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All photos courtesy of Joyce Major

A guide to inexpensive voluntourism around the world.

In the introduction to her CD-based PDF, On the Road to Voluntourism: Inexpensive Voluntourism Around the World, Joyce Major explains that this comprehensive 88 page voluntourism resource is the result of her own experiences as a voluntourist and her extensive online research, which earned her the nickname “Queen Google” among friends.

On the Road to Voluntourism is an exceptional resource for the traveler who is serious about making a commitment to volunteering.

In addition to compiling hundreds of volunteer opportunities around the world (listed both by country and by type of experience), Major’s PDF includes tips and resources for topics as diverse as insurance (Bottom line? You need it.), hostels and free places to stay (There’s a lot more to life than just Couchsurfing), packing (Prepared, but light), and grants and fundraising (You CAN get someone else to pay for your travel).

In addition, she offers book and movie recommendations about voluntourism and about specific regions, as well as a special chapter on voluntourism for seniors.

You could easily look up any of this information yourself, but you don’t need to, as Major has done it for you.

She earned the Queen Google title.

What makes On the Road to Voluntourism more than a simple round up of voluntourism resources, though, and what gives it credibility is the fact that Major curated the entries carefully using her insight and experience from volunteering at dozens of programs around the world.

The writing is highly conversational and the overuse of non-specific adjectives like “great” detracts a bit from helping the reader understand exactly what to expect from a voluntourism opportunity.

Another concern is how this PDF will hold up over time; it’s possible that websites like and may be more comprehensive and current, though Major plans to update On the Road to Voluntourism each year.

Those factors taken into consideration, I still think On the Road to Voluntourism is a highly useful resource for people interested in spending time volunteering while traveling. The $10.00 spent on this PDF guide will save you hours of Googling.

Let Major keep the title; she deserves it.

Price: $10.00 | BUY from Inexpensive Global Volunteering

Community Connection:

Visit Matador’s Volunteering Abroad Focus Page for all of our archived resources related to voluntourism.


@lilian_sg, @GirlInCobras, and @amytheexplorer

They’ll each be receiving a copy of the voluntourism CD

Want to win more free stuff from Matador? Follow us here @matadornetwork and keep your eyes peeled for the next contest!

Book Reviews


About The Author

Julie Schwietert

Julie Schwietert Collazo is a writer, editor, researcher, and translator currently in New York, formerly of Mexico City and San Juan.

  • Jean Vortkamp

    I met Joyce while she was volunteering in Thailand. She is a shining example of how tourists should be while they travel and how people should act while they are volunteers. She has a lot to teach the world. I recommend any resource she puts out. Watching her example made me a better traveler and volunteer.

  • Lilian

    HI! I’m @lilian_sg I would love to volunteer at places like Cambodia or Laos where I could help to teach the kids there.

  • Nola Lee Kelsey

    Joyce ‘donated’ some great advice for readers in my next book and I ordered the CD. I can’t wait to check it out! Thanks to Matador for their continued coverage of volunteer travel news.

  • Jacqui B.

    I’m @GirlInCobras, and I want to volunteer in several places for similar reasons: Africa (female genital mutilation and human trafficking), South America (human trafficking) and Asia (human trafficking).

  • Amy E.

    I’m @amytheexplorer and I would love to volunteer my way around the world. If I had to narrow it down to a few places, then I would like to help with animal conservation in South Africa or Australia, work in refugee camps (possibly on the West Bank?), or teaching English in Central Asia.

  • Permacultureways

    I have been really enjoying this as a resource as well as which has a wide array of voluntourism options that fit anyones lifestyle and time-style.  Great work on the article. 

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