Many people want to make a positive impact on the world. And although there are various ways to do that, something is fulfilling about volunteering abroad.
For one, this kind of work arrangement gives you the chance to travel while doing something meaningful. However, it would be best if you kept in mind that going to do volunteer work is different from travelling for leisure.
The former requires a commitment to do real work on your part, and it is not going to be all fun and games. Therefore, you have to do the right preparations before you head out.
If you want to do volunteer work abroad, here are nine travel tips that you need to know before you get started:
1. Read the information
Before you commit to any volunteer work arrangement, you need to make sure that you read up on all relevant information.
It would be best if you looked into reliable organisations with a good reputation so that you are confident that you get a fulfilling experience.
Also, reputable volunteer work organisations will make sure that what you do makes an impact.
Once you get down to it, you should also make sure that you read up on what volunteer work you are going to do.
You do not want your workload to blindside you while you are there. Otherwise, you might miss out on crucial information that you need during your trip.
2. Arrange a meeting
Before you commit to volunteering work abroad, it is essential to arrange a meeting with the organisation.
Doing so will allow you to get to know them better, as well as discover why they do what they do. This can also be an excellent opportunity for you to voice out your concerns.
3. Ask the right questions
Before you commit to any volunteer program with any organisation, make sure that you were able to ask all your questions.
You can contact previous volunteers and aks for their experience. You can also ask the organisation on how much would they expect from you. It would also help to know how the organisation can ensure your safety and up to what extent.
Asking these crucial questions can help you determine whether you are ready to do volunteer work abroad. And if you are, at least you know how you can prepare your luggage.
4. Save up
Another thing that you should make sure is whether you have enough funds that you can use abroad.
You might need to do some training beforehand. And you may also need to handle your accommodation and transportation.
Volunteer work abroad can cost money, not to mention that you are less likely to receive compensation. Hence, you must save up and make sure that you have the budget for it.
From your volunteer placement to your plane tickets and daily expenses, working abroad as a volunteer can be expensive.
And the costs will depend on your program. So you need to check which programs you can afford to attend.
5. Plan how to make most of your time
Your volunteer work abroad is not going to be all work. However, it can be challenging to do anything too spontaneous.
That said, it is crucial to plan how you can make the most of your time.
To do that, you should take the time to know where you are volunteering. And then research the attractions and spots that you can visit during your free time.
You might not be able to travel long distances, so make sure that you plan based on your assignment.
6. Connect with the people around you
One of the benefits of doing volunteer work abroad is that you get to meet other people.
Other than the community you are going to serve, you will also meet volunteers from other countries.
So please make an effort to bond with them. Ask why they decided to volunteer. Know what makes this work arrangement fulfilling and valuable for them.
This can give you a chance for you to grow and open your mind and learn from other people’s experiences.
7. Pack smart and light
When you are on a volunteer work abroad, one travel tip that you should apply would be to pack smart and light.
You want to only pack your essentials with you and not anything extra. If you need to have checked luggage with you, try and keep to the limits that the airline allows.
And as much as possible, limit yourself to carry-on luggage. That’s because you might need to move often, depending on your job order.
If you find that your luggage has some extra space, do not fill it with anything unnecessary. After all, you might want to get a souvenir to take home.
8. Keep in touch
The people you meet during your time volunteering are people that you might want to keep in touch with afterwards.
Therefore, you should look for ways to stay in touch with them. Use this as a chance to develop meaningful relationships with people from all over the world.
9. Capture every moment
Your memories are an excellent souvenir to bring with you. Still, it sure does help to have something that can capture the moments.
It can be through a journal, a blog, a photo, or social media post. What’s important is that you get to keep a permanent record of your time while volunteering abroad.
That said, make sure you have your camera, smartphone, and power bank in your luggage.
Volunteer work abroad requires a lot of work and preparation. Still, it provides you with a fulfilling experience that you will not forget.
If you want to travel the world while doing something productive, you might want to consider registering for a volunteer work program abroad. Check out the organisations in your area if they offer any.
You can enjoy the adventure that travel brings with you while making a better impact on the world at the same time.