There are literally thousands of organizations that provide opportunities for travel—most of which include fees or other cover costs—and as honorable as those charities may be, the list below offers insight into lesser known programs that cost nothing. So, let's takeoff!
1. HFHoliday Walking Leader, UK & Europe
This is your chance to explore Europe as a volunteer guide for walking tours. Once volunteers are appointed to one of their 40 European resorts, they are then provided with gratis meals as well. Tours are mostly conducted in the summer months, during which leaders will spend 2 to 8 weeks showcasing their touring skills. All HFHolidays asks in return is for you to share your passion and knowledge with your groups.
2. Help Exchange, Worldwide
Ever babysit when you were a kid? How about volunteer at a community center once in a while? I bet those experiences took place pretty close to home. Help Exchange is, essentially, the same concept of helping out communities in small but potent ways—except you do so anywhere in the world! This website contains a list of hosts who are in need of some helping hands. Whether it be helping out a Peruvian family with their farm or building houses in Hungary, you can help and they can pay. Room and board is taken care of.
3. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
WWOOF offers its volunteers full room and board for every day's work on a farm. You can stay for as little as a week or as long as years. WWOOF is available in 53 countries and has thousands of hosts to choose from. What are you waiting for? Go find Mr. Right-farm.
4. Appalachian Trail Conservancy, USA
The well known, yet seldom-traversed Appalachian Trail (over 2,000 miles long), needs volunteers to help build and maintain the trail as well as to secure the safety of endangered animals in the area. In return you get food, accommodations, and impeccable views of the Eastern US.
5. Conservation Volunteers, Worldwide
Similar to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s focus on protecting threatened species, this organization offers its volunteers the opportunity to protect habitats and promote ecotourism, which is the practice of touring natural environments while creating as little ecological impact as possible. You can also sign up for teaching, healthcare or sports projects! Volunteers get to work in teams for these various short-term projects. Don't conserve your energy—fly off and fight for philanthropy!