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Tips for Travelling & Volunteering Overseas

Many individuals are drawn to the concept of volunteering overseas or as part of an extended journey. The sense of achievement you gain when you volunteer to help others in need of support.

Do some homework first! Go into each project with your eyes wide open, and keep it real about what you can bring to the table.

If you take the time to learn about and choose a volunteering opportunity that fits you and the organisation, it can be a fantastic experience that makes life better for everyone.

Animal sanctury abroad

A First-Time Guide To Volunteering Abroad

The best places to volunteer abroad in 2024

Whether your passion lies in advocating for human rights in Thailand or preserving wildlife in South Africa, we've pinpointed the top countries for volunteering in 2024. Are you in search of affordable flights? Check out the tips we've provided below.

Children at school in Ghana


Best for teaching

Ghana's becoming a hot spot for volunteers! It's a super-friendly country with various opportunities in education and youth development, particularly for volunteers keen on teaching children. Volunteers have the chance to help out in preschools, elementary schools, and high schools, tackling math and languages. Despite English being one of Ghana's official languages, many children in rural areas predominantly speak regional indigenous languages. It's a wonderful experience for volunteers to assist in teaching a language. You may need to also start thinking about travel requirements for example, The required documents typically include a valid passport, a completed visa application form, and a letter from the volunteer organization stating the purpose of the volunteer work and the duration of the stay in Ghana.

Here are some Do's and Don'ts when volunteering in Ghana:


  1. The left hand? Well, it's got the title of the 'toilet hand ' in Ghanaian culture, using your right hand for exchanging items and eating is customary. The left hand is regarded as the 'toilet hand' and is consequently avoided for greetings and giving or taking items.
  2. Spread the love with a tip. Tipping a waiter is a general practice in Ghana as well. If you find the service good, do leave a tip for the waiter.
  3. Wondering if you missed the memo. Make sure to greet everyone when you enter a room. It's expected, and you wouldn't want to wonder why people are looking at you oddly.


  1. No surprise photo shoots. Do not take pictures of a place or a person without obtaining consent.
  2. Resource-wasting spree. Try not to waste food, water, or any resourceful thing. Even the smallest of the things value a lot in Ghana.
  3. Show respect to the Elders. Avoid sitting with crossed legs in the presence of elders or the village chief, as it is perceived as disrespectful.

Cheap flights to Ghana

Flying from the USA to Ghana

Airlines that fly from the United States of America to Ghana are American Airlines, Delta, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airlines. When booking with Alternative Airlines you can make a booking instantly without having the full amount of the ticket. This is due to our Fly Now, Pay Later payment plan. Examples of payment providers we offer include Klarna, Affirm and Afterpay where you can pay in instalments for your flights, and payment providers such as Afterpay you can pay over 6-12 months.

Flying from the United Kingdom to Ghana

Airlines such as British Airways, Royal Air Maroc, KLM and Brussels fly from the United Kingdom to Ghana. If you're looking for a more affordable alternative for flying to volunteer in Ghana, our website provides you with the flexibility to choose your payment method. We have over 40 different payment methods including Klarna, Crypto and PayPal. Generally, booking your flight well in advance can help secure lower prices and also explore the options provided by budget airlines, as they often offer lower fares.

Turtle in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Best for protecting wildlife

Helping hands of dedicated volunteers are needed in Costa Rica in various areas. Animal rescue centres throughout the country are dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of wildlife. Numerous animals, either confiscated by customs due to illegal trafficking or discovered injured and malnourished, are provided with a temporary or permanent home in these sanctuaries. This place is a turtle paradise, with all kinds of cool initiatives. Volunteers can contribute to saving baby turtles, collaborate with sloths, and monkeys, and even participate in efforts to protect endangered jaguars in the high trees of the tropical rainforest. The sea turtles in this area face threats such as poaching, fishing, and egg theft. As a volunteer, you get to live the beach life, safeguard hatchlings, monitor nests, and actively contribute to data collection. This collected data is used towards keeping the wildlife safe and saving the turtles! 🐢

Here are our tips for when volunteering in Costa Rica:

  1. Mosquitos are no joke. Mosquito bites are inevitable during volunteer work in Costa Rica, but they don't have to spoil your trip. Considering that mosquitoes transmit Dengue Fever, for which there is no vaccination currently available, and mosquito bites are generally uncomfortable, adopting preventive measures is crucial. Volunteers can stay prepared by packing lightweight but protective clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, and closed shoes rather than sandals.
  2. It rains. A lot. Costa Rica experiences tropical weather with two distinct seasons: the wet season (winter) and the dry season (summer), and the humidity is prevalent throughout the year. The dry season extends from December to April. Rainfall intensifies from May to November. Volunteers in Costa Rica during this period should consider investing in a high-quality raincoat and pack cover. Fortunately, the warm and friendly nature of the Costa Rican people can easily dispel any rainy day blues!
  3. Catching a bus. Buses are affordable, practical, and generally punctual (for the most part). The well-maintained local buses primarily serve larger urban and suburban areas. However, as you travel to more rural destinations, be prepared for less luxurious conditions—don't be taken aback if your bus doesn't have air conditioning or comfortable seating!
  4. Organised approach. Before jetting off to Costa Rica you'll need to know about the requirements for a visa to work over there. You will need a passport valid for at least 6 months and you need certification issued by the institution in charge of the volunteer program before travelling.

Cheap flights to Costa Rica

Flying from the USA to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a very popular tourist destination for travellers based in the United States due to the short flight times! You can fly direct to Costa Rica from various cities in the USA including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Houston, among many others. It's easily accessible for those seeking a tropical getaway without having to fly for more than 5 hours.

Flying from Mexico to Costa Rica

Direct flights to Costa Rica are available from key Mexican cities including Mexico City and Cancún. Airlines such as Aeroméxico, Avianca Costa Rica and Volaris offer quick direct flights connecting these cities to the captivating destination of Costa Rica.

Flying from Europe to Costa Rica

You can fly directly to Costa Rica from several major European cities. Airlines such as Air France, British Airways, Edelweiss Air and Iberia offer non-stop flights from cities like Paris, London, Zurich and Madrid, among others. The cheapest months to book a flight to Costa Rica are August and July, followed by November. 

Giraffe in South Africa

South Africa

Helping protect endangered species

Volunteering abroad in South Africa is a popular choice for those seeking a rewarding and sociable travel adventure with convenient access to surfing, hiking, and even weekend safari tours. It's also a coveted spot for food enthusiasts, so be ready to indulge in world-class cuisine and dining choices! You can help protect endangered species such as Rhinos, Cheetahs, Giraffes, elephants and Lions. Volunteer programs span from 1 to 12 weeks, providing participants the chance to engage in a variety of wildlife conservation activities in Africa. These activities involve anti-poaching efforts, wildlife research, animal rehabilitation and reintroduction, hands-on animal care, game tracking and capture, bush rehabilitation, and the day-to-day maintenance and management of reserves.

Top Tips for Volunteering in South Africa:

  1. Don’t slack on local safety advice. While South Africa has a high crime rate, it shouldn't deter you from volunteering there as the experience is incredibly rewarding. It's important to exercise caution when walking alone at night, stay vigilant about your surroundings during the day, and be selective about transportation options.
  2. Don’t overpack. You may think that South Africa has no shops and is underdeveloped however, this isn't the case. They will have shops around where you can purchase supplies to prevent you from overpacking and being charged airport baggage fees. If you make the booking through Alternative Airlines then you can pay for baggage in installments with 0 interest.
  3. Plan your finances. Sort out funding before you go to afford daily essentials and splurge on travel. Be sure to raise a little extra money to donate to the organization that you'll be working with. When you book with Alternative Airlines we offer over 40 different payment methods in which you can choose to Fly Now, Pay Later to make your trip more affordable.
  4. Passport and visa. Don't forget the importance of the requirements you'll need before going to South Africa to volunteer. The list of requirements includes a police clearance certificate, an unabridged birth certificate, a valid passport, a Medical and radiological report and finally an Invitation letter from the NGO confirming your activities and the duration of your stay.

Cheap flights to South Africa

Flying from the USA to South Africa

Opting for flights from Atlanta or Washington D.C. often proves more cost-effective compared to departing from New York City. The peak travel seasons are typically January, November, and December, with February being the most budget-friendly month for flights from the United States. For direct flights to South Africa, the average flight duration is approximately 15 hours. A low-cost airline that flies from the USA to South Africa is Jetblue,

Flying from Europe to South Africa

Airlines that fly from Europe to South Africa are Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific. When booking with Alternative Airlines, we offer over 40 different payment providers to choose from such as Klarna or Afterpay where you can choose how many installments you pay in.

teamwork and assistance


Best place to assist with healthcare

Volunteers with a passion for healthcare who wish to share their skills may find India to be a meaningful destination. Despite the country's rapid economic growth, numerous communities still lack access to clean water, adequate housing, and basic medical care. With a population of nearly 1.4 billion people, India offers numerous opportunities for volunteers to make a significant impact. Volunteers in the medical and dental fields are sought to support clinics and hospitals, along with raising public health awareness. Don't forget to make sure you have the correct documents for travelling to India to work. These include a valid passport and an employment visa.

Here are some Do's and Don'ts when volunteering in India:


  1. No-shoes zone. Take your shoes off inside houses, temples, and sacred places
  2. Pack like a pro. If you are going overseas you will need to check the climate before departing. You don't want to turn up when volunteering in Southeast Asia and have a suitcase with winter clothing where there might be a tropical climate.
  3. Don't forget to stash some cash. Make sure you have savings as the minimum cost for a week in India would be $250.


  1. It's a no-go. Avoid calling people older than you by their first name
  2. Keep it casual. Don't offer a handshake when you greet someone(it can come off as overly familiar).
  3. Don't be stuck in the no-open-mind zone! Approach the entire experience with an open mind, embracing the unknown and seizing every opportunity that comes your way. Cultivate a mindset that thrives on exploration, saying yes to new challenges, and immersing yourself fully in the diverse experiences that await.

Cheap Flights to India

Flying from the USA to India

Airlines that fly from the USA to India include Air India, Air Canada, American Airlines and Lufthansa. Searching for cheap alternatives to pay? Look on our Fly Now, Pay Later page on our website as it's a way for you to spread the cost of flight bookings into small interest-free payments or over instalments with Alternative Airlines. It is cheaper to fly from Los Angeles if you stop over rather than book a direct flight. The average flight time to India from the USA is 14 Hours.

Flying from Europe to India

Airlines that operate flights from Europe to India encompass a diverse array of reputable carriers, offering travellers an extensive choice of options. Renowned airlines such as British Airways, Air India, and Qatar Airways are just a few among the many that connect these two continents. The average flight time from Europe to India is around 9 hours long.

Final thoughts on volunteering abroad

Whether you're saving sea turtles in Costa Rica, teaching children in Ghana, going on a wild adventure in South Africa or discovering your love for healthcare in India we guarantee you'll have an amazing trip! On the hunt for budget-friendly flights? You're in good hands with Alternative Airlines, where we provide plenty of flexibility with payment options like Klarna and Afterpay. No need to worry about having the full amount upfront – we've got your back!

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