The best voluntourism trips to take in 2022

From educating little Moroccan girls to saving sea turtles in Costa Rica, these volunteering travel programs let you change lives for better, of others and your own.

Travel throws open doorways to newer experiences in far-off lands, broadens your mindset, and fills your hearts with gratitude. What it also does is show how crucial it is to stay connected to and keep safe, at all costs, the world we call home. Voluntourism has been leading socially-minded travellers to ditch unethical experiences and join sustainable travel programs that not only take them to new places, but also let them give back to the society and nature. Here are the best voluntourism trips in the world that you can take this year to embrace travel that has an impact!

6 best voluntourism trips for 2022

Support nomadic communities of Mongolia with Relief Riders International

Best voluntourism trips
A horseback ride that lets you help communities in Mongolia! Image: Courtesy Relief Riders International.

Pracitising voluntourism in a unique way for 15 years, Relief Riders International creates horseback and motorcycle journeys through remote pockets of India, Ecuador, Turkey, and Mongolia. So far, the humanitarian-based, adventure travel company has delivered free medical, educational, sanitation, and food support to over 25,000 people! Turn into one of the riders and join their Mongolian expedition led by founder Alexander Souri himself where you ride across the open steppe, meander through forested valleys, and experience the local nomadic culture. During the 12-day journey, you will help them install playgrounds, conduct dental screenings and treatments, and build bio-dynamic loos for the communities you visit.

Where: Mongolia
When: August 2-14, 2022
Duration: 12 days with 4-6 hours of riding per day
Charges: USD6,500 (INR5,04,585)

Bring clean energy solutions to Ladakh villages with Global Himalayan Expedition

Best voluntourism trips
Take a volunteering tour to the highlands of Ladakh. Image: Courtesy Global Himalayan Expedition.

Turn your much-awaited Ladakh trip into a way of giving back to the society. Take a hike with the Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) to the lesser-traversed Indian and Nepali Himalayas, and at the end of it, bring a remarkable change to the lives of locals of remote villages by deploying clean energy solutions in the form of solar lights and water heaters. Since its inception in 2014, the Himalayan Impact Expedition has provided clean energy solutions to more than 100 rural areas. The expedition fee (that includes airport transports in Leh, all meals and accommodations, and excursions) funds the cost of the solar grids, along with ground logistics. Expect to bond with other mindful travellers, a tour to the Old City, enjoy mountain biking through dirt trails, meditation sessions at local monasteries, and visits to villages like Photskar and Padum. Voluntourism at its best!

Where: Ladakh, India
When: July 1-12, 2022
Duration: 12 days
Charges: USD2,100 (INR1,62,972)

Save sea turtles in Costa Rica with International Volunteer HQ

Best voluntourism trips
These sea turtles in Costa Rica need your help to survive. Image: Courtesy International Volunteer HQ.

Tropical beaches, thrilling adventures, wonders of the wilderness, and a scintillating culture make Costa Rica a forever hot destination. But you can make your trip more meaningful by joining International Volunteer HQ’s Turtle Conservation Project. Several types of sea turtles, including leatherback, hawksbill, and olive ridley, come ashore during nesting season. Among thousands of hatchlings produced, only a few survive. Support the survival of these magnificent, endangered creatures as you learn all about marine conservation on either the stunning Nicoya Peninsula or on the Carribean Coast. Assist the expert team of locals through various activities like beach patrol, building hatcheries, locating nesting female turtles and monitoring behaviour, collecting eggs for protection measures, replanting mangroves, beach clean-ups, and more.

Where: San José, Costa Rica
When: Program starts every Monday
Duration: 2 to 24 weeks
Charges: Starts from USD820 (INR63,637)

Help educate girls in Morocco with Education For All

Best voluntourism trips
Help out at Moroccan houses for girls and make friends for a lifetime. Image: Courtesy Education For All.

For the girls of the rural communities of the High Atlas Mountains, getting an opportunity to continue their education beyond primary school is a privilege that not many have. Education For All (EFA) helps them with the opportunity of a secondary education by building and running high-quality boarding houses for girls from the age of 12 to 18 years. The successful program with over 200 girls and five houses in Morocco today, offers a female-only volunteering option of minimum three months. You can teach the girls English, French or IT skills, help local housemothers with daily chores, manage sponsors, and/or promote the organisation within small groups and on social media. You will receive, in return, free boarding and lodging, excursions, lots of entertainment, and a window into the life of Moroccans!

Where: Morocco
When: The next session starts October 2022
Duration: 3 to 9 months
Charges: On request

Preserve natural habitat on Galapagos Island with Discover Corps

Best voluntourism trips
Your chance to come face-to-face with the elusive blue-footed boobies! Image: Courtesy Discover Corps.

From swimming with friendly sea lions, snorkelling with sea turtles, to watching iguanas bask in the sun and meeting giant tortoises in the wild, a volunteering program on Galapagos with Discover Corps has many perks for nature travellers. The purpose of the organisation’s Galapagos Family Volunteer Vacation program is however focussed on protecting the UNESCO-listed island’s fragile ecosystem. Split time between expedition and experiences with your entire family. Spend your mornings lending a hand at a sanctuary for giant tortoises, removing invasive plant species, and planting endemic bushes and trees that they eat. In return, enjoy the luxury and comforts of true Ecuadorian hospitality, visit the most famous sites in the archipelago such as Los Tuneles, kayak off Isabela Island, and look for the famed blue-footed boobies at Kicker Rock and Galapagos penguins!

Where: Galapagos Island, Ecuador
When: The next session is from June 29 to July 8, 2022
Duration: 10 days
Charges: USD4,795 (INR3,72,094) per adult; USD4,395 (INR3,41,054) per child

Restore archaeological finds in Rome with GoEco

Best voluntourism trips
When in Rome, help preserve what Romans had. Image: Courtesy GoEco.

Here’s your chance to experience Rome and help preserve its ancient history for generations to come with GoEco! Have the experience of a lifetime as you get to stay in a rural estate called La Farnesiana tucked on the slopes of the Tolfa mountains in Allumiere and surrounded by a picturesque medieval village, a 19th-century neo-Gothic church, and an imposing barn. During the program, enjoy nights out in the historic town and local hiking excursions in the nearby mountains. As a volunteer, you work with a team of professional archaeologists on a live excavation site, learning how to preserve archeological artifacts, trying hand at archaeological photography, and working in the restoration laboratory. Your weekends are free to explore Rome at your own pace!

Where: Allumiere, Rome
When: August 14, 2022 
Duration: 6 to 13 days
Charges: Starts from USD1,150 (INR89,240)

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