Rustic Pathways
95% Rating
(364 Reviews)

Rustic Pathways

Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways to one of many exotic locations.

We take students on unique, rewarding, and safe programs to some of the world's friendliest and fascinating countries. Immerse yourself in a new culture, work on purposeful community service projects, and expand your worldview with Rustic Pathways.

Whether you are looking for summer volunteer and travel programs, or gap year programs, Rustic Pathways is a great place to start!

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Charlotte
Female
16 years old
New York
Other

Seven Wonders and Epic Outback

10/10

This summer was my first time traveling with Rustic and I was beyond impressed. I started with Seven Wonders where I saw a lot of the highlights of Australia and travelled all over Australia. The first few days spent in the Daintree rainforest included activities such as playing games on the beach, helping to rebuild the rainforest, going on a crocodile boat tour, and many more fun activities. We then left the Daintree and went to Cairns, which included bungee jumping, snorkeling or scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef and posing with Koalas. We also went to the outback for a few days and enjoyed the amazing sunsets and beautiful hikes. Later in the trip we went to Uluru where we walked around the base of the gorgeous rock. We stayed there until sunset and watched the rock change color. At Uluru we went on a sunrise camel walk and went skydiving! The whole group bonded so well and the leaders were absolutely incredible. At the end of the trip we travelled to Sydney for a few days and climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge at night, ate dinner at the Sydney Opera house, explored all over Sydney, and helped out with a bunch of service projects. It was then time to say goodbye to my amazing group and leaders and switch to Epic Outback. On Epic Outback we started out by spending a few days in Darwin. Those days involved watching the sunset on the beach, going to a gorgeous swimming spot, and going on a jumping crocodile tour. We then spent some time staying at a gorgeous lake, went for a few swims, and enjoyed the incredible views. Almost the entire portion of Epic Outback was spent staying in our swags. These were personal tents that included a mesh top for amazing views of the stars at night. We travelled to Kununurra and did some incredible service projects there as well. From Kununurra we drove in our 4x4's to the Bungle Bungle's. This mountain range included incredible hikes, jaw dropping views of the stars and the Milky Way, and beautiful chasms. We were such a small group that everyone became so close to each other and we were able to create such incredible memories. The leaders on this trip were also absolutely amazing and had so much knowledge of Australia and all of the places we traveled to. One of my favorite places besides the Bungle's was El Questro. We stayed at El Questro for a few nights and enjoyed incredible hikes that ended it magnificent waterfalls, horse back riding, and amazing sunsets. I absolutely loved both programs and can't recommend them enough. One tip I would give you is to pack light. I thought I would need a lot more than I actually did. I will definitely be traveling with Rustic again, and can't wait for the upcoming adventures.

Emma
Female

Sun Sand and Service

10/10

I went to Fiji on the Sun Sand and service trip and it was my first trip ever out of the country alone. I was really nervous because I didn't know what to expect but Rustic Pathways made it easy to prepare me for my trip from the start. They answered all my questions and provided me with resources to help me feel comfortable. From leaving the US, I instantly felt safe because the rustic leaders were so nice and supportive.
My trip in Fiji was truly life changing and so memorable. It was an unbelievable experience that I am so grateful to have had.
In Fiji, I met so many new people from all over the world and everyone was friendly and welcoming. Even after my trip I am still close with them and continue to stay in contact with them. It's crazy how close we are even after only being together for 2 weeks!
In Fiji, I really felt like I understood and was immersed in the culture as I talked with the locals, taught in schools with kids, and did service work that didn't even seem like work at all! Everything I did was so so fun! The evening programs were also really unique and helped me engage in the Fijian culture while bonding with my new friends I had met there.
Not only were the views incredible and all the unique activities we did, but even the simplest things like the bus rides were where I made the most memories. I felt so comfortable and at home in Fiji as everyone from the staff at the Eco Lodge to the group leaders were like a family to me.
This is experience was the definitely best trip of my life and was really impacted me post-trip. I'm now super eager to travel, help and learn about others in different countries, and get more involved in Rustic! This trip is a must!!
Some advice I would offer to future participants is to make sure you push yourself and go out of your comfort zone to meet people because it is so rewarding. Also, don't be afraid to try new foods and new activities because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you do not want to pass up. Don't be afraid to ask questions and talk with the locals because they truly know the country best and what they have to say is so interesting! Make the most of the time you have in the country and with the people because times flies when you are having fun!!

How can this program be improved?

This program was really amazing the only thing I would change about my trip is that my group was split up during the day to do service. I had bonded with a lot of the people I met at the airport and then they divided our group in half for service projects. So, we were not all able to be with eachother during the day. But overall, I still got really close with the people I met and am so thankful for the being able to experience a service trip like this!!

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Gabrielle
Female
16 years old
Austin, Texas
Other

Culture and the Crater

10/10

This trip changed my life more than I could have ever expected. Going into it, I was nervous to step outside of my comfort zone and spend two weeks with a group of people whom I had never met before in a foreign place with little communication with my family but the second I shook hands with my leaders I was nothing but excited. The trip leaders never failed to make me feel welcome, wanted, loved, safe, and there if I ever needed to talk. Culture and the Crater gave me the opportunity to learn about a different culture and way of life where less is more while also making a difference in their lives and seeing the genuine effects it had on those people. On this trip we were immersed into the culture, welcomed as locals, and thanked tremendously for our hard work. One of my favorite aspects was being able to create friendships with the children through actions and smiles alone, no matter our language. I recommend this trip to everyone looking to make a difference in the lives of people who, by the end of the trip, have a special place in your heart.

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Alyssa
Female
16 years old
United States
Other

Intro to Community Service

10/10

Going into the program I wasn't completely sure of what to expect, but I had a friend that had done the same program earlier in the summer and she came loving it. I never would have imagined that I would have so much fun and meet such amazing people while also doing difficult community service. The intro to community service is the perfect program introduction because you get to do a little bit of everything. You get to interact with the kids at the school, you work on various projects in the community, and then you get the weekend to do fun things such as ziplining, going to a waterfall, and white water rafting. I didn't expect to become so close with the people I met, but I ended being in tears when we had to say bye at the airport. I still talk to some of my close friends from the trip and they are still some of my best friends even though we live thousands of miles away from each other. It was such a life changing experience and have nothing but amazing things to say about it. One of my favorite parts was when we went white water rafting because it was so much fun and it started raining so the view was really pretty. I also loved being able to use my limited Spanish with the kids at the school. If I were to do it again though I would bring my own work gloves and bring more shirts because sometimes I would want to shower after service but we would still be doing other activities and I didn't want to dirty a new shirt.

How can this program be improved?

Maybe have a smaller group

Default avatar
Emma
Female
15 years old
Glen Rock, Nj
Other

Surf and Service, week 8

10/10

As I walked into the airport I prayed that this group of people would be completely different from the people at my school. Everyone was kind of reserved at first until I got through security and found a few people from my trip and we instantly clicked. When we got to the hotel I met 19 strangers, now known as my bestfriends. On our four hour bus ride to the base house, I knew these remaining 8 days would be unbelievable and unreal. I met the best people, the people I just want to talk to for hours. We all became so close, even with our leaders, they described us as “one of the best groups to ever come through the surf and service trip”. From walking up the steps to breakfast, lunch and dinner seeing everyones smiling faces to surfing in the 80° water, there was never a dull moment. Some of my favorite parts were having dance parties after dinner, laughing so hard everytime one of us would nose dive on their surfboard, and getting cement splashed all over us after pouring it in the machine. I met my favorite people and could cry right now thinking about my trip. I couldn’t ask for better people, food, and activities. One of the best experiences I have ever had.

How can this program be improved?

I wish it could have been longer, so we could learn how to surf really well.

Program Listings

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Fiji

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Australia

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Cambodia

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United States of America

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India

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Peru

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Tanzania

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Morocco

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Laos

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Cuba

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China

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