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10 Best Volunteer Travel Programs Providers 2020


Are you struggling to find the right provider for your volunteer work? With so many companies online, choosing the wrong one can cost you time and money, jeopardize your safety and shatter your dream of an amazing volunteer experience.

For this reason, we’ve researched many companies and created this list of the best providers for volunteer travel programs. It’s our hope that this will save you time, effort and money as well as ensure that you have the most rewarding and impactful volunteer experience possible. In this article, you will get to:

  • Know who the best 10 cheap volunteer providers are and the best volunteer travel programs.
  • Click the “Get More Info” button below and send an inquiry to all the listed providers.
  • Compare prices and programs and choose the best one for you with no obligations.
  • Download our free volunteer abroad guide at the bottom of this article which will tell you everything you need to know for a safe and life changing volunteer experience.
Providers Projects & starting Price Reviews
Plan My Gap Year Volunteer in Ghana : ($190+ starts $317)
Volunteer in Cambodia ($190+starts $304)
Go Overseas; 96%- 314 reviews
Review Center:4.8/5- 297 reviews
RCDP International Volunteers Volunteer in Tanzania : ($279+$150)
Volunteer in Ecuador ($279+starts $266)
Abroad Review:9.2 / 10 +221 Reviews
Go overseas: 94% – ‎32 reviews
Global Vision International Volunteer in Mexico: ($918)
Volunteer in Cambodia (starts $409)
Go Overseas- 9.5/10 – ‎333 reviews
Volunteer Forever- 4.3/5- ‎50 reviews
Love Volunteers : ($299+ starts $439)
Volunteer in Vietnam ($299+ starts $449)
Go overseas:-9.1/10 – ‎134 reviews
Go Abroad:-9.7/10 – ‎282 reviews
IFRE International Volunteer in Nepal : ($299 + starts $100)
Volunteer in Zimbabwe ($299 + starts $650)
Go Overseas:8.9/10 – ‎67 reviews
Abroad Reviews-9.1 / 10 -327 Reviews
Global Crossroad International Volunteers Volunteer in Kenya: ($299+ starts $150)
Volunteer in Brazil ($299+ starts $370)
Go overseas:9.2/10 – ‎60 reviews
Abroad Reviews:8.8 / 10 -334 Reviews
GoEco Volunteer in China : (starts $770)
Volunteer in Zambia : (starts $1530)
Go Overseas- 9.4/10 – ‎64 reviews
Go Abroad-9.76-517 reviews
Projects Abroad Volunteer in Senegal : (starts 1870)
Volunteer in Nepal (starts $1770)
Go Overseas- 9.2/10 – ‎469 reviews
Volunteer Forever- 4.6 – ‎421 reviews
International Volunteer HQ Volunteer in Guatemala: ($299+ $310)
Volunteer in Philippines ($299+ $260)
Go Overseas-9.5/10 – ‎1,427 reviews
Go Abroad-9.53/10-1074 Reviews
Cross-Cultural Solutions Volunteer in Peru: ($1990)
Volunteer in Thailand ($1990)
Go Overseas- 9.2/10 – ‎181 reviews
Go Abroad- 9.67/6 reviews

Table Updated: Dec 24, 2019

Plan My Gap Year (PMGY)

About the organization:

PMGY is an organization founded by experienced volunteers in 2011 aiming to create rewarding and impactful travel abroad volunteer programs. Originally based in the UK, PGMY now also have an office in the US. They place an emphasis on the social aspect of volunteering, putting you in contact with the people you’re going to live and work with well in advance of the project so that you can get to know each other.

PMGY’s best volunteer programs:

PMGY runs volunteer travel abroad programs in a long list of countries, but the ones we think stand out the most are their projects in Ghana, Ecuador, Cambodia and Nepal.

Fees:

Plan My Gap Year is very affordable, and most of their travel and volunteer programs are attainable for people on any budget. They charge a $199USD registration fee, which is relatively low, and as an example, the projects featured above range from $304USD to $419USD for 2 weeks of volunteering.

Reviews:

When looking for the best volunteer travel programs it’s important to take into account the reviews online from fellow volunteers. PMGY receives glowing reviews with a 96% score on Go Overseas and a 4.8/5 on Review Center with a combined 500+ reviews between them. Examples of praise from past volunteers are: “I had an absolutely incredible time In Ghana” and “PMGY were always on hand to help and answer any questions”.

Why we selected Plan My Gap Year:

When deciding to place Plan My Gap Year at the top of this list, we were influenced primarily by three factors. First, their affordable fees make them a great alternative for anyone regardless of budget. Second, their rave reviews indicate an ability to deeply satisfy volunteers from various backgrounds. Finally, their focus on the social aspect of volunteering is quite unique and is something we think will enrich volunteer travel programs.

RCDP International Volunteers

rcdp volunteer abroad

About the organization:

RCDP International Volunteers was founded in 1998 in Boulder Colorado and was the first volunteer organization to offer volunteer travel abroad programs to Nepal. They have expanded greatly since then, first to nearby India, Sri Lanka and Tibet, before going global in 2008, adding destinations across Africa and Latin America. Since then they have established trips to 18 different countries and have served more than 18,000 volunteers.

RCDP’s best volunteer programs:

Out of the 18 countries that RCDP offers travel volunteer programs in, we think their packages to Tanzania, Ecuador, Uganda and most importantly Nepal are their strongest.

Fees:

Fees with RCDP are very low, with project fees dipping as far as $100USD after paying a $279USD registration fee. Their best volunteer travel programs in Nepal are especially affordable, and as mentioned is a particular focus for RCDP.

Reviews:

RCDP receives great reviews, with a 9.2 on Abroad Review and 94% on Go Overseas with over 300 former volunteers reporting in. Reviews of their volunteer travel programs include glowing statements such as “by far one of the best experiences I have had in Asia”, and “absolutely brilliant experience”.

Why we selected RCDP International Volunteers:

We selected RCDP for their extremely extensive experience, great feedback from volunteers and eminently affordable fees, especially to destinations like Nepal or Uganda.

Global Vision International (GVI)

About the organization:

Global Vision International is an incredibly prolific volunteer abroad organization with accolades from esteemed universities and publications like Stanford, NYU and National Geographic. The organization was founded in 1998 in the US and offer travel and volunteer programs to a wide variety of destinations.

GVI‘s best volunteer programs:

GVI’s best travel volunteer programs are located in the countries of Mexico, Cambodia, Laos and Ghana. They programs are incredibly varied, and include internships, teaching, conservation work and much more.

Fees:

With no registration fee, GVI is very affordable. Three of the four countries listed above features volunteer travel abroad programs starting at between $400USD and $500USD for two weeks of volunteering.

Reviews:

GVI has a stunning quantity of feedback, with roughly 2700 reviews on Go Abroad averaging out to a 9.55/10, which is excellent as well as a 9.5/10 on Go Overseas with more than 300 reviewers. Great statements from reviews include such as “An absolute dream come true”, “I cannot recommend this project enough”, and “everything that I have learnt and experienced will better me as a person”.

Why we selected Global Vision International:

Choosing Global Vision International for this list was a no-brainer, with their huge number of reviews, awards and accolades, extremely varied volunteer travel programs and lack of registration fees.

Love Volunteers

About the organization:

Love Volunteers was founded in New Zealand in 2009 by a brother and sister team. They wanted to offer the best volunteer travel programs at low and completely transparent fees, making it clear exactly where their volunteers’ money goes. They aim to maximize the impact made by volunteers, ensuring sustainability and social responsibility.

Love Volunteers‘ best volunteer programs:

For Love Volunteers, we especially liked their travel and volunteer programs in Vietnam, Thailand, Peru and Zimbabwe. In these countries, you can take part in a varied range of activities and projects like women’s empowerment, supporting HIV victims and raising awareness of providing educational support.

Fees:

While LV’s fees are a bit higher than previous entries on this list, they are still very affordable. They charge a $299USD registration fee, followed by project fees ranging from $439USD to $609USD for volunteer travel programs in the countries featured in the section above.

Reviews:

Their reviews are just as encouraging as their fees, with great scores across Go Overseas, Go Abroad and Volunteer Forever, with over 500 volunteers checking in and giving them respective scores of 9.1, 9.7 and 4.6/5. Reviews include encouraging statements such as: “I feel like I got the perfect blend of insight on everyday life and tourism”, “A wonderful experience” and “Everyone in the volunteer programme were friendly and welcoming”.

Why we selected Love Volunteers:

We selected Love Volunteers for this list based on their great transparency, excellent reviews, affordable fees and commitment to maximizing impact and social responsibility. Clearly, they offer some of the best volunteer travel programs around.

IFRE Volunteers

ifre volunteer projects

About the organization:

Founded in 2006 in Dallas, Texas, IFRE is committed to providing the most affordable travel volunteer programs without sacrificing in any area, always ensuring that volunteers have the best experience and generate the greatest impact possible.

IFRE‘s best volunteer programs:

Out of IFRE’s many great destinations for travel abroad volunteer programs, we think their initiatives in Nepal, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, and Guatemala are among their best. These four countries also provide a great deal of variety both in terms of project types but also in cultures, nature and history.

Fees:

IFRE are among the most affordable organizations on this list. After paying a $299USD registration fee, which is lower for returning volunteers, project fees can go as low as $100USD, which is the lowest price we’ve managed to find for any individual project.

Reviews:

Reviews of IFRE’s volunteer travel programs are stellar, with a score of 8.9 on Go Overseas and 9.1 on Abroad reviews with almost 400 volunteers checking in. Praise from these reviews include things like: “My experience was phenomenal in every way” and “The entire process of organizing my trip with IFRE was very pleasant”.

Why we selected IFRE Volunteers:

The incredibly low fees with IFRE volunteers are what makes it stand out the most. But additionally, from what we can tell they also do a great job ensuring that their volunteers are well taken care of, have life changing experiences and also get to make a real difference while on their volunteer travel abroad programs.

Global Crossroad International Volunteers (GCR)

teaching in kathmandu

About the organization:

Also founded in Dallas, Texas, but this time in 2003, Global Crossroad focuses on delivering top of the line support to its volunteers during their volunteer travel programs and have been featured in well-known publications like the New York Times, Lonely Planet and USA Today.

GCR‘s best volunteer programs:

While GCR runs travel volunteer programs in 18 different countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, but we think they do their best work in Kenya, Brazil, Peru and Cambodia where they offer a wide range of projects from construction work to supporting teenage mothers.

Fees:

GCR’s fees are low, charging a standard $299USD registration fee followed by project fees that can go as low as $150USD. While volunteer travel abroad programs with GCR can vary by country, they generally don’t exceed around $400USD.

Reviews:

Like all the entries on this list, reviews for GCR are great. They have more than 400 reviews online with an average score of 9.2 on Go Overseas and 8.8 on Abroad Reviews. Former volunteers in their volunteer travel programs heap glowing praise on the organization like “The volunteer program was great and very well organized!” and “I will always remember this incredible trip!”.

Why we selected Global Crossroad International Volunteers:

We selected Global Crossroad for their good reviews, low fees and wide recognition from various esteemed publications that verify what their volunteers are saying.

GoEco

About the organization:

Founded in 2006 by two Israeli travelers after an adventure across South East Asia, Go Eco is committed to providing ethical and responsible volunteer travel abroad programs with a significant focus on the environment and sustainability.

Go Eco‘s best volunteer programs:

Out of all the destinations that Go Eco runs travel volunteer programs we think that they’re at their best in Zambia, Sri Lanka and China, where you can even take part in an excellent effort to protect and conserve the amazing giant pandas.

Fees:

While GoEco’s project fees can be a little higher than others in this list, they make up for that fact in large part by charging no registration fees for their travel abroad volunteer programs. The projects featured above run from $770USD for 2 weeks of volunteering.

Reviews:

GoEco’s commitment to ethical volunteer travel has allowed them to reap the rewards in terms of excellent feedback. They enjoy a 9.76 on Go Abroad and 9.4 on Go Overseas with almost 600 volunteers reporting back in. Exemplifying their reviews are statements like: “The entire experience was way above our expectations” and “made a bunch of friends as well as feeling like I was genuinely making a difference”.

Why we selected Go Eco:

We selected Go Eco for a place on this list due to their unparalleled commitment to the environment and sustainable development, lack of registration fees and stellar reviews across the board for their volunteer travel programs.

Projects Abroad

About the organization:

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, an English professor in the United Kingdom. The company focuses on providing excellent gap year experiences and some of the best volunteer travel programs for those looking for a career break.

Projects Abroad‘s best volunteer programs:

Projects Abroad’s best travel volunteer programs take place in the countries of Senegal, Nepal, Belize and Jamaica. Here you can take part in a wide range of activities and travel abroad volunteer programs and internships in fascinating areas such as micro finance, conservation work in the Himalayas and more.

Fees:

Projects Abroad does not charge registration fees, and while their fees are some of the highest on this list, starting at about $1350USD, they also offer completely flexible start dates and great service in their travel and volunteer programs.

Reviews:

Projects Abroad gets rave reviews for their excellent volunteer travel abroad programs with scores like 9.2 on Go Overseas,4.6/5 on Volunteer Forever and 9.4 on Trust Pilot. Among the over 1500 reviews you can find glowing opinions such as “the staff were excellent ensuring that we felt safe and secure” and “Taking part of this program has been one of the best decision of my life so far”.

Why we selected Projects Abroad:

We selected Projects Abroad for their excellent reviews, offering the best travel volunteer programs for students, their extensive experience and their great support and service across the board.

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

About the organization:

Established in New Zealand in 2007 by Daniel Radcliffe following a lifechanging volunteer journey to Africa the following year, IVHQ focuses on providing affordable travel volunteer programs that also provides volunteers with plenty of great experiences all in complete safety and security. They provide excellent support to their volunteers and ensure that all their efforts are responsible and sustainable.

IVHQ‘s best volunteer programs:

The IVHQ volunteer travel programs that we are the most taken with are located in the countries of Guatemala, the Philippines, Portugal and Brazil. Here they host a varied range of projects including Homeless support, environmental scuba diving, and even carnival work!

Fees:

Considering their high standing, IVHQ’s rates are astonishingly affordable. The organization charges a $299USD registration fee, followed by project fees that are sometimes as low as $260USD, and none of the featured travel and volunteer programs above will run you more than$525USD.

Reviews:

Once again, International Volunteer HQ receives excellent reviews across the board. They enjoy a 9.5 on Go Overseas, 9.53 on Go Abroad, 9.6 on Trust Pilot and 4.8 on Volunteer Forever. Not only that, they also have a stunning amount of feedback, with over 3500 reviews across these four sites.

Why we selected International Volunteer HQ:

We selected International Volunteer HQ for this list of the best volunteer travel programs due to their affordable rates, extremely high amount of reviews leaving excellent feedback and their often-unique volunteer travel programs.

Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS)

About the organization:

CCS was founded in 1995 in the US and since then has served more than 35,000 people in achieving their dreams of joining volunteer travel abroad programs. They differentiate themselves from the competition by offering significant cultural immersion, with plenty of activities and experiences included in their programs.

CCS’ best volunteer programs:

We think CCS does their best work in the countries of Ghana, Morocco, Peru and Thailand. In all their destinations, their travel abroad volunteer programs focus on a 2-sided approach of children’s health and children’s education, which the organization is laser focused on.

Fees:

While CCS’s project fees are quite a bit higher than other providers of travel volunteer programs on this list, they also include a lot of extra activities and experiences designed to immerse yourself in the culture you are visiting. They charge no registration fees, and for the countries featured above prices range from $1990.

Reviews:

CCS has excellent reviews with a 9.2 on Go Overseas and 9.67 on Go Abroad from roughly 200 past participants. Praise like “This program was incredible and I would recommend it to anyone” and “I like the CCS approach of handling the main logistics while also giving cultural training every day” can be found in almost all their reviews, so they are definitely someone to keep in mind.

Why we selected CCS:

We selected CCS because they stand out a lot by offering significant cultural immersion and experiences across their volunteer travel programs. They also have great reviews, and their prices are excellent when you consider all the additional activities you get to experience when volunteering with them.

Other Best Cheap Volunteer Organizations to Consider:

While these were our 10 best providers and their best destinations and travel volunteer programs, there are others that only just didn’t make the list, so we’d like to highlight them here:

Global Volunteers founded as far back as 1984 in the USA and receiving great scores like 9.4/10 on Go Overseas with over 100 reviewers.

A Broader View, founded in 2007 in the USA and boasting basically perfect scores from Go Abroad, Volunteer Forever and Go Overseas.

Maximo Nivel, founded in 2003 in X and sporting more than 2000 combined reviews on Go Overseas and Go Abroad, where they enjoy scores of 9.7 and 9.6.

Connect-123, founded in 2002 in South Africa with great reviews on both Go Abroad (9.61/10) and Go Overseas (9.4/10) from over 200 reviewers.

Ubelong, founded in 2009 in the USA with a 9.5/10 score on Go Overseas from about 220 former volunteers.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, the top 10 volunteer providers and their programs. Armed with all this information, you can now choose the best volunteer travel programs for you, ensuring that everything from destination to project type, impact, cultural experiences and social life is all that you want it to be.


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