Travel For Free At These 10 Places!

by Nainisha Mehta 3079
Travel is all about experiencing a place – the culture and their lifestyle. But what if you don’t want to be a mere spectator? What if you want to actually immerse yourself in their way of life? Voluntourism is the answer. Travelling to volunteer will let you discover a new destination while you return the favour of the community! Here are 10 places where you can head to if you want to help and heal.

1. Ladakh: SECMOL

Towering Himalayan ranges, pristine blue waters, tranquil monastries and acres of breathtaking views – Ladakh is on every traveller’s mind. Now imagine soaking in all this for a minimum of 4 weeks while you blend in with the people. Learn some and teach some at SECMOL.

Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) is a one-of-a-kind school that admits students who have failed in conventional educational institutions. Here they live an eco-friendly life, use renewable energy resources, learn through activity base teaching, get hands-on practical experiences and contribute towards reforming the traditional education system.

What can you do?
One can volunteer at SECMOL for a minimum period of 4 weeks. Teach creative skills or a language, contribute to their daily chores, coach them in ice-skating or figure skating or take workshops in photography, dancing or gardening. Skilled or unskilled, you’ll learn plenty than you can offer to teach at this school in Ladakh.
Register here
SECMOL School, Ladakh

The SECMOL school built from environemental friendly materials. Source:

2. Ladakh: 17000 ft Foundation


The 17000 ft Foundation’s goal is to reach remote villages that are difficult to access due to the rough terrain and strengthen their schools, infrastructure, education and skill sets. The organization’s objective is to grow despite geographical boundaries and enrich the communities.

What can you do?

With 17000 ft foundation’s Voluntourist Program, volunteers get the opportunity to explore remote villages of Ladakh while returning the favour by teaching and schools and instilling creative skills. You can volunteer under reading, art, video, infrastructure programs depending on your skill set. The structured programs range from 10, 16 to 1 Month programs.

Register here

17000 ft Foundation

Teach at Local schools in Ladakh with 17000ft Foundation. Source: better india

3. Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Andaman and Nicobar Environment Team

India’s very own tropical paradise, Andaman and Nicobar islands are perfect for anyone who loves white sandy beaches, stretches of blue waters, hammocks and palm trees. You can live the beach life and do something for the environment at the same time by volunteering at ANET.
Andaman and Nicobar Environment Team (ANET) is an organization that works towards conserving the environment and maintaining an ecological balance on the island. ANET conducts research on the marine and terrestrial life, develops strategies for environmental sustainability and focuses on community development to promote their efforts to conserve the vast bio-diversity of the island.

What can you do?

You can work with the organization by participating in tree-planting activities, blogging, creating awareness or maintaining the databook. Those with an eligible background can work conduct research and analyzation.
Register here
Andaman and Nicobar Environment Team

Particpate in ecological conservation with ANET. Source:

4. Sikkim: ECOSS

The cleanest state of the country, window to the Himalayas, momos, thupkas and wontons, a center for meditation, the go-to destination for adventure seekers, an abundance of exotic flora and fauna – there are one too many reasons why Sikkim is a favoured destination in the North-East. It is so, due to the efforts of its people. The Sikkimese community wants to preserve their small but proud state in every way possible and hence work relentlessly to promote ecotourism. With ECOSS, you get a chance to contribute to their cause!
Ecotourism and Conversation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS) are continuously developing and implementing the concept of ecotourism by working on the strengths of the local communities. The goal of the organization is to make the people self-reliant and conserve ecological resources, thus building a sustainable environment. And to encourage this, they along with UNESCO have built the Sikkim Himalayan Homestay Project. 
What can you do?
By Staying at the homestays and helping the local communities in developing various skills and capacities is how you can give back to the people of Sikkim.
Register here

Discover the beauty of Sikkim. Source: eSikkim Tourism

5. Jodhpur: Mandore Project

Heritage and culturally vibrant city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan is not only known for its spectacular blue architecture but also for its medieval streets, bazaars, temples, delicious Rajasthani street food and desert glamping. While the city’s royalty is trapped in the palaces, forts and luxe stays, there’s plenty that needs to be done on-ground. Discover the old-world charm of Rajasthan along with helping in building the community.
Mandore Guest House of Jodhpur is an eco-resort, situated just a stone’s throw away from the Mandore gardens. The guest house attracts visitors not only for its chalet style cottages and gardens but also for its volunteer projects that focus on initiating health awareness programs, establishing medical camps, and awareness drives, improving infrastructure and education. The guest house is registered as an NGO under the name Marwar Medical and Relief Society.
What can you do?
Those who want the pleasures of staying at a decent guest-house while working towards development, Mandore offers you with that. Major areas of volunteering include teaching children and organizing creative activities in the primary and secondary schools. Minimum volunteering period is for 2-3 weeks for 4-5 hours a day.
Register here
Mandore Guest House

Help with the Mandore Project while you stay at the Mandore Guest House. Source:

6. Chennai: Chennai Trekkers Club

South India may not give you the view of the Himalayas, but the lush greenery and the steep fog covered slopes carry their own form of beauty. The region also offers a range of options for those who’d love to work their feet and conquer peaks, while taking in the clean-fresh air and stopping for spectacular views. Chennai Trekkers Club will fulfil all your hiking goals and give you a chance to earn good karma too.
If trekking, hiking, swimming, cycling are your forte, then this non-profit trekkers’ club will be right up your alley. CTC organizes treks, camps and many other adventure activities across southern India. The club is run by volunteers with the expenses shared by the participants.
What can you do?
You can participate in their cleanup and tree plantation drives. You can engage with the local communities by helping out in schools or through awareness programs. You can volunteer with underprivileged children by taking them on treks. There are a host of opportunities at CTC.
Register here
Chennai trekkers club

Go Trekking with the Chennai Trekkers Club. Source: chennaitrekkersclub.blogspot

7. Auroville

The first and the only township that recognizes human unity by encouraging diversity and sustainability. Auroville in Southern India is a world of its own with a population of roughly 2,500 people from all over the world. The township is built by the people and truly for the people. Not only a destination, Auroville is a way of living and more and more people are now adapting to it.


The community focuses on cultural, spiritual and social progress through shared learning and community building by keeping the environment at the core of it. One visit to the township and you’ll know there’s plenty you can offer. Besides the permanent residents that work towards building the community, volunteers can help a great deal.

What can you do?

Community engagement, skilled technical work, maintaining records, managing projects, fundraising or designing products – whatever your skill be, you can volunteer in areas like arts, social change, environment, health, research, education and technology.

Register here


The township of Auroville. Source:

8. Spiti Valley: Spiti Ecosphere

Leaving behind the urban life and seeking the simpler things – Spiti’s best offering. Yes it is spectacular, yes the mountains look even more majestic, yes it shares its borders with Tibet, yes it is still untouched, and yes Spiti is a different world altogether. But rest aside, Spiti’s heart lies in the Ecosphere.


Ecosphere is an organization that can take the credit entirely for making Spiti a self-sustained village and promoting tourism in a previously unexplored valley. Strengthening the skills of the locals, conserving their culture, developing solar-powered houses, building greenhouses, making the utmost use of their local flora – Ecosphere is helping Spiti transform itself while maintaining its core.

What can you do?

With a place that has so much going on, there’s lots one can do. You can be a helping hand in a variety of development projects, teach at schools, build greenhouses, help out at stores and more.

More info here

Spiti Valley

The Spectacular Spiti Valley. Source: thrillophilia

9. All Over India (& World): Willing Workers on Organic Farms


If experiencing the simple farm life has been one of your to-do things, look no further than WWOOF. The Willing Workers on Organic Farms is a worldwide initiative that promotes cultural exchange and an organic lifestyle by connecting farms and volunteers. You can volunteer at any of the locations registered with WWOOF by farming at coffee estates, tea estates or farmlands. Training, developing projects, crop procurement, horticulture, hygiene, food safety, livestock management are few of the many things that the organization undertakes.

What Can You do?

By joining WWOOF you can stay at a local farm, help with their livestock, their crops, participate in farming activities while you get a taste of their life.

More Info Here


Work on a farm with WWOOF. Source:

10. All over India (& World): Workaway


Exploring a new place on a limited budget can be a hassle. What if you get to discover a new destination and get accommodation and food in exchange for a helping hand? A platform built for people who want to engage with different cultures cut down on travel expense and engross themselves in a new lifestyle for a brief time, Workaway is your answer to voluntourism. It is a community of people who want to work in exchange of experiences. Individuals or families can host volunteers at their houses or for projects and in return volunteers can lend their time and effort in contributing to their chores or projects.

What can you do?

The range of activities depends on the host. Gardening, painting, waiting in restaurants, farming, teaching a language, animal welfare, activities at school – there’s a range of things you can help with.

Register here


Meet people from different nationalities through Workaway. Source: