by Melanie Fleury
Making the decision to volunteer abroad can expose you to new cultures and give you the opportunity to assist people in underdeveloped areas. Due to this, connecting with the right overseas volunteering opportunity can be one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences of your life. Fortunately, there are multiple different organizations available to assist you with the process of selecting the best option for your interest and skill level, including the Peace Corps, Global Citizen Year, BUNAC, Global Volunteers and GeoVisions.
Tips for Easier Traveling for Volunteers
1. Pack Wisely – It is not a good idea to take a lot of luggage because this will make it much more difficult for you to deal with the airport and any applicable train stations. However, you should carefully consider any specific needs that you will have during your volunteering opportunity such as motion sickness medication or power outlet adapters so that you do not find yourself stuck in a situation where you are scrambling to find something in a foreign country. After all, you might not be able to locate the items that you need once you leave home. Therefore, packing as lightly and wisely as possible is one of the best ways to simplify your trip.
2. Book an Airport Shuttle – Volunteers will spend the majority of their time working together as a group, and this means that it is not necessary to take on the expense of a rental car. As an added bonus, this will also make the entire experience much easier because you will not need to learn any new road laws. Instead, you can book an airport transfer to give you transport to your hotel or hostel, and this will provide you with a convenient and economical method for getting to your destination.
3. Stay at a Hostel – If your volunteer group does not provide accommodations for you, it is a good idea to book a bed in a hostel so that you can save money and have the convenience of being able to utilize a shared kitchen. Additionally, hostels are a good place to meet other like-minded travelers, and this can definitely help enrich your experience.
4. Make Time to Enjoy the Area – Although the main focus of your overseas trip will be placed on volunteering, you should still carve out some extra time to enjoy the area that you are visiting. For example, if you will be in a European country, you can easily utilize public transportation to get to the closest major city for a day trip. Keep in mind that many of the cities offer special event such as Free Museum Day that will enable you to soak in the local culture without paying an exorbitant amount of money. You can also fly from country to country, using an airport transfer service as transportation to visit more of the continent you are on. European countries are often just a day trip away depending on where you are located.
Make sure that you take the time to carefully review exactly what will be expected of you so that you can select the right volunteering opportunity. After all, volunteering abroad will enable you to develop memories that you can reflect on for the rest of your life.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dawidone/2660544548/