Author: FundMyTravel (page 1 of 13)

A Thailand Budget Travel Guide

Southeast Asia has been a popular destination for travelers, vacationers, and volunteers alike for quite a while now. And rightfully so! The breathtaking vistas, some of the world’s most pristine beaches, plus friendly, welcoming locals all put Thailand at the top of many travel bucket lists.

woman sitting on a boat in ko tao, thailand

Is Thailand cheap to visit? Depending on your savings and exchange rate, you might be able to travel like a queen.

For many in the West, Southeast Asia is an affordable destination and a great start to a life of international travel, and Thailand is no exception. It’s not a coincidence that this destination has been popular for so long. For those backpacking Southeast Asia, Thailand is a must. Traveling through Thailand on a budget is very common and rather easy to do.

Thailand has not only been attractive to vacationers, but also for those interested in volunteering, studying, and teaching abroad. It’s one of the most popular destinations in all of Asia.

Why’s that? Well, the cost of living is relatively low, Thai culture is very accustomed to welcoming foreigners in to their peaceful way of life, you can get by only speaking English (though it’s recommended to learn a few of the basics of the local language) the weather is quite agreeable, and there are endless things to do and experience.

Is Thailand cheap to visit?

If you’re traveling with Euros, Pounds, or any kind of Dollar in your pockets, you’ll most likely find Thailand to be affordable. Keeping in mind that affordability is relative, the cost of travel in Thailand is pretty cheap. To some neighboring countries, the standard of living in Thailand is a bit high, but for many folks, it’s rather low. Low enough to still enjoy yourself without missing out on incredible experiences all while creating beautiful memories along the way!

Traveling Thailand on a budget

mats on the floor of a wooden structure in ko tao, thailand

You might have to rough it during a budget trip to Thailand, but the views will always be top-notch.

1. Where to go

There are so many places to visit while traveling Thailand on a budget; there are the bustling well-known metropolises, the bumping islands in the south, or the villages scattered throughout the mountain-clade north. Here are some suggestions to help you plan a budget trip to Thailand (from most to least affordable):

  • Chang Dao
  • Koh Samui
  • Kanchanaburi
  • Chiang Rai
  • Chiang Mai
  • Phuket
  • Bangkok

2. What to do

What to do, what to do! Hit the beaches, check out the cities, visit the temples, eat the food, go hiking, and then some. Getting to know the culture while rubbing elbows with nature is one highly recommended way to spend your time in this exciting nation. Here are some Thailand budget travel insider tips on what to do:

  • Snorkel off the shores of the islands
  • Island hop
  • Visit temples & palaces
  • Stroll through the open air markets
  • Hike in the mountains
  • Get a massage
  • Talk with the locals

3. How to travel

It might be difficult to tell you how to travel, but there are various means of transportation which should be included in your Thailand budget travel guide. As you might imagine, public transit is often your best bet, but in Thailand you have some options.

Public transit isn’t only the buses and metro — there’s a heck of a lot more. In Bangkok, you’ll surely find it all, from the metro to famous Thai tuk-tuks, but in smaller locales there’s less of a variety.

boat emerging from cave in thailand

Luckily, public transportation doesn’t add TOO much to the cost of travel in Thailand.

Remember: You can always use your feet! Walking is an excellent way to explore a new (or old) destination but it might not fit your timeline to walk from the islands in the south to the mountains in the north. Your feet will be most practical if you’re heading out to a market or roaming about a city.

Thinking about flying? Domestic flights can usually be booked at comparatively affordable rates. Sometimes you can find them so cheap, you might not even consider a bus or the train. For example, flying from Bangkok to Phuket could cost you as little as 20 bucks. (Note: Think sustainably; flying is not going to help decrease your carbon footprint.)

So, here are some suggestions to help you move about without breaking the bank while  traveling around Thailand on a budget:

  • Tuk-tuks
  • Motorcycle Taxis
  • Songthaew (a pick-up truck with seating in the bed)
  • Taxis
  • Buses
  • Bangkok BTS Skytrain
  • Bangkok MRT Subway
  • Flying

4. Other costs to consider

While we’ve scratched the surface with where, what, and how to budget travel in Thailand, there are so many other expenses that shouldn’t be forgotten. Are you planning to study abroad or volunteer while away? What about food? And your accommodation! It’s not recommended to sleep under the moonlight for more than one full moon party, so you’re going to need a place to rest your head.

Consider some of these other expenses to diminish the chances of any unpleasant surprises while traveling through Thailand on a budget:

  • Program costs. Be it a volunteer program, a TEFL certification course, or a study abroad program, you will certainly want to take these program fees into account. It’s hard to say what program fees are going to look like since there are so many to choose from and so many factors influencing the price. Keep in mind that the cost will depend on the duration and the program type. Volunteer programs are usually more affordable than study abroad programs but their durations are often variable.
  • Food. Eat all of it! Anything you see. Eat it. Thai food is mouthwatering and not a cuisine you’ll want to shy away from anytime soon. If you haven’t yet tried it, you’re in for a real sweet and salty treat. What should be noted is that street food is often fried and therefore you’ll be less likely to catch any unwanted bugs, so go for it. Basically, anything that you can find which is not Westernized will be more affordable. Street food is often the cheapest option, behind preparing fresh produce for yourself from the markets. Also, keep your sousing to a minimum if you must say, “cheers!” Cutting back on alcohol will save you more money than you think.
  • Accommodations. This is all about where you want to rest your head. One way to keep your cost of travel in Thailand down is to share accommodation; find a friend to room with or consider hostels for shorter stays. If you’re going to Thailand on a program, they often offer affordable options which typically include a homestay. Staying with a local family will not only help you save a few bucks, but it’s also an exceptional window into legitimate Thai culture…which includes local delicacies!

Traveling Thailand on a budget is easier with FMT 

Is traveling on a budget still not budget enough for you? No worries, mate. FundMyTravel is here to save your day (or trip!). Phone some friends to see if they can help give you a hand. FMT is a stellar way to ask the crowd (aka crowdsourcing) for some financial support. There are only four steps and let us tell you, It’s ridiculously simple.

First, you’ll create your campaign. Then, spread the word! FMT allows you to easily share your fundraising campaign through built-in social media and email buttons — and this is the most important part of your campaign. You’ll want to cast your net wide and far.

Then, it’s nearly all taken care of. You’ll (fingers crossed) get funded because donations are automatically sent to your account. There’s no need to have your goal amount fully reached to receive your donations. And voila! You’re good to go.

Ready to take a budget trip to Thailand?

man laying on pool float in thailand

Traveling through Thailand on a budget? No worries.

Is Thailand cheap to visit? With your handy Thailand budget travel guide, it will be! Start working on your personal budget, sign up for an account on FMT, and you’re halfway there. We bet you can smell the pad thai already.

Sign Up for FMT and Create a Campaign for Your Trip to Thailand!

What to Know About the Best (and Cheapest) Travel Insurance

Imagine: You’re trekking to Machu Picchu, but miss a step, fall, and injure your ankle. Hopefully nothing like this ever happens, but when you’re abroad, having the best (and cheapest) travel insurance can be a game-changer.

man jumping in front of machu picchu

That guy definitely sprained an ankle.

Do I need travel insurance?

In short: most likely! While you’re abroad, your U.S. health insurance might not cover you to the extent you need it to, or perhaps not at all. That’s where some good, affordable international travel insurance comes in! But before we go over some quality and low cost travel insurance options, here are some reasons you might need it and questions to ask.

  • Does my U.S. insurance plan cover me abroad? If so, what does it cover? Do you need pre-authorization to be treated or be admitted to a hospital abroad? Before you go abroad, call your health insurance provider to find out exactly what international incidents they would cover, how much coverage, what it does not cover (adventure sports, natural disasters, terrorist attacks), and if pre-authorization is needed for any treatment.
  • Will I be participating in adventure sports or activities? Scuba diving, rock climbing, hang gliding, etc. are often not covered in many basic travel insurance policies. If your US insurance covers you abroad, they may not cover these incidents. Find out. If you’re planning on doing anything considered active or adventure sports-related, make sure your health insurance plan includes coverage for these activities.
  • Will I be traveling in remote areas or places with limited medical services? If you’re planning a 10-day trek through a rural area, and the nearest major city is a plane ride or a few days’ backpacking trip away, think about this. If you will be in areas with limited access to medical facilities, look into a health insurance plan that includes a higher amount of medical evacuation coverage. Around $500,000 or above should be sufficient for remote areas, but some plans go up to $1 million. This is the plan that will cover expenses for transporting you from where you are to a hospital that can adequately provide for you, and if need be, get you back to your home country for treatment.
  • And if it’s low cost travel insurance that you’re after, check what’s included!

Also keep these details in mind when on the hunt for the best and cheapest travel insurance:

  • Alcohol, drugs, etc. Many plans won’t cover accidents or injury if you were taking drugs or drinking alcohol at the time of the incident, or if you weren’t wearing a helmet while riding a motorbike or motorcycle. Read the policies carefully.
  • Carry the insurance contact information. Print out your policy, carry copies in your carry-on and with you on day trips, and know the number to call to receive pre-authorization for treatment, if needed. If possible, look up English-speaking hospitals in your area, and find out where the nearest hospitals in-network for your plan are located.
  • Keep all receipts from everything. Whether you’re prescribed medicine, admitted to a clinic, or pay for anything for medical treatment up front, keep the receipts. You can then submit them to your travel insurance company as a claim.
  • Deductibles and plan cost — what is right for me? A deductible is the amount you are responsible to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance plan kicks in and begins helping pay for your costs. For example, if a plan deductible is $1,000, it means you would pay out-of-pocket for all medical treatment up to $1,000. After $1,000, your plan starts sharing costs.

Know your out-of-pocket costs for the best, affordable travel insurance

woman sitting on cliff in norway

If you plan on sitting on the edge of the world, you’ll want the best affordable travel insurance.

Usually, plans with higher deductibles will be cheaper, and more expensive plans will have a lower, or even $0 deductible. When you’re deciding what low cost travel insurance is right for you, look at what the plan covers and always know your anticipated trip and medical needs. You don’t want to opt for the lowest cost travel insurance only to find out it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions or wouldn’t cover you for the adventure activities you plan to do!

If you really want a cheap plan, ask yourself if you wouldn’t mind paying up-front for some medical costs until you reach the plans deductible. You may find you wouldn’t mind paying more for a plan if it means a lower or non-existent deductible, meaning the plan would immediately begin sharing medical costs, should a big emergency happen abroad.

3 options for affordable travel insurance

While “inexpensive” is certainly relative, we chose the best and cheapest travel insurance plans below because they also offer flexible options and quality coverage. (Quality coverage meaning the plan is best suited for your trip and your needs, while you also get the most bang for your buck.)

Look for plans that offer sufficient emergency medical coverage (at least $50,000 is a good start) and medical evacuation coverage of at least $100,000. However, if you’re traveling in a more remote area, you may consider higher coverage. Some plans reach up to $250,000 and more for emergency evacuation coverage.

Finally, be sure to review each of the health insurance providers’ plans carefully to get full information and details on coverage and exclusions, since information and prices can change from the date this blog was published.

When calculating the one month quotes for the plans below, we selected a sample participant as 27-year-old from California, USA, traveling to Peru. Quotes can vary based on age, duration of trip, and the country you’re traveling to, so be sure to use the quote calculator on each provider’s website to know your personal quote.

1. Tokio Marine’s Atlas Travel

This is a great, inexpensive travel insurance that allows for a lot of customization, meaning you can choose different plans of varying coverage amounts and deductibles. Their Atlas Travel insurance starts at $50,000 in emergency medical care, with options increasing all the up to $2 million in coverage.

The coverage also includes some awesome medical evacuation coverage: $1 million lifetime maximum. Finally, you can choose coverage that includes the U.S. and abroad, if you’ll be spending time in the U.S. during any part of your adventure.

Now let’s talk about costs. A 4-week trip with $100,000 in emergency medical coverage and a $0 deductible will cost you about $37 for 4 weeks of coverage. Remember, the deductible is the amount you must pay by yourself before your plan will start helping you cover costs.

Atlas Travel is great because you can customize your deductible. If you choose the same plan of $100,000 in emergency medical coverage but with a higher deductible of $1,000, the plan is cheaper: $23 total. You can mix and match deductibles and coverage amounts to find the best option to suit your comfort, trip needs, and budget. Sounds like some of the best and cheapest travel insurance to us! Get a quote

2. World Nomads

This is a very popular insurance for backpackers, adventure enthusiasts, and long-term travelers, since the plans cover over 200 sport and adventure activities. You can choose from a “Standard” or “Explorer” plan. Both plans cover up to $100,000 for emergency medical services and $750 for emergency dental treatment.

The Explorer plan offers higher coverage amounts for some areas, like $500,000 for emergency evacuation and repatriation, whereas the Standard plans offers $300,000. As a great perk, both plans offer $25,000 in coverage in the event of a non-medical emergency evacuation, like if there was civil unrest or natural disaster that expels you from the country.

Finally, the coverage for adventure sports also varies between the Standard and Explorer plans, with Standard plans covering activities like leisure horseback riding and Explorer covering more adventure sports like ice climbing or paragliding.

Many people like World Nomads because the website interface is easy to use, and they provide 24/7 assistance, should you need to call them for advice about claims or any questions about coverage. As for costs, for one month in Peru, the Standard plan is $137 and the Explorer plan is $240. Get a quote

3. Allianz Global Assistance

Allianz offers an array of plans that cater to both leisure and business travelers. This plan is also great for frequent jetsetters, since their annual policy will protect all of your trips within that year. They also offer coverage options for pre-existing conditions.

Be sure to review the policy carefully to be sure any of your pre-existing conditions meet the coverage requirements, and to ensure you’re in line with the policy rules.

Now, let’s talk costs. For up to $50,000 in medical emergency coverage, the “One Trip Premier” plan costs $138. The annual plan will cost $500, which includes $50,000 in emergency medical coverage. Get a quote

Help cover your travel insurance costs with FMT

If the costs of all of this has you cringing, you can try and fundraise all or part of the money you need for the best affordable travel insurance. There are so many easy and creative ways to fundraise! Set up a FundMyTravel fundraiser page to share your awesome travel plans and raise money for your trip.

Online fundraisers make it easy to share your link with family and friends. Ask for donations towards your trip in lieu of a holiday, birthday, or graduation gift, and get creative with fundraising! With a compelling story and great promotion, many people fund all or part of their overseas experiences, whether it’s volunteering, teaching, or taking a gap year abroad.

Find the lowest cost travel insurance today!

man jumping off cliff into water

Even the best and cheapest travel insurance might not cover recklessness. Double and triple check what your policy covers.

While scouring the internet for the best affordable travel insurance might seem like a mundane trip detail or something you don’t think you’ll need, it’s worth it. Quality, low cost travel insurance isn’t hard to find, and with a little planning, you can find a plan that will not only give you peace of mind, but the needed coverage for any major or minor emergency.

That way, you can be off trekking through Chile, scuba diving in Mexico, or backpacking through Thailand knowing you have the support you need!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter For More Affordable Travel Tips!

9 Budget Travel Tips for Volunteering Abroad

Have plans to head abroad as a volunteer, yet not exactly sure how the cards will play out? Sounds right. The seed has most likely been planted and the idea is starting to really blossom. Well, you need to figure out how to fund your next greatest adventure now! But how do you do it? What does that actually mean? Well, let us tell you.

person wearing volunteer t-shirt

Having an arsenal of budget travel tips will save you money while volunteering abroad!

Budget traveling is often synonymous with cheap traveling, but it doesn’t have to be. And if so, there’s nothing inherently wrong with cheap travel anyway. Let’s call it the subtle art of combining decent living with economy while out and about in the world, working within whatever means you have.

Whether your budget is five grand or five hundo, having a budget can help you get arranged, giving yourself some structure, while providing a bit of visibility for your future (travel) plans. Keeping in mind a few helpful low budget travel tips will surely help you keep to your shoestring travel budget while maximizing your experience. Win, win, right? Cha-ching!

Is budget traveling as a volunteer even possible?

Cheap travel is rather easy to come by. Cheap travel tips are easy to come by too. There are pages upon pages. While helpful, they aren’t always the most relevant to you. Budget traveling as a volunteer abroad looks similar to budget traveling on holiday — but now you should take into account what you desire from your volunteer abroad experience and what you need.

Other factors like where you want to go, when, and how much time you can afford to volunteer are important as well. To volunteer abroad on a budget, you should be on the look-out for budget-friendly programs that are within your means.

This is normally the staple in your volunteer abroad diet. But that’s just the beginning. Check out some of these other budget travel tips to help you plan for your adventures volunteering abroad!

9 cheap travel tips for volunteering abroad

person serving street food

Looking for low budget travel tips? Hit the streets for some of the cheapest (and yummiest) cuisine in your destination.

1. Choose an affordable destination

No two destinations are equal. Consider starting your budget traveling with a budget-friendly destination. Think about those big-ticket items like your flights, program fees, and accommodation expenses. A flight to Europe may be less expensive, though the cost of living and program fees are often much less in Southeast Asia, for example. Shop around. Extending your stay a few days or weeks might actually help keep costs down.

2. Shop around for programs

One of the most important budget travel tips to remember is to shop around for programs. There are so many options. Browse programs to see what’s on the market before deciding where you’re off to. This will help you get the most bang for your buck. See what different programs offer; some program fees might include airport transfers or a homestay situation (which often include meals). Finding your perfect match might take a few swipes to the right.

3. Create a FundMyTravel campaign

Developing a FundMyTravel personalized fundraiser to help defer your expenses is another cheap travel tip. Asking for financial support from those around you (both near and far) could help you realize your dreams of a volunteer trip abroad. FindMyTravel is super simple. Create your account, develop your cause, and publish it on social media. It will help to have a budget in mind, so make sure to do some research into your ideal experience before launching your campaign.

4. Share your living expenses

Consider or make it a priority to live with others. Whether that be a local, a homestay, or with fellow volunteers, sharing your accommodation is a top-notch way to enhance your experience abroad. It can be an enriching cultural experience while living a touch smarter. Sharing your accommodation can lead to great things, like impromptu dinners and new friendships. It might even divide your living expenses in half. Just sayin’.

5. Book roundtrip airfare

As much as you want to just see what happens and go where the wind might blow you, booking roundtrip airfare is often cheaper than buying one-way tickets. This isn’t a secret — check out any low budget travel tip list. Be sure to scour a handful of search engines, remember to delete your cookies from time-to-time, and consider +/-3 days when choosing the date of your flights. Also try different airports. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly into one city and take the train to your final destination, if that’s an option. Have a look to see what your options are.

6. Use a budget

This may seem rather redundant, but oh-so important. Devise a budget! Create a budget for the trip as a whole, but also a weekly or daily budget to stick to. Keeping within your means while abroad is also important. Give yourself an allowance and make an effort to follow it. Budget traveling tips will always recommend creating and following a budget. It’s always a great idea, but trying to volunteer in Paris on a budget might not be. See for yourself!

7. Pack lighter

Always. And for many reasons. Your flights may only include a carry-on, for example. Take less rather than paying hefty luggage fees at the crowded check-in desk. It would be nice to have some extra space in the event that you would like to bring something special home, too. Packing light will allow you to travel lighter. Any time not spent in front of an empty luggage carrousel is time exploring your new destination.

8. Eat like a local

Yes, please! In some destinations this could mean eating-in, while in others it is eating-out. Eating local is surely a flavorful way to rub elbows with culture. It’s as if the meal is the tip of a cultural iceberg you can’t even fathom. Furthermore, being aware of what the locals do can help you eat, and spend, like one too. It might also mean packing your lunch. You can brown-bag it to your placement for a few weeks — it will be alright.

9. Get accustomed to public transit

Whether it’s your feet, a bike, or something communal like the bus, taking public transit is one of the cheapest ways to move about. It’s also another stellar way to rub elbows with the local culture. Whether you find yourself on a pedal rickshaw in Southeast Asia, a jeepney honking its way through one of the Filipino islands, or buses in South America, you’re sure to have an interesting experience taking public transit abroad. This can also help you save wads of cash in the meantime!

Budget traveling as a volunteer abroad is possible!

woman crossing bridge in madagascar

We hope that backpack is full of budget traveling tips.

Of course budget traveling while volunteering is possible. There’s always a solution, right? Budget traveling isn’t a matter of giving things up — it’s about being more mindful of your expenses and saving where you can so you don’t have to make such drastic sacrifices.

Just make more informed decisions and plan ahead a bit. That’s something you can start doing now! Imagine saving yourself $5 a day for the next two weeks. That adds up real quick. And if you have a few months before leaving, it’s even more. Get ahead of the game and start saving now.

Consider taking public transit now to save on gas at home, and start looking for the right program. Speaking of the right program, have a look at some of these cheap volunteer abroad destinations to help you get started. While you’re thinking of it, create your FundMyTravel campaign STAT and start rallying up your family and friends — y’all are in this together!

With some of these budget traveling tips in your back pocket, you’ll be ready in no time.

Sign Up and Create a Campaign For Your Meaningful Volunteer Experience

7 Social Media Fundraising Tips (+ 5 Examples)

Social media has changed the game for—well, just about #everything! From fast fashion, to gig-sharing, to hive mind research, to political activism, social media platforms have become the town criers we look to for knowing what’s up. And with that kind of reach and impact, if you’re thinking about sharing your travel campaign fundraising goals via social, you can really cash in…as long as you make sure that you have a social media fundraising strategy that works for you!

phone taking a photo of a woman

What will be the most important component of your social media fundraising strategy? YOU.

When it comes to social media fundraising, one of the key factors for success is sharing copy that supports your cause and feels like it’s unique to you. No generic copy, no stock photos, no boring or cliché language here! The posts you share need to inspire others to click, to get to know you, and to want to support your cause. So, how do you do it? Well, we’ve got seven tips—and 5 social media fundraising examples—to help you get started. So, let’s go!

7 tips for social media fundraising

1. Decide on the best platform.

If you’re trying to share the power of your cause to a wider audience, exploring social media fundraising ideas is a great place to start to expand your reach!

Just remember that all platforms are not created equally, and some even have prohibitions against asking for money or hidden costs. Some platforms (like YouTube or Vimeo) are great for video, while other platforms (like Twitter and Facebook) make it super easy to repost or share. And some (like FundMyTravel) are geared toward specific causes, like meaningful travel experiences around the world.  

2. Make sure you’re maximizing the power of your photos and videos.

Images make all the difference when you’re fundraising through social media. The right photo will inspire curiosity, motivate viewers to click through, and share the unique opportunities that your individual campaign will provide. And while all of that is the goal, you need to make sure that the photos you’re using are your own, safe to post, and don’t include any unintended people, places, or details. With that in mind, do a little research on the power of photos and videos to help support your campaign!

[Related: What is Online Fundraising?]

3. Use written copy that sounds like you.

When you’re exploring ways to use social media fundraising in your campaign, you’re going to need to share your message with your audience. Yes, you want to write copy that converts, but even more importantly, that written messaging needs to sound like you wrote it. The messaging on your social media should sound like an actual conversation with you, not like it came from some kind of generic copy-bot. When in doubt, ask a friend, “Does this sound like me?” and listen to what they tell you. Remember, feedback is a gift!

4. Be certain that the message is clear about how people can help!

If you have just the right photo and perfect written copy, but don’t make it clear how people can help, your social media fundraising strategy has some big gaps! This means make the ask specific, time-bound, actionable, and super-clear! You might think it’s obvious by looking at it, but given that everyone spends so much of their social time connecting online, the difference between a general update and a clear call to action can make all the difference in the world!

5. Allow cross-posting—and invite others to share your posts.

When you share to social, you need to make sure that your posts are easily shareable so that your friends can share with their friends, and inspire others to get your message out there! If your goal is to maximize fundraising through social media, you want to grab that first opportunity to get others to share. And don’t be afraid to look on social media sales, marketing, and advertising sites for tips! The end goal might be different, but the motivations can be the same.

6. Refresh your message periodically, but don’t get spammy.

Be sure to post your message in multiple places, but don’t forget to refresh that content! At the same time, if you’re looking at the best social media fundraising examples, you’ll notice that they seem to have a magic touch about posting, reposting, and helping their message have real staying power. Not to worry if this particular tip gives you some anxiety; there are all kinds of metrics and data points out there about the perfect posting schedule, but the best thing to do is keep it simple, fresh, and relevant—and make your message timely and genuine, just like you!

7. Learn from others about campaigns that really work!

When you do your research and really do the groundwork to prepare for a project, you learn about the mistakes that could be made (and how to avoid them) but you also get to see what works! And even if companies like Starbucks, Spotify, and Gillette aren’t raising funds for specific campaigns, they’ve done a great job at encouraging their followers to be a part of their story. Don’t forget about the power of inclusion in your messaging—it really makes a difference!

[Related: 8 Fundraising Mistakes Made Online (and How to Avoid Them)]

5 social media fundraising examples

1. World Wide Fund for Nature

social media fundraising examples

Why we like it: This powerful campaign uses the exceptional imagery, short but high-impact copy, and a #LastSelfie hashtag that inspires viewers to action (whether that’s to donate or share)! It even includes an easy text option, making this a social media fundraising worth copying!

2. #TapCancerOut

social media fundraising examples

Why we like it: This fundraiser combines the high-octane energy from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu matches with the opportunity to save lives by raising money for cancer research. By creating a simple but effective hashtag (#tapcancerout), and sharing all kinds of real-world action shots, the energy of this campaign is intense and contagious! 

social media fundraising examples3. FundMyTravel

 

Why we like it: When you consider the energy of the copy in this post, and you look at the ways in which the poster engaged their own social media fundraising strategy, it’s no surprise that this campaign has more than reached its goal! The tone and message is specific, but also genuine—and the copy includes a great balance between passion and action plans.

4. Charity Watersocial media fundraising examples

Why we like it: When you combine high-impact prose, your own campaign hashtag, an invitation to engage with a video (meaning the opportunity to see real people), and some striking imagery, you can see why this is one of the featured social media fundraising examples for you to take some inspo from!

5. The Humane Society of the United States

social media fundraising examples

Why we like it: Everyone knows that puppies and kittens are practically irresistible, but people tend to click off (rather than on) animals that appear to be in distress. This social media fundraising campaign makes the discomfort easier to engage while giving voice to the pup in the photo. And there, right in red, is that call to action that makes all the difference to their cause.

Don’t forget to add FundMyTravel to your social media fundraising strategy

Now that you’ve seen all kinds of tips and social media fundraising examples to help you work with your content and campaigns in a more engaging way, what’s next? Well, if you’re considering how best to connect with your audience for getting the funds you need for your next big adventure, be sure to sign up for a free account with FundMyTravel today!

Not only do you want to use all the general platforms, but if your goal is to raise funds for meaningful travel experiences, this targeted platform for sharing travel-related fundraising campaigns includes all kinds of free resources, a blog with useful information, and even a social media wall with active campaigns that will help you see how it’s done.

Fundraising through social media will make your life MUCH easier

iphone screen full of apps

In today’s global, digital world, social media fundraising is one of the best ways to get your campaign off the ground!

It might seem like there are all kinds of rules to follow when developing a social media fundraising strategy, but actually, once you get your structure set up, fundraising through social media will make your life much easier! Just think about how many times you engage Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or SnapChat. Those platforms offer billions of users combined, which means millions of options for sharing your social media fundraising ideas with a wide, global audience!

When you want to expand the reach for your cause, fundraising through social media also brings your campaign to life. You can feature real people, places, and things through video and imagery. You can appeal to your funders and donors using your own voice. You can enhance your written requests with compelling multimedia, and you can make it as easy to give as it is to tap a screen or click a button. When you focus on fundraising through social media, you can increase the opportunities to share your message and reach your goals!

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andi sciaccaThis article was written by Andi Sciacca. Andi is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their four-legged family. She works with inspired professionals who are expert practitioners, experienced educators, and well-known contributors to their field. Andi helps them take ideas and put them into practice. When not working or writing, she loves to experience music, see the world, and learn new things. Andi’s favorite places to travel include anywhere she can eat good food—and swim.

You Can’t Volunteer Abroad for Free—Here’s Why That’s Good

Whenever you plan an international adventure, it’s natural to do your research, budget, and try to cut costs when possible. After all, it can cost a boatload to travel overseas. If you’re planning to volunteer abroad, you’ve made the decision to broaden your horizons and travel in a meaningful way, while also putting in hard manual labor…for free. So why do all these volunteer abroad programs expect you to pay them?

group photo of volunteers in blue shirts

It’s frustrating not being able to volunteer abroad for free, but it’s actually for the best!

No matter what you heard from friends or read on the internet, you can’t volunteer abroad for free. But before throwing away the idea of volunteering abroad because of the cost, listen up because this is actually a good thing. You may be asking yourself, why do I have to pay to volunteer abroad? Well, it’s time to find out where your money goes when you join cheap volunteer abroad programs.

Why do I have to pay to volunteer abroad?

Volunteering abroad may mean working for free, but have you ever thought about the work that goes into organizing and managing a volunteer abroad program? Here you’ll find all the reasons you can’t volunteer abroad for free, so you can stop wondering, why do I have to pay to volunteer abroad?

1. Operation costs

Have you ever wondered where the supplies come from on a volunteer abroad program? If you’re volunteering at a hospital, you need medicine and medical equipment. If you’re volunteering on a construction site, you need building material, concrete, paint, and tools. You can’t carry out a mission without the equipment and supplies, and if you volunteer abroad for free, where do these things come from?

A huge portion of your program fee goes toward buying the materials needed to carry out the placement. That’s right, there’s a reason there’s no such thing as free volunteer abroad! Without program fees, there would be no opportunity for you to make a difference.

[Related: 8 Fundraising Mistakes Made Online (and How to Avoid Them)]

2. Living expenses

In addition to operation costs, most volunteer programs house and feed you. You may stay in a volunteer house with meals provided, and others may opt to live with a local host family who cooks for you each night. Some programs even offer packages that include airport pickup and roundtrip transportation to the work site each day. And that ain’t free!

view of basic room

Your accommodation is usually included in your program fee, and it’ll vary depending on where you’re volunteering.

Volunteering abroad may require a program fee, but consider what you would spend on your living expenses if you were traveling on your own. Often, the fees you pay are worth the price. If you try to cheat the system to volunteer abroad for free, your organization will be paying to host you, making your stay an even greater burden. 

3. Salaries for volunteer organization staff

While wondering why do I have to pay to volunteer abroad, you may not immediately think of the people behind the scenes. Someone needs to run these volunteer programs and make sure the organization is managed properly to make optimum impact. While non-profits often make some money through donations and grants, many volunteer organizations charge program fees so they can pay their staff.

If you’re wondering if the program is trustworthy, ask them where your money goes. Most volunteer programs won’t let you volunteer abroad for free, but they will at least give you a clear breakdown of how they spend the program fees to sustain the organization.

4. Logistics

Planning overseas travel can be overwhelming, especially if you’re traveling to a place you have never been before. You need to work out your flights, visas, transportation, accommodation, and so much more with a volunteer placement abroad. But with volunteer programs, you don’t have to lift a finger. It’s almost like buying an all-inclusive holiday, only you get a whole lot more out a volunteer experience by giving back to the community.

Instead of wasting time searching for free volunteer abroad programs, pay the fee to let someone take care of the logistics for you, link you to a partner organization, and take the pressure off your shoulders.

5. Orientation

group of volunteers in india

High quality on-site training is another reason why you’ll be hard pressed to find free volunteer abroad.

You may be working for free, but volunteer work is still work. You need to learn about your new role and undergo some training so you can make a real difference. Luckily, most volunteer placements offer an orientation program so you can meet your fellow volunteers and learn about the work you’ll do once you get started.

Sometimes these orientations even include a cultural excursion and language training to help you get acquainted with the etiquette of your new surroundings. If you volunteer for free, you’ll miss out on this introduction to the placement, as they won’t be able to pay the staff to provide it.

6. On-the-ground support

Volunteering abroad puts you in a new environment. You’re in a different country with a new culture and customs. You experience the challenges that come with any type of international travel, while also being subject to extreme living conditions when you stay in rural communities exposed to poverty.

What if you get sick? What if you have trouble with your visa? What happens if you don’t speak the local language? All volunteer programs have local support to help you in those situations, so you won’t ever feel alone. On-the-ground support can give you (and your parents) a little peace of mind that you wouldn’t have with free volunteer abroad programs.

[Related: How to Raise Money to Volunteer Abroad]

7. Excursions

Volunteering abroad is not all about work—it’s an adventure, too. After all, you could stay home and volunteer in your local community, but volunteering abroad offers the opportunity to make a difference while also exploring a new country. On days off, you’ll want to explore the local area, whether that means spending the day at the beach, on a safari, or wandering through a nearby village.

Volunteer programs often provide excursions on non-work days, so you can experience more of the country while getting to know your team and the culture better. Instead of wondering why do I have to pay to volunteer abroad, embrace that “all-inclusive travel” mindset. 

4 cheap volunteer abroad programs

group of people putting hands in the middle

So maybe you can’t volunteer abroad for free, but you CAN find cheap volunteer abroad programs!

You may not be able to volunteer abroad for free, but you can certainly save a pretty penny with cheap volunteer abroad programs. Here are a few that offer top-notch service, excellent adventures, and low costs.

1. International Volunteer HQ

IVHQ is a world-renowned volunteer program, and the organization has often been deemed the most trusted and most affordable volunteer program abroad. With placements in over 40 destinations, you can plan the volunteer placement of your dreams, whether that means teaching in Buenos Aires or working in elephant conservation in Sri Lanka. If you’re looking for cheap volunteer abroad programs, IVHQ is where it’s at! With fees as low as $10 per day, you won’t need to break the bank to volunteer abroad.

2. GoEco

If you’re looking for cheap volunteer abroad programs and have a passion for wildlife, GoEco is the perfect program for you. This award-winning program works specifically with volunteer projects in wildlife and environmental conservation. Ever considered volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary with cuddly koalas in Australia? How about rescuing sea turtles in Bali? GoEco is a nature lovers dream come true. Not only can you find some of the best ecological placements, but affordable program fees draw volunteers from all over the world.

3. Love Volunteers

Love Volunteers specializes in cheap volunteer abroad programs and a personalized experience. This small company only has a handful of staff members who are dedicated to helping people in developing countries worldwide. They work directly with local organizations to keep administrative costs low, so most of your money goes directly to the cause. You may not volunteer abroad for free, but at least your money goes to a good place with Love Volunteers. Whether you want to teach yoga to children in India or work on a farm in New Zealand, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of cheap volunteer abroad programs.

4. Kaya Responsible Travel

Kaya is another top program, voted one of the best cheap volunteer abroad programs in the world. They work with sustainable, locally-led, ethical projects, so you can trust them with your money. Kaya works with each volunteer to match your skills and interests to projects that need you. Your experience will certainly be meaningful, as you’ll join a mission that will maximize your specific skill set. Whether you want a short-term program in Latin America, or a long-term stint in Africa, Kaya guarantees the experience of a lifetime.

Volunteer abroad for free with FundMyTravel

The lack of free volunteer abroad programs shouldn’t deter you from making a difference in a community that needs you. If you’re worried about covering the program fee to get you on the ground, there are always ways to raise the funds. Share your experience with others and encourage the people around you to make a difference too, through FundMyTravel. You’ll find people are always willing to give to a good cause, so create a campaign and make it personal. This way, you can cover the funds to get you abroad, and your friends and family can feel like they’re part of the experience!

Free volunteer abroad is too good to be true – for good reason!

volunteer socializing among people

Your volunteer abroad fee will make your life MUCH easier than if it was all for free.

Stop wondering why do I have to pay to volunteer abroad, and embrace the fact that paying to volunteer is worth it! Sure, you may be paying to work for no wage, but you also benefit immensely from volunteering abroad; you’ll quench your wanderlust, learn new skills, and feel all the warm fuzzies that come with helping those in need. And with cheap volunteer abroad programs, you can have the experience of a lifetime at an affordable price. Free volunteer abroad may be too good to be true, but the meaningful experience of volunteering abroad is worth every penny.

Create a Campaign with FundMyTravel!

liz gorgaThis article was written by Liz Gorga. Liz is an international traveler, writer, and educator with two home bases: the USA and Australia. She has worked, studied, interned, volunteered, and traveled through more than twenty countries (and counting), and currently resides in sunny Brisbane, Australia. Her life goal is to experience the magic that exists in every inch of the earth, whether she’s hiking in the Himalayan foothills, jumping out of the sky over coral reefs, or devouring a heaping bowl of homemade pasta.

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