Ask the Experts: How can I volunteer while I travel?

It’s Friday! Here at the STA Travel Blog, we’re quite excited by this. Why? Because it’s time to Ask the Experts to share their wisdom and answer one of your travel questions.

This week’s question is on a topic that we get lots of enquiries about: volunteering abroad. Not only is volunteering a great way to give something back, it’s also a chance to enjoy a really unique experience on your travels.

Remember, if something travel-related has got you all in a fluster, email us with your question for our Experts.

Now, without further ado, let’s hear this week’s question, courtesy of Andrew in Edinburgh:

I’m looking for somewhere to travel, but also to give back by doing some volunteering. Where do you recommend? Andrew in Edinburgh

Can our Experts inspire Andrew to take the volunteering path? Can they find him that perfect balance between giving something back and travelling? There’s only one way to find out – over to you, Experts!

Kim at STA Travel Dundee says…

Three words, Andrew: China China China! I ‘voluntoured’ here last year and can absolutely recommend a two week project called China Pandas. It’s a sightseeing/volunteer work combo that will blow your mind with projects at the Great Wall and Bifengxia Panda Breeding Centre.

 How cute?! Volunteer with pandas in China 

The place has it all: fascinating people and politics, incredible food, colours, sights and smells. The cities are pure chaos, and the countryside is a stunning, harmonious appreciation of traditional farming methods and gorgeous landscapes.

You haven’t lived until you have had an endangered species reach out to you for its breakfast and I get goosebumps just talking about it. Even better, we’re offering 20{8105bc8a7da0e4ee2985a05e217cd0e1bef95b551bf8bafd62a449e444182173} off selected dates for this trip if you can book by 29th February – get in!

Heather at STA Travel Nottingham says…

I’m going to take a slightly different approach to Kim, Andrew, and take you aaallllll the way to the other side of the world to South America! In my opinion it’s the hot destination of the moment, and one of my fave places is Buenos Aires.

 Immerse yourself in colourful and cultural Buenos Aires | Image by jvc 

The vibrant, culture-filled city offers some great opportunities for volunteering, like teaching English to children or learning Spanish. Living and working in Buenos Aires would be amazing fun; it’s a 24 hour city with tango, red wine and the best steak in the world. If city life isn’t your thing, you could head to Southern Argentina to do some organic farming.

Whichever you decide, there are lots more things to see across South America. You could head up to Iguassu Falls – one of the biggest waterfalls in the world. Taking a boat out underneath them is just incredible. Or you could head south of Buenos Aires to a little place on the edge of Patagonia called Puerto Madryn. Here, you can see whales, penguins, sea elephants and sealions, and get a small taste of the Patagonian life. Then you could head across into Bolivia and see the Salt Flats – full of awesome landscapes, lakes, flamingos and geysers. Whatever you go with, I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time.

Thanks, Experts! They’ve certainly inspired me to want to do some volunteering (or ‘voluntouring’, nice word, Kim!). What about you? Are you think of giving something back while you travel? Or maybe you’ve done some life-changing volunteering? Tell us about it in the comments thread below!

Remember, if you’ve got a question for our Travel Experts, email us! They’re here every week, and they’re only too happy to help out with your travel-related queries.