If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know there is a recurring segment of travel tips – tips for the volunteering amateur to the expert. For the third installment of this series, it’s a little vague, but VERY important – know the basics of the place you will be volunteering at!
Whether you are volunteering abroad for a long period of time, or even just at a local establishment in your hometown, knowing the basics will always get you through the day. Two basic things people often forget to think about are:
1) understanding and being comfortable with the volunteer briefing, and
2) knowing where to go for medical emergencies.
If you don’t know if a volunteer program is right for you, then pay close attention to the briefing that programs provide potential volunteers to see if it is suited for you. Make sure to keep in mind make-or-break factors such as technology access, weather, amenities, etc. When it comes to volunteering, it is always recommended to step out of your comfort zone; however, if that compromises your well-being, it may not be worth the risk. Find a program that suits you best!
It is also a good idea to understand where to go if something pops up that requires medical attention. Always have contact information on hand, and also learn how to make appointments, pay doctors, and find/buy medications. Not only will it provide you with a peace of mind, but it may also save a life.
There are plenty more “basics” I could cover in this article, but I wanted to specifically highlight the ones I felt get neglected or forgotten. If you have any other basic tips to keep in mind when volunteering – whether locally or internationally – please comment down below!
And as always, thank you for reading!