listed here are nine concerns that you should really constantly think about when assessing a prospective volunteering chance.

1. What is the desired destination like?

If you program to volunteer in a place you have hardly ever visited, you are going to want to do some essential analysis just before going there. Studying about the nearby culture will assist you to comprehend how to behave.

Further than finding out in basic about the region, check out to familiarize you with the space in which you will be volunteering. Is it city or rural? Very hot or cold? Are there area points of interest close by that you’d like to visit? Is there dependable general public transportation in the location? What is the political situation like in that area? These are just a few factors you must look into about any potential spot.


2. What will you be undertaking?

This question may seem like a no-brainer, but some of the work that you essentially execute as a volunteer could possibly be distinctive from what you signed up to do. For instance, you may possibly volunteer to educate yoga at a meditation retreat in Costa Rica, only to discover out that you’re also envisioned to cook dinner and thoroughly clean.

If you are into cooking and cleansing, no difficulty!

Even so, if you want to perform only a specific variety of volunteer get the job done, then make absolutely sure to request the application director or volunteer coordinator to specify just what your jobs will be. If probable, get this in producing in order to avoid stumbling into a predicament the place you’re anticipated to do responsibilities that are past your ability established or comfort degree.

3. What will the hours be?

Some volunteer programs are far more fluid than some others, with volunteers not doing work a set quantity of hours for each day and just assisting “as wanted.” Other systems have a rigid agenda that volunteers will have to observe.


The variety of software you opt for relies upon on your personal choices. But, no make any difference what software you go with, the volunteer coordinator really should be ready to give you an estimate of how lots of several hours you’ll be predicted to function in a supplied time period of time. For case in point, you may be asked to get the job done four hours for every day or 20 hours for each week.

Being questioned to operate an further hour or two on an occasional basis shouldn’t be a cause for problem, but if you are on a regular basis acquiring pressured to do the job far more several hours than you signed up for, that is not a superior indication.

Don’t forget that you have each and every appropriate to refuse to work past the hrs you’ve agreed to. Right after all, you are a volunteer.

4. What, if any, compensation is included?

Volunteer perform is not usually paid out. However, lots of organizations compensate their volunteers in other approaches, these as providing absolutely free room and board, instructional options, and sightseeing tours in the neighborhood place.

Before signing up for a volunteer position, come across out what benefits and amenities would be supplied for you.


For case in point, if you’re expected to prepare dinner your possess meals with meals that you’ve procured you, you should really know this ahead of time so you won’t demonstrate up hungry and empty-handed on your to start with day.

5. What are the accommodations like?

A lot of volunteer positions incorporate totally free or discounted accommodations. Volunteer lodging can selection from rustic to high-class, from tent camping to dwelling-stays with area households to thoroughly serviced lodge rooms.

When contemplating a volunteer software, you really should uncover out just what sort of accommodation it presents.

Will you be expected to share a room with other volunteers? Will you share a toilet? Will your meals be catered for you, or is there a kitchen in which you can cook for on your own? Are there laundry amenities? What kind of spot are the lodging in?

For example, if you plan to volunteer in a rural location, are the accommodations close to a bus cease that can take you to the closest town? Or, if you’re volunteering in a fast paced town, are the accommodations in a community which is Alright to walk close to in at night?


6. Is there a cost?

Lots of volunteer courses charge contributors a fee.

This can range from a modest “membership” or “service” cost to 1000’s of dollars to deal with the complete cost of a volunteer’s lodging, foods and transportation.

Ethical volunteer courses will always be clear about any fees they charge. They really should also be equipped to give you an estimate of any other bills you may well incur, these kinds of as bus fare to the closest metropolis on your day off.

7. Are there testimonials of the system from previous volunteers?

Suggestions about an corporation from past volunteers is priceless, since individuals who have really volunteered with an corporation can give you the inside of scoop about what the expertise is seriously like.

Any corporation that you’re looking at volunteering with really should be ready to put you in touch with a previous volunteer who can answer your thoughts about the software. If an firm simply cannot or won’t link you with any past volunteers, this may possibly elevate some purple flags.


Also, you can go on-line and read reviews of corporations that are posted by former volunteers. Googling the title of the group together with “reviews” or “volunteer reviews” is a wonderful way to get began. Test social media accounts for the corporation, as nicely.

8. What type of help is provided for volunteers?

If a challenge arises all through your stint of volunteering, you must be capable to get assistance in a timely manner from the business you are performing with. If the business does not supply 24/7 support, then it need to deliver you with an alternative mobile phone variety to simply call outside the house of business hrs or in the function of an unexpected emergency.

9. Have you read the fine print in your volunteer contract?

Until you’re in an incredibly casual volunteering scenario, you’ll likely have at least a standard sort of deal spelling out what is predicted of you, as a volunteer, and what will be delivered in return.

Avoid uncomfortable surprises by reading the fine print in your agreement really cautiously before signing it. If there’s everything unclear or complicated, question the volunteer coordinator or get in touch with person in just the group to explain it for you. Really do not be pressured into signing a agreement right before you have had a chance to completely understand and think about it.


A volunteer vacation can be an immensely fulfilling encounter, but it pays to do your homework right before signing up. By carefully considering each individual of these queries, moreover any other people you can assume of, you are going to be far more likely to discover a volunteering option that is proper for you.

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