Things to know before volunteering while traveling

Posted on 28 July 2023 By Tsoku Maela

Are you yearning for an exhilarating trip abroad that also allows you to contribute to the well-being of our planet? Look no further than conservation volunteering abroad – a fantastic way to fulfil both desires!

Picture: Getty Images

With its increasing popularity, conservation volunteer work has become one of the most sought-after areas for international volunteers.

The widespread appeal of conservation volunteering ensures that opportunities exist all over the globe, catering to various timeframes and budgets. It presents a travel experience that not only satisfies your wanderlust but also leaves a positive impact on the environment.

Volunteering in conservation projects grants you the chance to explore the world while giving back to nature. Whether it’s rescuing sea turtles in the Bahamas, assisting with marine research in Bali, or participating in tree planting initiatives in Ecuador, conservation volunteering abroad offers a fulfilling and enjoyable endeavour. Once you’ve found your calling, it’s time to prepare for this extraordinary adventure!

This won’t be your average vacation, as emotionally and physically investing your time in a cause requires some considerations. Here are 9 tips to prepare you for your volunteer conservation trip abroad:

Select the right program or organization

The key to engaging in conservation volunteer work abroad is through reputable and ethical organizations or programs. Ensure your efforts genuinely help the planet and the community or ecosystem you’re supporting.

Conduct thorough research

With an abundance of volunteer programs available, it’s essential to determine which placements have a meaningful, positive impact on the environment. Look for sustainability and meaningful community involvement.

Match your goals with the experience

Choose a program that aligns with your interests and aspirations. Whether you prefer working with animals, humans, or plants, finding the right fit will enhance your volunteer experience.

Consider the location

The location of your volunteer project plays a crucial role in shaping your experience. Take into account your bucket-list countries, cost of travel, duration of stay, and climate conditions.

Decide on the timeframe

Volunteer opportunities can range from a few days to several years. Select a timeframe that suits your schedule and budget, whether you’re a high school student or a retiree.

Be prepared for costs

Volunteering abroad involves expenses, and it’s essential to plan your budget accordingly. Many programs offer bursaries and scholarships, making conservation volunteering accessible to various budgets.

Make the most of your time off

While volunteering, you’ll have opportunities to explore the local culture and participate in exciting adventures. Plan and seize every chance to experience new things.

Be prepared and pack accordingly

Research what to bring and ensure you’re equipped to adapt to different situations. Since conservation work often involves outdoor activities, pack the necessary tools and medications to safeguard your health.

Acknowledge homesickness

Feeling homesick is normal during any adventure abroad. Embrace the reasons for your volunteer journey and cherish the fleeting moments that make this experience extraordinary.

Conservation volunteering abroad presents an unforgettable and rewarding adventure. Not only will you gain new experiences and insights, but you’ll also leave a positive impact on our planet. This unique travel opportunity allows you to discover communities through their relationship with nature and the environment. With countless programs available worldwide, the possibilities for conservation volunteering abroad are vast.

By following these tips, you’ll discover the perfect experience that aligns with your goals and aspirations. Get ready for an incredible journey of exploration and conservation.

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ALSO READ: Vine of the times: exploring the KwaZulu-Natal wine route

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