Volunteering Abroad as a Couple

Relationships require a little bit of magic to thrive. It’s why couples are always looking for new things to experience, like fun dates or vacations.

Volunteering is another way to strengthen your bond — especially if you spend time away from home.

These are the most important things to consider when learning how to volunteer abroad as a couple so you can have a fantastic time.

1. Consider Your Shared Values

Helping others requires your time and focus, but you won’t enjoy the experience as much if you don’t share the same motivations. Talk about the values you share with your partner to pick one for your future of volunteering. 

Selecting up to three will help you narrow down programs or trips to find one that leaves you equally fulfilled. You might also find volunteer options that combine your values. Spending your time doing what’s meaningful to both you and your partner will make volunteering something you want to continue doing together long after your first experience ends.

2. Think About Your Careers

Donating your time can also bolster your career. Before choosing where you’ll volunteer, consider what you both want for your professional lives. Positions that demonstrate your strategic thinking and leadership skills will strengthen your resume and make you a better candidate for promotions or future jobs. You and your partner will get the same experience that benefits your careers by volunteering abroad as a couple.

Couples volunteering abroad"
Partners volunteering abroad"

3. Find Sustainable Opportunities

If you’re always looking for ways to minimize your carbon footprint or live more sustainably with your partner, eco-friendly volunteering could be the best thing for your relationship. You could spend your time caring for wildlife or doing administrative work for environmental nonprofits. You’ll love the bonding opportunities twice as much because your volunteering will help the planet as much as it helps your relationship.

4. Pick a Dream Destination

Volunteering is also an opportunity to finally cross destinations off of your bucket list. You’ll travel the world while helping others, which is incredibly rewarding for couples. You can even travel sustainably by choosing eco-friendly lodging and transportation so your jet setting doesn’t cause your carbon footprint to grow. All you have to do is agree on the ultimate getaway spot and find local volunteer events while you’re in town.

Couple volunteering destination abroad"
Volunteering with dogs"

5. Make It Your Honeymoon

Couples that want to give back to communities but don’t have much room in their budgets can pick a special occasion that requires travel anyway. After getting married, you could honeymoon as volunteers abroad to make your spending twice the investment. You’ll get to do two things you love on a single budget. It’s also an easy way to fill your honeymoon time if you don’t have the spending money for tourist attractions and other expensive activities while you’re away from home.

6. List Your Must-Have Features

Traveling to new places will throw you into unexpected situations. You may sign up to clean the ocean with a nonprofit organization but only realize you have to sleep in a tent once you get there. If you or your partner can’t stand the idea of camping on a beach, your bonding experience will quickly turn into a regrettable waste of time.

Every couple needs to list their must-have features before selecting a volunteer effort together. Your partner may not want to go anywhere without air conditioning, while you can’t picture yourself doing anything other than working with animals. Figuring out what you won’t compromise on will make your volunteering much more enjoyable.

Volunteering abroad at a monkey sanctuary"
Volunteer downtime"

Start Volunteering Abroad as a Couple

Now that you know how to volunteer abroad as a couple, you’ll use these steps to create the ultimate getaway. Think about what you both want to do, what neither of you wan to do and where you want to go to plan how you’ll help others while strengthening your relationship.

Globalteer guest author Ginger
Author - Ginger Abbot

Ginger Abbot is a learning and education writer with a personal passion for study abroad and international travel. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Classrooms.com, where you can read more of her work.