04 Jun The Logistics of Planning a Long Period of Travel
Each and every year, it is estimated that around 250,000 people plan their gap year or a period of travelling. Generally these are young people who are straight out of college or university, and the task at hand is a daunting one: how do you begin to plan for such an event? If you’re heading abroad to volunteer, the task is arguably even more overwhelming, and there’s a plethora of things to worry about and organise. Here are some top tips to help ease your worries:
Do Some Research Into Your Organisation
Every volunteering opportunity seems amazing at first sight, but this isn’t always necessarily the case. To ensure that the opportunity is right for you, you must always do the appropriate background checks. Have a look to see whether the company is:
- Ethically responsible
- Working with local partner organisations
- Providing set job descriptions
- Able to explain where your fees go
- Willing to provide you with proper support and training
If they can’t provide you with the answers to these very important questions, it is best to look elsewhere.
Ensure Parental Peace of Mind
Once you’ve sorted out your own peace of mind, you should look to reassure your parents. It sounds a little cliché, but they do only worry because they care… especially when you’re half way around the world. Leave them an itinerary and ensure that you always stay in contact, on a semi-regular basis at least. Using Skype and other bits of software is simple (and cheap) enough, so there really is no excuse not to.
Make Sure That There’s No Need to Worry about Home
While you’re away, it’s natural that your mind will turn to things that are happening back home. Although you’re obviously going to keep thinking of your family and your friends, you need to ensure that this is all you think of. While you’re away, the last thing that you want to be thinking of is the welfare of your personal items. When you’re half way around the world, there’s nothing you can do if you’re the victim of a burglary, so don’t leave it to chance. To save worrying, consider taking out secure storage with somewhere like Safestore.
Get to Know the Culture
The biggest problem most travelers (particularly British ones) face is that they fail to understand the difference in cultures on their travels. If you’re heading somewhere exotic – which is more than likely – you may struggle to acclimatise right away, which is likely to make you homesick. Months before you travel, you should start to get to know the local area as well as its customs and traditions. This will make you as prepared as is physically possible for the journey ahead and should help limit the shock factor.
Packing: Luggage Light, Money Heavy
If you’ve got an itinerary then you’ll know exactly what you need to pack. There’s always an urge to splurge on extra holiday clothes, but there really is no need and this money would be better spent on ‘cash to travel’ funds. If you need anything, you can buy it while you’re out there – it’ll be cheaper and more suitable anyway.
So, there we have it, easy tips to help you plan for the adventure of a lifetime: have fun, you’ll love it.