The popularity of volunteer vacation or ‘voluntourism’ has increased. It is a great chance to enjoy the travel destination as well as helping people in need at the same time. However, it can be overwhelming especially for the first-timer. That’s why volunteer vacation preparation need to be taken seriously and thoroughly. It is not only about what clothes you need to bring or what lens the camera needs to take majestic landscape when you travel. It is broader than that. You need to decide many options such as the volunteer program that suits you, which country you are going to visit, what organization is trusted, etc.
Things to do as volunteer vacation preparation
Preparing for regular getaway or short trip can be overwhelming especially when you are so ecstatic about it. However, volunteer vacation’s thrill is on another level. You will be excited not only for the unknown culture you are going to learn about but also about how you can adapt to the new culture itself and how you can contribute for the better. So here are kinds of preparation you need before going to volunteer vacation:
- The first thing to do is know where to go, what you good at, and when to go. There are many types of volunteer you can participate for this program such as conservation, education, agriculture, construction, etc. Choose the field you are comfortable with and confident at. You need to choose the length of the volunteer. You need to prepare yourself to commit your time to certain period according to program. Then, you need to decide which country you are going for volunteer vacation. Popular countries include India, Per, Vietnam, Africa, etc. Then, you can choose the date that suitable with your schedule.
- It is also important for you to do some research as volunteer vacation preparation. It doesn’t have to be a serious research. However, it is important so that you choose the right organization and won’t get scammed into fake voluntourism. You can ask former volunteers about their previous participation in the program. It is more trusted for the organization if they have positive feedback from the local community. Make sure the organization inform you transparently. Some programs from some organization sometime cost money. Thus, you need to find out about this issue as well.
- Next preparation is about what you need to bring for the program. Make sure that the important documents such as passport or visa has been prepared. It is also highly recommended that you book your flights weeks before your departure. For the sake of your health, make sure you get necessary shot or vaccine and pack your personal medicines in your bad.
- The next thing to prepare is your mentality. Visiting new place can bring culture shocks. To prepare yourself, you can read volunteer stories. You can also watch documentaries of volunteers to help you figure out what you need to expect from the program. Basically, volunteer vacation preparation is necessary that you can’t skip it.