Author: Axel Menzel Jun 24, 2023

Tips for making the most out of your Sobbatical.

Balancing volunteer work with travel

Volunteering abroad is a great way to give back to communities and gain valuable skills and experiences. At the same time it's a perfect opportunity to explore the new country you are in! How can you balance your volunteer work with travel and make the most out of your experience? Here are some tips to help you do just that. 

📅 Plan ahead

Be assured that the time during your stay abroad will fly by. Whether you travel for a week or a month. Before you leave for your volunteering assignment, research the area you'll be in and make a list of the things you want to do and see. This will help you make the most out of your free time and ensure you don’t miss out on any must-see sights or experiences. You can also talk to your hosting organization about the best ways to travel in the area and get recommendations on local attractions. The best recommendations are always the ones you get from locals. 

📋 Make a schedule

Once you’ve done your research, create a schedule that includes your volunteer work, travel plans and free time activities. This will help you stay organized and ensure you have enough time for everything. Make sure to include time for rest and relaxation, as volunteering and travel can be exhausting. A plan that is too packed only causes stress.

🤸‍♀️ Be flexible

While it’s important to have a plan, it’s also important to be flexible. Unexpected events or opportunities may arise that you don’t want to miss out on. Leave some room in your schedule for spontaneous adventures and new experiences.

🎪 Use your weekends wisely

Use free weekends alongside your volunteering to explore nearby cities or sights. This is a great way to see more of the country and make the most of your limited time abroad. Check with your hosts to see what events you shouldn't miss! Even better ... invite them to show you the best parts of their home country first-hand.

landscape greece
Olive harvest in Tuscany | © Plan Los by Jomana Markau 2021


🎭 Immerse yourself in the culture

Volunteering abroad is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. Take advantage of this opportunity by trying to learn the local language, trying new foods and participating in cultural events. This will also help you to connect with the local community and make acquaintances who may again give you a valuable tip or two on how to make the most of your time abroad.

🙏 Reflect on your experience

Take time to reflect on your experience and what you’ve learned. This will help you appreciate the impact of your volunteer work and the value of the new experiences you’ve had.

Olive farm volunteer
Olive harvest in Tuscany | © Plan Los by Jomana Markau 2021

Volunteering abroad can be a life-changing experience. Try to combine the meaning of volunteering with the beauty of travel to get the most out of the experience. With a little planning, organisation and flexibility, you can make your time abroad a memorable one that you will remember for years to come.

Author | About

Axel Menzel

Globetrotter, creative mind and entrepreneur. Born in Germany, I found my new home in beautiful Vienna after stopovers in Switzerland, France and Serbia. My travels and professional experience in HR management have shaped my understanding and passion for different cultures.

More Insights

Volunteering abroad

The benefits of volunteering abroad

Why volunteering abroad is an experience you will not regret!


Stay healthy while travelling

The nuts and bolts of travel preparation

For Employers

Cross-border Corporate Volunteering

Niche product or the future of corporate volunteering?