Digital Nomad In The Making? How Volunteering Might Be The Boarding Pass To Your New Life!

By Youmn April 20, 2018 View all posts (89)

Does the idea of traveling while making an impact and with minimal expenses sound appealing? Then these digital nomad volunteering opportunities will keep you on your toes!

A few days ago, we posted for all the wanderlusters out there a practical five-step guide on how to become a DN, and today, we’re adding another to the list! If you caught the travel bug and can’t wait to build your online business to jump on a plane to Portugal or Morocco, then you seriously need to consider volunteering.

Think of it as an exchange of skills: there are many NGOs, coffee shops, hostels and families who need help completing some tasks, and that’s where you come in! In exchange for a bed, a meal and sometimes even a bit of compensation, you can become their jack-of-all-trades. From teaching kids English in a school to maintaining a garden for a family, the digital nomad volunteering opportunities are endless.

Furthermore, you will also feel good about yourself. Social work can be as – if not more – rewarding as a regular job. And you will also build a solid network in the community you will be in, and overcome that striking feeling of loneliness that comes with being a solo DN.

Thankfully, some organizations have taken it upon themselves to make it easier for digital nomads and changemakers to help and get help! To kick-start your impactful journey, start with these 5 websites!

5.) WWOOF 

digital nomad volunteering

If you check the bio labels on your food (kudos to you!), love nature and can handle some physical labor, then this organization might be perfect for you!

According to its bio, WWOOF is a “worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community.” Neat!

WWOOFers (the name given to the volunteers) will experience hands-on farm life at one of the host farms registered in the website. They will learn about the organic movement and sustainable agriculture while spending about half a day helping out. Host farms provide room and board during each visit. No money is exchanged between the Hosts and the WWOOFers.

Each website is different in their registration process, and for WWOOF, you will need to visit the WWOOF organization of your country destination (or check WWOOF Independents if there is none in the area you’re targeting), sign up with them, search for your host and get in touch with them.

digital nomad volunteering

Website: WWOOF

4.) Workaway & WorldPackers 

Workaway and WorldPackers are two different services, but they are very much alike in their offers and process.

If you can spare a few hours per day for honest work, then the hosts featured in Workaway and WorldPackers will gladly take you on board, and more often than not, with no prior experience required.

With more than 34.000 hosts listed in Workaway, you can make your search as detailed as possible to find your dream organization.

digital nomad volunteering

The same thing goes for WorldPackers, plus, they also have a mobile app that makes things so much easier and fun.

In exchange for food and accommodation, you will help others, eliminate some living expenses, and learn about the local lifestyle!

Websites: Workaway and WorldPackers 

3.) AuPairWorld

digital nomad volunteering

Love caring for families and have a knack for engaging with kids and teaching them? In that case becoming an au pair might be a serious option to consider. In exchange for your help around the house and childcare, you will get food, a room, and a warm second family.

According to its website, AuPairWorld has had more than 3 million customers, making it a leading au pair agency on the internet. It is free for au pairs and a paid service for host families, making it a sustainable agency.

Their process is simple: You create a detailed profile and search in their host family directory. Once one of them catches your attention, you can exchange messages, and if you and the family click, you sign an au pair contract.

Au pair contracts should include all important arrangements to make sure the expectations of both parties are met. This is how each side is protected in case of a misunderstanding. Contracts are different from one country to another, but the website does a good job in providing more details and examples. Make sure to read this part carefully!

Website: AuPairWorld

2.) HelpX 

digital nomad volunteering

Don’t let the 2000s-era design of this website fool you, HelpX has actually some pretty solid digital nomad volunteering opportunities!

It is very similar to Workaway or WorldPackers but with fewer search options. You can only search by country, keyword and category.

The categories include homestay, organic farmstay, non-organic farmstay, backpacker hostel, accommodation business, boat and others.

digital nomad volunteering

We were actually taken aback a bit by the quality of hosts, which is understandable, since the website has been around since 2001!

P.S: A rule of thumb is to always check the number of work hours required and agree on them in advance. The type of work is also important. Manual work like cleaning a barn or building a wooden table might be more physically exhausting than other tasks. You need to have an idea of the expectations of the host to know what is waiting for you once you arrive there!

Website: HelpX

1.) GlobalHelpSwap

digital nomad volunteering

GlobalHelpSwap is the reality check we all need when we want to volunteer abroad!

The couple behind the website had the experience first-hand and were frustrated with many aspects of the volunteering services. They then created a platform that answers the needs they couldn’t fulfill themselves and provide extremely meaningful insights concerning volunteering abroad.

The creators also take a stand in which volunteering opportunities they provide. A firm no children-focused organizations policy in the opportunities listed is respected. They also advocate strongly for organizations that don’t have enough funds to advertise their volunteering positions themselves. This might be one of the reasons why GlobalHelpSwap has the fewest opportunities listed in all this list. However, the tips provided in their blog and “Directory of Responsible Volunteering Opportunities Around the World” book (available at £6.99) make up for it!

Website: GlobalHelpSwap

What do you think of these digital nomad volunteering opportunities? Have you already volunteered abroad? Are you planning on visiting a foreign country soon? Let us know in the comments and share this article with your friends who’ve caught the travel bug!

digital nomad volunteering

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