First Time Volunteering: Getting Ready

Kaspars MisinsTravel Tips and GuidesLeave a Comment

Girl dreaming while sun is setting

Are you currently thinking of trying volunteering abroad? Living in some far away country. Seeing places you haven’t seen. Experiencing different culture. Doing things you haven’t done. Continue reading and you will learn, how to make it reality!

Why volunteer, that’s something I have already been talking about before.

For the best result start thinking about it some 3 – 6 months before planned start.

Dream

Think of all the places in the world, where you would love to live for a while. Think of all the things you would love to learn or do. There should be such places and such things. And it doesn’t matters if currently all you know about that place you would love to see more is for example, only that nice beach you have seen in so many photos before.

Don’t be afraid to aim high. Don’t let your fears about not having the right experience to let you down from thinking about this or that field. Because what’s the point to look only for something you are not really interested in?

Write it all down.

research for first time volunteering

Research

At first search on Google for more information about the country or countries, where you would love to go. Check if there is VISA needed for you and how easy or hard is to get it. Remember, that VISAS are very different. Some are for shorter periods, some are for longer. Some you can get on arrival, but some you need to get in advance. Some costs 20$, but some 200$. And rules differs for citizens from different countries.

Do a research about getting to that country. If it most probably will by plane, go on skyscanner.net and check, how much approximately it will cost for you. Look for whole months, to get better idea, how prices differs from day to day, from week to week.

Think about hitchhiking if it goes over your planned budget or if it’s easy to get there by ground. Or think about flying from another country, from where there are much cheaper flights available. Usually it is so from big cities like Paris, Frankfurt, London, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok,…

airplane

Now, when you know how it is to get to country X and country Y, it’s time to look for volunteering jobs available there. I have experience with Workaway.info volunteer jobs, so I will talk about it.

If you know what exactly you want to do – select the country and use search. For example, if you want to work on yacht, write in “yacht” and look if there is something you like. Otherwise, I recommend you to look for hosts with good feedback from other volunteers. The more good feedback, the better for you. But also the bigger is chance, that they migh be full for some longer time in advance. Find at least some 5 to 10 places you like.

You can search jobs on Workaway.info for free, but to contact hosts you need to register and pay registration fee.

When it’s done. When you know, that there are places in need of volunteers where you would love to go, final step is contacting hosts and asking them questions you are not sure about. If someone hasn’t mentioned anything about food, ask about it. You can’t live without stable internet? Ask about it. Ask about everything.

Trust me, it is much better to do this when you are still at home than feeling stupid later, when everything is completely different from what you have imagined.

Go!

That’s it! You have agreed about your first volunteer job. You know where and when you are going.

Buy tickets needed in advance. Save some money for your personal expenses. Prepare documents needed (VISAS, insurance,…). Plan your arrival not forgeting about some places to go and see on the way to your volunteering as well.

Go for your first time volunteering

And… GO!

Do you still have some questions about volunteering abroad? Feel free to ask about it in comments or contact me on Twitter, Facebook or e-mail.

Author: Kaspars Misins

Kaspars is a long term traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they are traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On WeAreFromLatvia.com they share their experience and things learned along the way.

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