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With university fees higher than ever the idea of taking a year out to volunteer abroad is becoming more and more common. Volunteering will provide you with a lifetime of memories, guaranteed! On top of being one of the most rewarding ways to travel, working on a worthwhile project opens up a whole host of cultures, foods and the experience of living like a local in a way that you probably never even thought existed.

You may get chucked in at the deep end, but whichever project you choose to work on will help you build a new array of skills and even qualifications, if you commit to an internship, helping you to boost your CV with uniqueness any employer would be impressed with; leadership and team working being just a couple of them.

If you’re choosing to volunteer abroad it is essential that you protect yourself with a good travel insurance policy. TopDog’s Gap Year or Long Stay Travel Insurance has been developed to provide great cover for those off on extended trips such as volunteering. Working on projects can often mean working in remote or unusual locations so it is best to cover yourself, letting you enjoy your experience with the peace of mind you’re protected if something was to happen.

Voluntary work can vary from building projects, teaching English to children in China, through to environmental projects in Costa Rica. Your options are endless with a number of trusted travel companies providing volunteer programmes at an affordable rate.

Why Choose Our Travel Insurance for Volunteering?

  • We will cover you for single, couple or group travel.
  • Over 100+ sports and activities covered for the keen adventurer.
  • 24/7 emergency helpline provided
  • Up to £10 million in emergency medical cover is available – a safety net just in case the unfortunate was to happen.
  • Cover for cancellation or delay plus much more.
  • There’s a 14 day cooling-off period so if you change your mind and want to cancel your policy, you can.

Which Travel Insurance Policy Is Most Suited for Volunteering Abroad?

If you have bagged yourself a volunteering programme abroad, then you are most likely going to be away for an extended period. If you’re aged between 18 and 45 then TopDog’s Gap Year policy may suit you best as it covers trips up to 18 months. It also gives you the opportunity to return home once for a period of 14 days to see loved ones and catch up with friends – probably boasting about the epic time you’ve been having! If you’re aged over 45 TopDog’s Long Stay policy covers extended trips for those up to age 75.

Examples Of Volunteering Programmes 

Decided to take time out before starting your career? Or you want to take a sabbatical to cleanse yourself of all work-related stress? Or you simply want to set out on a mission to provide your help to a project? If this sounds like you then this next section highlights some of the top volunteers abroad programmes currently available – and rest assured there’s no shortage of them!

It’s important to be aware that the majority of volunteer programmes require you to take out your own travel insurance. It really is a must before you embark on your programme as it will provide a safety net for any mishaps that may occur on your once in a lifetime experience.

International Volunteer HQ

  • Offer over 200 affordable volunteer trips.
  • Cover 45 destinations in Africa, Latin America, USA, The Caribbean, and The Pacific.
  • They have previously placed more than 100,000 volunteers.
  • Projects range from teaching and healthcare to wildlife conservation and construction, plus many more options.
  • Receive ongoing support from the experienced Volunteer HQ team.

Click here to visit their site.

Plan My Gap Year

  • Projects range from childcare, English teaching, wildlife conservation, community projects and mental health in Africa and Asia.
  • Perfect volunteer company to choose if you are volunteering alone and want to meet other like-minded travellers.
  • Plan My Gap Year pride themselves on transparency and accountability.
  • You will be matched with a project that suits your skills and interests.

Click here to visit their site.

Maximo Nivel

  • Founded in 2003 and since then has hosted over 25,000 participants.
  • Projects include volunteer abroad, an internship abroad, study abroad, Spanish Immersion, teach English as a foreign language (TEFL), semester abroad and high school abroad programmes.
  • They offer projects in three countries in Latin America – Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru.

Click here to visit their site.

Love Volunteers 

  • The organisation provides meaningful, life-changing projects in over 34 countries around the world.
  • They offer 120 community-based development programmes in healthcare, education, sports and coaching, law and legal assistance, social services, engineering and architecture, special needs, construction, environmental protection and many more.

Click here to visit their site.

How To Prepare To Volunteer Abroad: Vaccinations

Here at TopDog we take safety very seriously when it comes to travelling and this is why we want to ensure you have the lowdown on getting vaccinated before travelling.

When you decide to volunteer abroad there are various precautions you need to take to ensure your experience runs as smoothly as possible. And getting vaccinated will help protect your health during your time abroad; making it an essential step to your pre-trip preparations.

Below is a short checklist of what you need to consider when thinking about vaccinations:

Do I Really Need To Get Vaccinated?

Protecting yourself when travelling is extremely important, and that includes potential illnesses, especially if your destination is in a developing country.

Whilst you are volunteering your body, and its immune system is going to be introduced to many new factors including water, foods, bugs, insects, diseases and more. Therefore, ensuring you get vaccinated is critical, with vaccinations shielding you against potentially harmful foreign elements.

What Vaccinations Do I Need?

This depends on where you are travelling to, which season you are travelling in, what your current health status is, what type of volunteer work you will be carrying out and your past vaccination history.

When you were younger it’s very likely you received some necessary vaccinations, but it is still worth discussing with your doctor whether you need a top-up before you travel. Additional vaccinations are likely to be needed as well, which can include typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, rabies, polio, meningococcal meningitis, while Hepatitis A or B may be required in some instances.

Why Choose TopDog Insurance?

24/7 Emergency Helpline

100+Activities Covered FREE

Up to
£10m Medical Cover Per Person

Up to
£7,500 Cancellation Cover Per Person