Travel to Make a Difference: Best Volunteering Destinations for Young People 

Photo by Zachary Nelson on UnsplashTraveling to sip cocktails on the beach and soak up the sun isn’t the only way to travel any longer. More and more, young people are looking for ways to make a difference when traveling. Whether you’re a high-school graduate, or university student or graduate, you can find plenty of volunteer programs all around the world. Our world is facing a lot of different issues, and it’s up to young people to make it a better place with their resilience and hard work. Here’s how you can travel and make a difference.

1. Coral me impressed

Seychelles are known for their tropical nature, and one of the islands- Curieuse Island– is also part of the larger Marine National Park. Climate change is taking a toll on this tropical paradise, so it will be your job to help reverse the effects. You can help by assessing the health of the surrounding waters’ coral reefs. As well as that, you’ll assess the health of the island’s coastal ecosystem.

Your main job will be to measure coral growth and to identify biodiversity hotspots using digital photography. When you’re off duty, you’re free to explore the waters and soak in the sun.

2. Having a whale of a time

Those who love whales should find themselves in the Norwegian Arctic. You won’t be just sitting around and whale-watching, but you’ll listen to humpback and killer whales communicate. Of course, it’s all safe from your boat which will be high up and not easy to reach. Your job will be to record data and later interpret whale sounds for research. You’ll be situated in the middle of Norway’s unique nature, and you’ll get to see jutting mountains, glacial lakes, and deep fjords.

If you go between June and July, you’ll experience only daylight as the sun never sets during these months.

3. Building a better future

Guatemala is famous for its bicimaquinas. These machines are pedal-powered and are the life of many villages in Guatemala. Water pumps, grinders and threshers all depend on them. You can help keep the village going by taking part in building more bicimaquinas. Your job will be to collect, disassemble and rebuild the donated bikes and local materials so as to make the system simpler for villagers.

This will help them haul cardo, threshold corn, shell coffee beans, and blend smoothies. In other words, you’ll be contributing to their livelihood and they’ll have easier working days all thanks to you.

4. Hatchings of a new world

If you like animals, you’ll love the turtle conservation program in Bali. Here, you’ll get to make a difference by working on preserving a whole species! Turtles are very important to our ecosystem and you can help make sure that the eggs hatch and that the baby turtles make it to water. This is one of the best gap year volunteer programs offered in Bali, as it allows you to stay in a practical island paradise and interact with nature’s most beautiful creatures.

Collecting eggs and data will be one of the best days you spend in Bali because it will teach you all about the wildlife and the turtles. If you’re lucky, you may also witness some turtle hatching. There’s nothing that will make you prouder as you’ll know you helped make it happen. These little creatures have a chance at life because of the love and effort you put in.

5. An eruption you’ve been waiting for

What’s more interesting and exciting than volcanoes? If you’ve always been fascinated by them, head straight for Iceland. Not many people know that Iceland is filled with seismic activity and magma flow. If you choose to volunteer here, you can help create maps that document minor disturbance that volcanoes cause beneath the earth’s surface.

This is very important work, as it serves to give scientists a warning for future eruptions. In Iceland, you’ll get to see everything from the Vatnajokull volcanoes covered in snow to the active Krafla volcano. This is an adventure you truly can’t miss. You won’t just marvel at the sights on your expedition across volcanic Iceland. You’ll also record all of your findings to help research.

6. Go for the gold

If you’re a sports fan and love working with kids, perhaps you should head on over to Bolivia. Here, you can help poor kids have a better childhood and actually teach them some valuable skills. If you volunteer for Kaya, you’ll be situated in the largest city of Bolivia and work with a local school to help them with their sports curriculum.

You’ll be the one who gets to choose what sports you’ll teach them. If you’re good at football, volleyball, basketball, or judo, you can make quite the difference in the lives of these kids. As well as that, you can even offer your help at the local sports centre. Don’t worry about food while you’re here, because you’ll have access to the city’s cuisine at all times.


Traveling is a way to get some perspective on the world and grow as a person more than you ever thought you would. The happiest people are those who give and these volunteer opportunities are your chance to give back to the world and leave a positive mark. Wherever you choose to go, it will surely become a more beautiful place after you’ve set foot there.