Top 5 Destinations for Volunteering Opportunities and Responsible Travel in 2017

Top 5 Destinations for Volunteering Opportunities and Responsible Travel in 2017

By Aviv Hochbaum on 19/01/2017

Volunteering opportunities and sustainable travel go hand in hand. The fact that 2017 marks a refreshing change in the way that we choose to travel abroad makes this statement even more important. Unlike past years, responsible travel has been getting much attention. For one, the UN officially declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This means that respectful and ethical travel norms aren’t far from reach. Publications like the New York Times’s Where Sustainable Travel is Headed in 2017 make it even easier to change our habits. Because of this, adding volunteering opportunities to our travels abroad can make them that much more responsible and sustainable. Let’s find out exactly how.

 If you’re here reading this page that means you’d like to start giving some thought to the possibility of finding volunteering opportunities abroad during at least some part of your travels this year – and that is truly amazing. In the spirit of change and shift towards responsible tourism and sustainable travel, thinking about adding some volunteering time to your travels abroad is a great way to give back to the community you’ll soon be visiting.

Travel can be more sustainable if coupled with volunteering abroad while traveling because this is a way to connect with the community you will be visiting. The difficult part is knowing where to start. The online world is packed with sources and opportunities, and this can make things confusing and overwhelming.

Here’s a list of the top travel destinations of 2017. Different from most lists, all these destinations have an ethical twist to them.

This list is “volunteer-placement agencies” free. It gives you the information to consider which nonprofit or destination interests you. Each location has organizations for you to communicate with directly for planning your next trip.

Keep in mind: what may seem like a small change in travel plans, will make an impact on the places you will soon visit.


Goa’s black sand beaches, Mumbai’s lush green tropical forests, and New Delhi’s ancient monuments. It may take years to know a place like India, but a short visit can give you a taste of this incredible country. In a place filled with unique traditions, colors and smells, there are always new things to discover.
Between urban areas and harsh slums, there are countless volunteering opportunities. Different sectors ranging from education to healthcare to animal care can be found throughout the country.
These grassroots nonprofit organizations are where you can find volunteering opportunities and offer a helping hand.


Is there anything better than the Himalayas as a backdrop? Nature will feed your senses, making every step a new adventure. Starting off in Kathmandu, you’ll be quick to understand where you’ve come. But, make no mistake, Nepal is much more than its mountains. Continue traveling through ancient towns, medieval temples, trekking paths, and you’ll find out. Consider volunteering for a local noonprofit organization to immerse yourself in Nepal.


Thailand is the answer for the perfect travel and volunteer destination. It’s a mix of old meets new, nature and urban. Traveling there will include clear beaches, Buddhist temples, and flourishing markets. Organizations throughout Thailand always need a helping hand. In both urban or rural areas, there are many opportunities that can fit different skills.
Taking some time off an upbeat trip may seem like much. But, lending your skills to a local organization will transform your trip and make it much more meaningful.
So find volunteering opportunities in nonprofit organizatioons, even one close to a temple you’re planning to visit through. Communicate with them, it’s very easy.


An environment and culture unlike any other. Tanzania is a chance to experience a breathtaking scene of wildlife in every size. The energetic metropolis of Dar es Salaam offers an intense urban experience. It’s a great place for those with a soft spot for all animals and nature – and to find inspiration. You can find many volunteering opportunities in one of Tanzania’s grassroots nonprofits.

South Africa

Closing off the list of destinations is none other than South Africa. If you’re looking for a place that will make it hard to go home – South Africa is the place to go. No matter your preferences, this place has everything to offer. Nature lovers will get a taste of the majestic deserts and mountains. The fast-paced cities won’t leave you with a dull moment. Make sure to tour around Cape Town’s endless corners, and to get your camera ready as you encounter some dung beetles and white Rhinos.

Learn more about the volunteering opportunities in nonprofit organizations in South Africa that are working hard to make important things happen in their local communities.

There you have it – the top 5 travel destinations packed with all the information you need to make sure your next adventure abroad is both memorable and ethical.