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The 9 Best Volunteer Programs for Alternative Couples Vacations & Unique Honeymoons

Nick Callos
Written By
By Nick Callos
couples volunteer vacation

Tired of seeing the same old honeymoon and vacation ideas? If you and your partner have no desire for the stereotypical beach resort vacation, and instead seek out more meaningful experiences that combine adventure, love, and giving back, this article is for you! 

Planning to volunteer on a honeymoon or couples trip is a wonderful idea. Not only can you truly help others in need, but you and your partner will also benefit. The research proves this:

  • A Mayo Clinic article explains that volunteering can help improve physical and mental health, nurture new and existing relationships, and provide a sense of purpose.
  • 94% of people who’ve volunteered in the past year report having an improved mood. 
  • A Washington Post piece details how the chance to make new connections and learn new skills makes volunteering impactful for many people. 

Going on a volunteer vacation enables you and your partner to uplift communities, experience the “helper’s high”, learn new things, and meet new people. That can make for unforgettable experiences — experiences you simply can’t get at a beach resort. 

What Can You Do on a Couples Volunteer Vacation?

When you go on a volunteer vacation with your significant other, you get the opportunity to do good, immerse yourself in local culture, and ultimately bond on a deeper level. There are a variety of couples volunteer vacations, and what you do ultimately depends on your interests, budget, and goals for the trip. No matter what you choose, you and your partner will be rewriting the travel narrative and letting your love story unfold in an amazing new way.

Some examples of volunteer trips you can take include:

As you can see, you have countless ideas for an alternative couples vacation or unique honeymoon. To make your search easier, we’ve highlighted the 8 best couples volunteer vacations below. 

Top 9 Couples Volunteer Vacations: Unique Honeymoon & Anniversary Trip Ideas 

Here, we’ve listed the 10 best volunteer programs for alternative couples and unique honeymoons. See what programs catch your eye, and apply!

1. Construction Volunteering in Ubud, Bali

Organization: International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ)

volunteer in Bali

Ubud is Bali’s spiritual heartland and a favorite destination for spiritual explorers and couples alike. Through IVHQ, you and your partner can roll up your sleeves and make a tangible impact in the community. Activities include gardening, painting, bricklaying, tiling and more. Your efforts go a long way in improving the quality of life for locals. 

When it comes to couples volunteer vacations, few offer the mix of service and fun that Ubud does. During free time, you and your partner can explore tasty restaurants, beautiful rice terraces, ancient temples, art museums and more. 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: Founded in 2007, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is now regarded as one of the world’s best volunteer travel organizations. To date, IVHQ has placed more than 133,000 people on affordable projects abroad. If you’re looking for alternative vacation ideas such as volunteer trips, IVHQ should be your first stop. Their programs are affordable, memorable, and deliver sustainable value for communities and the environment.

2. Volunteer for Women’s English Literacy in Sri Lanka

Organization: GoEco

Volunteer Forever - 2019 Best Teach Abroad and TEFL Programs

Head to Galle, Sri Lanka, where you and your significant other can help empower women. As an English teaching volunteer, you’ll help women improve their English language skills, enabling them to not only become more employable, but also more confident and empowered. Along the way, you’ll make lasting connections with your students.

Located along the southwest coast, Galle is an amazing destination for a couples volunteer vacation. When you’re not teaching, you can tour the Galle Fort, learn to surf at their famous surfing beaches, take in views of the Indian Ocean, shop for antiques and more. 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: Founded in 2006, GoEco has projects across more than 40 countries and places more than 2,000 volunteers to projects yearly. A leading ecotourism and volunteer company, GoEco has been recommended by major media publications such as the Guardian and Boston Globe. GoEco carefully vets projects to ensure high standards of safety and quality. If you’re looking for alternative honeymoon ideas or couples trips, GoEco has many great trips to offer. 

3. Volunteer on an Organic Coffee Farm in Costa Rica

Organization: Maximo Nivel

couples volunteer vacation in costa rica

Want to literally wake up and smell the coffee? Then this volunteer vacation is for you. As a farming volunteer in Costa Rica, you and your partner will help pick, plant, weed, process and package coffee. Your help ensures farmers can continue to produce income through sustainable eco-agriculture practices. 

When you’re not volunteering, or sampling the delicious coffee, you and your partner can experience Monteverde Cloud Forest or Talamanca mountains (where you’ll volunteer). Before or after your volunteer time, you can also explore Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches, forests, and towns. This country is simply an amazing destination for couples, so enjoy! 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: Maximo Nivel is the top volunteer abroad organization in Latin America, with high-quality projects throughout Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Founded in 2006, Maximo Nivel directly oversees their projects and partners with locally-based institutes. This ensures programs meet the highest standards for quality and safety. If you’re searching for an impactful and immersive volunteer vacation, look no further. 

4. Giant Tortoise and Sea Lion Conservation on the Galapagos Islands

Organization: Projects Abroad

Wildlife, Marine Animal, Veterinary, & Conservation Volunteer Abroad - ABV

Live on the Galapagos Island as a conservation volunteer! You’ll get to assist at the giant tortoise breeding center, remove invasive plants, monitor marine animals such as the sea lion, and participate in community conservation education programs. How amazing is that? 

This volunteer vacation is perfect for couples. You and your partner will enjoy exclusive access to the Galapagos National Park. As you learn, explore, and help preserve the local environment, you’ll be surrounded by some of the world’s most incredible natural beauty. 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad has placed more than 134,000 volunteers in service programs abroad. Known for impactful programs that address key issues for communities and environments, Projects Abroad offers great volunteer support and a hassle-free approach. They take care of you from door to destination. Operating everywhere from the Americas and Europe to Africa and Asia, Projects Abroad has many excellent options for couples volunteer vacations and honeymoons. 

5. Dolphin & Marine Conservation Volunteering in Zanzibar

Organization: African Impact

Wildlife, Marine Animal, Veterinary, & Conservation Volunteer Abroad - African Impact

Journey to Zanzibar, where you’ll stay in a beachside accommodation and engage in important marine research. Volunteer activities include data collection on dolphin behavior, snorkeling to collect coral reef data, and educational outreach in the community. This program is great for a couples volunteer vacation because you get to do amazing things like swim with dolphins in an ethical way!

During free time, the beauty of Zanzibar awaits. Visit historic Stone Town, relax on the beaches, immerse yourself in local culture, and more. 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: Founded in 2004, African Impact develops and grows projects hand-in-hand with local communities. Dedicated teams work directly on the ground in Africa, and volunteers play a crucial role in helping initiatives deliver real, measurable change for communities in need. If you’re looking for alternative honeymoon and couples trip ideas in Africa, African Impact is your go-to choice. The organization offers top-notch volunteer support, along with providing a myriad of unforgettable volunteer abroad opportunities across the continent.

6.  Refugee Humanitarian Work in Greece

Organization: Involvement Volunteers International (IVI)

couples volunteer vacation in Greece

Greece has become a landing spot for refugees fleeing conflict, war and persecution. Refugee camps need the help of volunteers to provide support. As a volunteer, you and your partner will hand out necessities such as shoes, food and shampoo, assist with taxi rides and transportation for hospital visits, and help with sorting and packing in the warehouse. 

The camp is located in Chios, a beautiful island in the Aegean Sea. If you’re looking to make a true difference during your couples volunteer vacation, this program is perfect. 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: Founded in 1989, Involvement Volunteers International (IVI) has a mission to educate, fight poverty, improve health and empower change through sustainable volunteer work. To date, IVI has hosted more than 25,000 volunteers across 23 countries. With 112+ projects, IVI has a variety of volunteer projects suitable for a couples vacation or unique honeymoon. 

7. Endangered Animal Conservation in Australia

Organization: Volunteering Solutions

Wildlife, Marine Animal, Veterinary, & Conservation Volunteer Abroad

Take care of native animals such as the northern and southern hairy-nosed wombats, koalas and the bridled nailtail wallaby. Hosted in Gladstone, a charming coastal city, this project involves working in a rescue and rehab center for injured and wildlife. The goal is to nurse the animals back to health and release them back into the wild. 

When you’re not volunteering, the city of Gladstone is at your fingertips. Visit sights such as Capricornia Cays National Park, Heron Island, and more. 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: A trusted member of the WYSE Travel Confederation, Volunteering Solutions began in 2007 and has placed more than 21,000 volunteers in projects overseas to date. Volunteering Solutions has been featured in major publications such as Culture Trip, Huffington Post, and Mashable — a testament to the quality of their programs. Known for high-quality, affordable, and impactful service projects, the organization is a great option if you’re looking for alternative couples vacations and unique honeymoon ideas. 

8. Marine Conservation Research in Mexico

Organization: Global Vision International (GVI)


Help protect marine life in the Caribbean Sea. On this marine conservation research fellowship, you’ll carry out practical research, including collecting data, conducting surveys, and identifying marine species. During your dives, you could encounter amazing marine life, such as dolphins, sting rays, and reef sharks! 

Hosted in Puerto Morelos, a gorgeous port town on the Yucatan Peninsula, you and your partner will earn PADI diving certification on this trip. During free time, you can go on dives, relax on the beach, dine at restaurants and more. 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: Founded in 1997 by Richard Walton, Global Vision International (GVI) provides volunteer abroad opportunities in North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Europe. An award-winning organization, GVI has placed more than 35,000 volunteers in overseas programs. For couples looking for alternative vacations and honeymoons, you can’t go wrong with any of GVI’s programs. 95% of past volunteers give positive reviews to GVI and say they’d volunteer with them again — a testament to how great their projects are. 

9. Teach Surfing and Provide Life Coaching to Youth in Cape Town, South Africa with Surfpop

Organization: Surfpop


Do you want to empower disadvantaged youth living near Cape Town? Then consider this program for your couples volunteer vacation. Surfpop currently has two youth support programs around Muizenberg, Cape Town. As a volunteer, you’ll teach surfing and the value of active lifestyles, host skills workshops, and provide life coaching and mentorship. 

This program is not only impactful, but also very suitable for a unique honeymoon or couples trip. During free time, you can explore Cape Town, surf, eat, and more with your significant other. 

Interested in this volunteer vacation? Sign up here

About the Organization: Surfpop was founded in 2015 by Daniel Botha and has hosted more than 350+ volunteers to date. Through their programs, Surfpop aims to empower children to live healthier, active lifestyles, as well as provide access to employment opportunities that uplift people from poverty. Surfpop takes a long-term approach, working with each child for an average of 8 years. Once the children enter adulthood, Surfpop helps them find sustainable employment. This helps end the cycle of poverty.

Have the Couples Volunteer Vacation of a Lifetime!

Joining one of the volunteer programs listed in this article is a great idea for alternative couples vacations and unique honeymoons. Not only do you get the chance to help others, but you and your partner can also enjoy a memorable experience that will bring you closer together. 

The top programs for couples volunteer vacations offer a variety of experiences, from helping empower the youth and women to building homes and protecting the environment. Find the project that matches your interests, budget, and goals for your couples trip. 

Now, there’s only one thing left to do: Sign up for a volunteer vacation. Before you know it, you and your partner will be off on the volunteer trip of a lifetime!


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