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How to Start Planning for Volunteer Travel

May 21, 2020


Like travel, volunteerism is one of life’s greatest pleasures that reaps many benefits for the spirit. When the two are combined, it can become a life-changing experience for those with adventure and a desire to help in their hearts.

Volunteer travel is also one of the best ways to see the world and be enriched by new cultures while making a positive impact.

There are many opportunities available for volunteer travel, but not all are created equally. Critics have noted the negative impact that voluntourism can have on communities — however, that criticism is typically leveled at the organizations that curate and promote volunteer travel opportunities, and not those who have the best of intentions to do good work in underserved communities around the globe.

 To ensure your volunteer travel experience is a positive one for both you and the community you’ll be serving, Seven Corners recommends making a few considerations before you embark on your journey.


Young black man researching places to volunteer his time.

Research, Research, Research.

In addition to researching locales, there are many questions you should ask before booking a voluntourism trip to ensure your skills are put to good use, and that the organization you are working with is reputable and beneficial to the community. Some of the most important are:

  • What are the economic and cultural issues facing your destination?
  • How have previous charitable efforts affected the area?
  • How does an organization manage the funds they receive from fees they charge?
  • Are you qualified to do the work that is expected of you?


Young woman saving baby kangaroos in australia from a wildfire.

Choose Your Own Adventure.

Whether you’re a planner, or prefer someone else to take the lead, there are options for your international service work.

  • Fly solo. By doing your own legwork, you can plan a trip to wherever you’re drawn that is tailored to your strengths and philanthropic interests. This is the cheaper option, if that is a consideration, and well-suited to longer-term travelers.
  • Let someone else handle the details. Working with a voluntourism company is a more expensive option but might be a better bet for short-term travelers or those without much volunteer travel experience. Once again, just make sure to do your research on who you’re booking through.
  • Form your own group. Whether you have a group of family and friends who want to experience travel through service together, or if you’re interested in forming your own volunteer travel organization, group travel is an option that may make some more comfortable while being abroad.


Get insurance for your travels.

Protect Yourself.

You want your experience to be a positive one, so making sure you’re covered by travel insurance is one way to maintain peace of mind. Travel insurance may not be required for the country you’re visiting, but it’s highly recommended to ensure safety and financial protection. In addition to individual coverage for medical expenses or trip protection, Seven Corners also offers group travel insurance plans to cover your entire party.


To get a fast, free quote, visit our online portal. Or, to speak with a Seven Corners representatives about which coverage you and your traveling companions will need, contact us at sales@sevencorners.com or by calling 317-575-2652.

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