Gap Year in Thailand

Summer Volunteering & Discover Thailand

Quick Overview

Our volunteer travel program in Thailand is the perfect mix of responsible travel, life-changing volunteering projects and incredible partying. Ideal for 18 to 25 year olds this program is all about the people; the people you learn new skills from, the lives you touch along the way, the communities you help with your volunteering work, and the friends make during your own free time. So that’s why we combine 2 weeks of volunteering with travel so that you can get the best of both worlds; an experience filled with hands-on learning that will give your CV the edge as well as a chance to socialise and let your hair down in Thailand’s best party hot spots.

From volunteering with elephants in Surin and building homes in Sangkhlaburi to enjoying beach cocktails and feeling the sand in between your toes in Koh Phangan, this Thailand volunteer experience will tick all of the boxes for your gap year or summer travel. Broaden your horizons with hands-on learning, give back to communities as you go, and enjoy the freedom of travel in one of South East Asia’s most exciting destinations. If you are young and adventurous, thinking of a fun volunteer travel experience this program will be perfect for you.

What’s Involved

This summer travel experience will give you the option of 2 or 4 weeks of volunteering with travel. Your time will be spent working at an elephant sanctuary on the outskirts of Surin where you will be in charge of managing, monitoring, feeding and bathing the elephants. Our four week volunteers  will also dedicate time to the run down rural areas of Sangkhlaburi near the Burmese border; and in this picturesque location, you will take part in building and construction to help build homes, schools and centres to improve life for the local community. During this program, you will also enjoy a tour of Bangkok and if you choose to come for 4 weeks you will get time to relax or party on the gorgeous island of Koh Phangan.  

Free time will be allowed in both volunteering locations so be sure to explore the beaches of Surin and visit the Saphan Mon Bridge in Sangkhlaburi. In Bangkok, you will get the opportunity to check out the amazing street food and bustling nightlife of Khao San Road. And when you arrive in Koh Phangan, you’ll be able to enjoy extended free time on this island so be sure to go snorkelling or scuba diving, visit the Thong Sala night market, take a boat trip out into the sea, and of course don’t miss the Full Moon Party! 

To join this program we require you to be 18 years and over. This program gives you the option to join for 2 weeks or 4 weeks. Please email us if you would like a brochure with the detailed itineraries of the 2 and 4 week programs.

All The Details

Bangkok, Thailand

Surin, Thailand

2017 – 28 day voluntour 2018 – 28 day voluntour
5th January 1st June 2nd November
16th June 17th November 2nd February 6th June 7th December
21st July 1st December 2nd March 3rd August
18th August 20th April 7th September
15th September 4th May 5th October
20th October



2017 – 14 day voluntour 2018 – 14 day voluntour
2nd June 1st September 5th January 20th April 20th July 19th October
16th June 15th September 19th January 4th May 3rd August 2nd November
7th July 6th October 2nd February 18th May 17th August 16th November
21st July 20th October 16th February 1st June 7th September 7th December
4th August 17th November 2nd March 15th June 21st September
18th August 1st December 16th March 6th July 5th October

All our rates are in GBP £ and 2 persons min is required for us to run this gap year program.

2 Weeks 4 Weeks
£869 £1099
  1. Pre-Departure Notes and Support
  2. Free airport pick-up on arrivals day between 06:00 and 22:00 from BKK airport.
  3. Accommodation for the duration of your stay, including two nights in a guesthouse in Bangkok for your arrival
  4. Guided Bangkok tour
  5. Transfer to your programme location
  6. Bangkok orientation and localised programme orientation
  7. Daily transfers to and from your programme location
  8. Full support from our local team in your programme location
  9. 24-hour emergency support

Whats Not Included in your program fee :

  1. Your flights
  2. Meals (very cheap in Thailand!)
  3. Visa
  4. Travel insurance
  5. Activities in your ‘˜down time’ from the programme

Getting There

  1. The nearest airport for this program is Bangkok Airport ( BKK )
  2. Thailand has Visas on arrival which makes life much easier!
  3. Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program. For help with flights and insurance fill in this form
  4. Vaccinations are important. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
  5. We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel to Thailand. Goto to find out how best to avoid trouble when abroad. Packed with essential travel advice and tips, the website also offers up-to-date country information.
  6. We understand it can be difficult to pay for your flights, program fees and other travel costs. Many fundraise for their journey. If you need ideas and a platform for fundraising ideas Click Here
  7. For support on any of the above email us

Your two week itinerary:

  • Day 1 Arrival day. Meet your fellow travellers and our dedicated team, enjoy the sights and sounds of Bangkok.
  • Day 2 Orientation and Bangkok Tour. A great day sightseeing and then spend an evening on the famous Khao San Road.
  • Day 3 Transfer to Surin. You and your group will take the train to Surin. Taking around 8 hours it is an experience in itself. Sit back in the air conditioning and enjoy the journey. Be sure to take plenty of photos as you watch the Thai countryside go by.
  • Day 4 to 7 The elephant experience begins You will be picked up at a designated meeting point each morning and driven to the project. A member of the team will help you settle in and get started. Your average day would run from around 8am to 3pm.
  • Day 8  Travel back to Bangkok. You will be travelling independently but don’t worry the team will have prepared everything for you. You will be taken to the train station, given your train tickets and your hotel booking and taxi money to get to Sawasdee Inn, Khao San Road. A staff member will be at the hotel to meet you.
  • Day 9  Transfer to Koh Phangan. After a day free to explore Bangkok, check in at the Lomprayah coach desk at 20:30pm for your 21:00pm overnight coach to Koh Phangan. Our team will have already provided you with a map and have explained where the Lomprayah check in desk is at the original welcome and orientation.
  • Day 10 -13 – Koh Phangan. Enjoy the fun filled beaches of Koh Phangan. Relax, party and immerse yourself in island life.
  • Day 14  Transfer to Bangkok. At 7am the resort staff will take you to the pier for your return journey to Bangkok. On arrival in Bangkok check in to the Sawasdee for a final evening on Khao San Road.

Email us for the 4 week trip notes. For full trip notes on 2 and 4 weeks email us

What Happens When I Arrive?


Living Arrangements for Volunteer in Thailand:

We arrange clean and comfortable accommodation for all of our volunteers and gap year students. In your volunteer house, you will be sharing a room with someone else on the program ‘“ we encourage community living so you will always have people to socialise with during your volunteering projects and during your free hours.

You will get a full orientation on arrival and we can provide 24/7 emergency support for students throughout the experience. All travel and transfers will be included and project transport will be pre-arranged for your convenience.


Health and Safety :

When you join our programs you can be assured we have carried out Risk Assessments to identify potential safety and health risks on projects and in the community. We share this information with you in our pre departure documents and on arrival. Our local staff are well trained and we provide 24/7 emergency numbers to all participants. Please read our Health and Safety pages for more details.

We protect the safety of children and vulnerable adults on our programs by police verification and a reference checks on all participants. Please read our Child Protection Policy for more details.



  • ‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand.  I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks.  Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’

    Fiona Kirk
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  • ‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
    So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’

    Jemima Kershberg
    Connect with Jamie via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’

    Glyn Owen
    Connect with Glyn via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • “J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”

    Laura Prigogine
    Connect with Laura via our Facebook reviews page
  • ‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
    I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’


    Katie Parsons
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  • ‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’

    Elidith Cameron
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  • ‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’

    Jane Daniell
    Connect with Jane via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
    If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’

    Harminder Athwal
    Connect with Harminder via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • “Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”

    Aimee Chirio
    Connect with Aimee via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’

    Andrew Davies
    Connect with Andrew via our Facebook Reviews Page
  • ‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’

    Bob- Family-Volunteering-Review
    Bob Macauley & Family
    Connect with Bob via our Facebook Reviews Page

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Get an amazing elephant experience in Thailand and empower the community through education whilst exploring Bangkok, Surin and Koh Phangan beaches!

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